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Do You Ever Just Feel Entirely Overwhelmed By The Future?

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Do you ever feel really defeated by the future? Like, scared and overwhelmed by the struggles you’re yet to even know anything about?

I feel like I’m having that sort of day. It’s a weird feeling, made about 73265 times worse by the fact I’ve spent most of today throwing back pink and blue fizzy bottles, cherries and mushrooms from a striped pick ‘n’ mix bag. Sugar come downs don’t go hand in hand with most people, but they seriously make me feel like shit.

Not only am I groggy and sleepy and miserable, but I’m shaky and jittery and can’t tell if I feel faint or not – it’s all part of these ongoing investigations about my sugar levels and cortisol and hormones and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

You know in the Sex And The City film where Charlotte and Carrie are shopping for Carrie’s new desk after her split from Mr Big and Charlotte’s all in a weird, sad mood because everything’s so right and she’s just convinced that something bad has to happen to her? I guess I feel a bit like that.

Things are good. I’m healthy, I’m happy, I have no huge fears hanging over my head, and yet I’m suffocated by life, and the prospect of new problems.

I’m scared of OH MY GOD WHAT IF I CAN’T HAVE CHILDREN, WHAT IF ALL MY FRIENDS HAVE CHILDREN BEFORE ME, WHAT IF CHRIS NEVER WANTS TO MARRY ME, WHAT IF ONE OF MY CHILDREN DIE, WHAT IF I DIE, WHAT IF CHRIS DIES.

What if things don’t go the way I’ve planned them to go? What if, and fucking hell this is scary, what if I lose control?

Control is what keeps me sane. Mentally preparing myself for situations keeps me in a good place, emotionally. I feel like I’ve spent so much of my life fighting for sanity, fighting for happiness, that I’m not quite sure I have the energy for anymore battles. I am daunted by the prospect of these battles – these entirely hypothetical battles. Because nobody can go from 25 until their seventies or eighties or nineties or whatever and not come up against some seriously fucking hard times, but I’m terrified of them. I’m terrified of what the life lottery will deal me. Who I’m going to have to lose, what my health is going to have to struggle with, how much heartache I’ll have to go through.

If I sometimes struggle to get out of bed when life is good, when life is stable and easy and care-free and stress-free – how am I going to handle life when things hit rock bottom? When things get really, really shit?

You’re probably all reading this thinking I’m in a bad place right now – honestly I’m not. I’m a bit tired after three days in London, and a bit in a flap about balancing my workload over the next few weeks, but i’m having a day where I can’t even look at my to-do list. I can’t bring myself to write about anything I’ve got planned for the next few days – hence why I’m writing this spontaneous, mega down in the dumps post instead.

I want to eat easter eggs and maybe stick on Harry Potter and maybe screw up my face in a bid to make myself cry. I want to cry, I want to get all my doubts and insecurities and fears out of my body in one big, slightly traumatising sobbing session. But I don’t need to cry, there’s no lump in my throat or watery eyes, I can’t force it. FFS.

One of my biggest life anxieties is that I’m not winning. That I’m not coming first, beating everyone else, doing everything first. I always want to be the best. You might have noticed it with my blogging and the way I’m always comparing myself to EVERY OTHER BLOGGER, because I want to succeed, but it’s not just in the workplace, it’s in general life too.

I want babies first and to get married first and to travel the world first and to know about everything first and to have discovered everything first. I am Hannah and I have to be first.

This isn’t something that was obvious about me growing up. I was clever, sure, in fact I had a seriously impressive IQ as a kid. Remember in year 7 when you have to do those CATs test which determine which sets you go in to and help towards GCSE predictions? Oh, and then some other tests you might have done at the beginning of college to oredict your A-Level results? I nailed both of them. I had one of the highest CATs scores out of everyone in my year – I even had to go to some stupid clever-students meeting once a month and I HATED it.

But I wasn’t rushing to be the best back then, I sacrificed putting in 110% at school so that people would like me. I thought being popular, being adored, being liked by people – both boys and girls – was way more interesting and important than being the most clever.

I didn’t get a boyfriend first or lose my virginity first. I didn’t pass my driving test first or go on a grown-up holiday first. I was just in the middle.

But it hit me just after uni, it hit me when I got my first graduate job and it’s been posessing me ever since – this overwhelming need for success in every area of my life. Because in my head life is a race and I have to be the winner.

And so today I am swamped with the realisation that I can’t win everything, and heck, I’m probably going to lose at a few things too. But I feel more than intimidated by that, and the painful knowing that I’m not going to be able to choose what I lose at, or even see it coming.

I WANT TO START MENTALLY PREPARING NOW AND I CAN’T, WOE IS ME.

Life’s a bit scary, innit?



