– Thirty –

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

I have had the tab open on this blog post for 3 days. I knew I wanted to write something for my 30th but at the same time I was not quite ready to acknowledge it. I am now writing this at 22.17 on the 22nd February listening to Storm Doris making herself known. Am I ready to accept I am 30? Why is it even such a big deal to me? 

I think it is because by 30 you are meant to have everything sorted. Or at least this is what young naive 18 year old Phoebe thought. The Phoebe who could eat gluten, dairy, and down a bottle of champagne with ease. I miss her. The Phoebe who didn’t have a care in the world. The Phoebe without anxiety.

This was my first birthday with Michael, at the age of 19. I can’t even remember what we did but I do remember having a good time with this weird Canadian-esque Busted looking guy. It was a couple of years later in 2008 that I turned 21 and got to celebrate the day with him again.

Roll forward two more years and it was time for our wedding. Still the same laughs.

There have been large huge monumental life events that I have missed due to anxiety. This is the only photo from my graduation. I was too anxious to go through with the ceremony so I got my cape, picked up my papers in the morning and sat and waited in the audience for Michael to do his walk in the afternoon. Am I bothered? Not majorly, I still have a degree but I just remember thinking that it was meant to be a happy day, the end of an era. And all I could think about was the fact my heart rate wouldn’t slow the hell down.

There have been birthdays, weddings, and other peoples life events that I have had to miss out on. And it genuinely killed me inside to turn things down. So whilst by society’s standards I have been building a life through my twenties; a career, a house, a marriage…I don’t feel I have been living it. I feel like my twenties have been a blur and I guess I am scared that could happen in my thirties too.

This is me (below) with my oldest and bestest friend on my 22nd birthday. I think we have managed to spend most birthdays together. It was her 30th in October and I was determined not to miss it. I wasn’t going to let my anxiety and agoraphobia take away another important date.

I had been having my CBT but I was only about half way through my sessions. I hadn’t been in to the city yet. In fact I had avoided it at all costs for 6 years.

I remember snapchatting that almost certain I wasn’t going to make it in to town. That the panic would set in and I would have to meet her another time…well! I made it. Whilst I don’t have a photo of her, this was Michael and I on the walk to the restaurant.

It was this birthday that set in motion the events of the last few months. I have now been in to town several times, to places I never thought I would get to visit and I am trying to cram in all the shops/bars/places I feel I have missed out on over the last few years in to my weekends. I am going in to my thirties in a much better place than I thought I would be. I just hope with all my heart that it keeps on getting better.

My fear of 30s is not the ageing (although I will be getting botox for sure) it is what it means. I feel I have put the pressure on myself to get my shit together. I have great friends, an amazing husband, a wonderful job and a beautiful house. All those things are sorted. The only thing left is me and my overthinking, fantastic mind. I think 30 year old me is in for a fun ride.

So what am I doing for my birthday? Well, I am going in to the city. The one place I have avoided like the plague for years. Michael has a really fun day planned. I have chosen 3 shops. He has 3 envelopes. In each envelope is a different amount of money. When we get to the first shop, I can choose an envelope and have that amount of money to spend in there. I can’t spend over, nor can I add my own money to it. And so forth. I am going to vlog it all, but I think we will try and live insta story it!

Not a bad way for an anxious agoraphobic to spend her 30th hey?

(sorry for spelling and poor grammar in this, it is now 1.30am and I need sleep else shopping will not be fun at all!)

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Faye //

Firstly – Happy Birthday lovely! Enjoy every single moment of your special day and definitely milk it – I stretched my 30th celebrations out for months! I never usually comment on posts but reading the above stuck a real chord with me so I felt I needed to. I totally felt the same when I turned 30 as like you my 20’s had been a real rollercoaster with the lows hugely fuelled by my anxiety. I too was concerned that I hadn’t achieved enough and constantly compared myself to others around me, which of course is the worst thing to do (comparison being the thief of joy and all that). However, now one year into my 30’s I honestly believe that this decade is going to be the best yet, it’s weird but I definitely feel ‘different’ and I know my friends feel the same. Everybody is of course different, all with different back stories but I have every faith that 30 is going to feel better for you in terms of the anxiety. It won’t mean that it will dissapear but hopefully you will definitely care less about what others think :).

Here’s to an amazing start to a new chapter in your life – and to a very successful shopping trip! Xx

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Annéka //

Phoebs! I am so proud of you for all you have achieved in the last 12 months! You deserve every happiness and I am honoured to know you. Happy birthday my love xoxo

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