36 comments so far.
  • Red

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me! Only the other night I was crying my heart out because my younger cousin just got engaged and will that ever happen to me!?! And baby’s? And buying a house? And how would I cope if something ever happened to people who matter most to me? Crazy thoughts but thoughts, it seems, we all have at this age. Also came to the realisation that I just need to relax, if it happens it happens and I’ll worry about it at the time…

  • Oh Hannah, I just want to give you a big hug. I am currently sitting with a massive ball of anxiety in my stomach about everything and nothing so I completely understand the feeling. I’m also quite life-competitive and just want to be The Best. Your own mind can be an exhausting place to be sometimes. Be kind to yourself x

  • Emily Brown

    It’s scary how similar I feel to you Hannah. But so comforting too, to know I’m not the only one who feels like this. I have a very good life – I have family and friends who care about me, I had a good childhood, a good home (although I’d like to move out my parent’s house now I’m 25) and a good job as a primary school teacher, But I still can’t be happy. I’m single and have been messed about a lot which affects my self esteem and it makes me feel like something is missing, Whilst I’m in no rush to settle down, most my friends and my younger sister have moved out and are in serious relationships and it makes me feel like I’m going to be left behind. That I’m a failure because I’m not there yet and I have no control over when I will be. It’s a really scary feeling but you’re not alone x

  • Hayley

    I’m glad it’s not just me who has days like this. “What if…?” is one of the worst questions in my opinion yet I use it a lot, especially when I’m feeling anxious and crap. But crap days/weeks/months pass, and I always feel comforted by that fact. It will pass and get better (even if it doesn’t feel that way now) !:)x

    makeupmusicandfashion.blogspot.co.uk

  • Amy

    Hi Hannah. I used to feel the same way. And then all the bad stuff happened and I Suprised myself. My partners mother went into the final stage of her cancer, and I basically had to be the one who was there for his whole family, during her last days and after. His father then had a mental breakdown. Whilst providing all of this support and dealing with my own feelings of the death, I lost my job and put on a ton of weight which was not helping my anxiety.

    When you face situations where things go badly wrong, you go into a survivor mode where you don’t think anymore, you just do. It’s when the big things happen that you realise you’re much stronger than you ever gave yourself credit.
    Xxxx

  • I feel like I’m going to sound like someone’ mum or like a bick patronising dick or something now but you really don’t want to waste your life worrying about what might happen. You should just appreciate the things you have and live in the now, because then one day if something shitty does happen to you at least you’ll have lived when you had the chance.

  • ahhh this post is so accurate!! easter eggs & harry p sounds amaze right now wahhhh :( Just did a little post on 10 ways to make you smile if you’re interested, can check it out at

    http://lovefromlorna.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/inspo-tumblr-thursdays-2.html

    you’re probably my fav blogger if that helps xox

  • So glad I’m not the only one who feels like this! Although for me, these feelings usually happen right before I’m trying to go to sleep – typically! xx

    Rhianna | robowecop

  • Sarah

    You know what I’ve discovered in the last few years? Everyone has these fears and doubts some of the time. I think social media is partly to blame for how bad some people (especially bloggers) get it, because everyone portrays their life in a certain perfect way and you’ve touched on that before in your posts. But it’s also kind of human nature.

    Not only can you not possibly prepare for these scenarios you’re worrying about, you don’t want to. Because it stops you living in the now. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but mindfulness really helps! Learn to tune in to your senses. Because those ‘what if’ questions? They’re NOT preparing you for anything. Sometimes worrying is helpful because it does help us prepare, like before a big exam or presentation. But this kind of worrying is called ‘ruminating’, because it’s literally like a cow chewing the cud. You go over and over the same thoughts and scenarios, but you don’t get anywhere. You stay frozen. You do not make any plans or decisions that would change anything, and that’s because you CAN’T. You can’t know what you would do in any of those situations. So it’s wasted energy.

    What I would suggest is, talk to somebody for whom the worst has literally happened. The good news is that overwhelmingly, people survive. They don’t know how; they just do. The human body and spirit are really incredible and if any of those things did happen to you, yes, it would be devastating, but you’d find a way. I have a very close friend who went through a truly terrible loss. I don’t want to say what because it’s private, but it was really shocking. Like something you read in the paper but never think will happen to you. And I used to ask her how she lived through that. She’d just say, well, I didn’t have a choice. It happened and I couldn’t do anything about it. Worrying about it in advance wouldn’t have helped either.

    Maybe your body or mind is trying to tell you there’s something not right in your life, anxiety can come from that sometimes. Or maybe you’re just old enough now to know that bad things happen to people. Really bad things. And bad things will happen to you. That is life. And you don’t know how you’ll cope. People who’ve had depression feel that more than anyone I think because you know what not coping is like and you do NOT want to be there again. But you survived that too. And this time you would cope a lot better because you have the strategies that lifted you out the first time.

    TL;DR: The answer to your question is yes, all the time, but having been through a lot myself recently I also know that the good times are goddamn precious.

  • Bee

    I have that ‘live fast pie yum’ postcard on my cubby wall at work haha love a good pun! Great post :)

  • amy

    Yup. adulthood sucks, I think you wrote another post like this before, somewhere along the lines of ‘you can’t have it all’ . I am 24yrs old now, I live with my bf but still have a shitty job. Fears like this where a big part of my life last year but these past few months they have started to fade. Mostly because now I have stopped caring for expectations, giving less of a fuck what people and their expectations tell me.

    Both of my older brothers are married, have a nice house, children on the way, secure (but non creative) jobs. There has been an immense pressure for me to grow up quick and get it all at once – the career, children, marriage, – the pressures are horrible for young women these days – we are told we can (and should) have it all but there isn’t enough time in the day. Just let it all go, focus on yourself why there is still just yourself to focus on. When you have everything in motion you will miss these days alone.

  • CC

    How do you always nail it?! You write about things I feel, but don’t even know how to start explaining to anyone! You rule xx

  • take a step back from social media and give yourself a break…. a pity party is all good and well every now and then and a good cry can do wonders, but seriously stop comparing yourself!!! http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk

  • Clobo

    Your post really struck a chord with me. In particular, your fears about having children. Like you I have always questioned my ability to get pregnant.

    At the end of September my husband and I decided it was the right time to try for a baby. So I came off the pill and let the fun begin. Bam, pregnant on the first try. Whoohoo I thought, check me out, lil miss fertile. Oh you silly, presumptuous girl!

    So over the next couple of months I suffered morning sickness, fatigue, the whole grisly lot. Then on New Years day I started miscarrying. Long story short I ended up being rushed into surgery three weeks after being told I had lost the baby. I’m still having treatment for the after effects of the miscarriage now.

    My perspective of the future has now changed. I’m not so focused upon having children, the experience has terrified and both emotionally and physically drained me. I’m enjoying the now and making the most of the moment.

    Turns out, problems getting pregnant are comparatively a much smaller problem than actually maintaining a pregnancy. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Another fun fact, you’ll only find out how common it is when you experience a miscarriage and almost every woman you know will have her own sad story. Also no one tells you how fucking horrific and terrifying it is (yay sisterly solidarity!)

    My point? Please don’t focus on what you don’t yet have. See achieving your ambitions as a marvellous blessing and accomplishment in your life, not something that you are entitled to. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Otherwise you will slowly drive yourself mad trying to achieve what may be the impossible x x x

  • So incredibly accurate for me right now. I love how honest you are in your posts and I hope you feel better about everything soon x
    http://wearsheiz.blogspot.co.uk/

  • wow I love how honest you are on your blog I wish that one day I can be the same. I’m 18 and turning 19 on the 26th March and have all these thoughts on my head too! All I can hold on to is to try my best at everything and take care of myself and others in this life! Xx

  • Kate

    THIS IS ME RIGHT NOW!!!!

    lost and confused and wondering where life will take me.

    I’m 24, recently married, living with my husband in a nice apartment.. so I’m actually doing ok compared to a lot of people that I know of.. you see how i use the word compare..We all compare ourselves to everyone else and how they are doing on their life journey and i think thats the biggest mistake we can make.. you are YOU, not anyone else you went to school with or someone else on instagram, We take our own journey and we shouldn’t be comparing our path to others.

    I’m a recent graduate and i’m struggling to find a full time job and find my calling, I look at other people on instagram and in blogs and think wow their life is great.. its pressure to be as good as everyone else, i know it shouldn’t be but it is.

  • nueyork

    I definitely get this way too. When everything is going smoothly in life I tend to look for something that may potentially be wrong in the future. I worry a lot about not being able to have a baby, what if I don’t get a job out of college, all that kind of scary “future” stuff.

    It’s a hard habit to kick, and I haven’t tackled it completely yet, but I really am trying to live in the moment and look to the future a bit – but not too much.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

  • Kate

    A great blog and very true, everyone and I mean everyone has the same doubts and fears at some point, I don’t believe anyone is pure positive and happy all of the time. Then again I’m the other end of scale, sometimes I don’t think I’m happy unless I’ve got something to complain about! I have self diagnosed regularly why I feel the way I do with ailments such as cancer, HIV, a stroke, ME, and various allergies and intolerance’s just to name a few. However I have never had and hopefully never will be right in my diagnosis. My most recent was kidney stones, deep down I thought the doctor would do that smug huff and tell me it’s trapped wind, go home take some laxatives and paracetemol and I’ll be just fine. Long story short I actually do have an ailment! Mixed with relief and fear I have 2 large dermoid cysts on my ovaries. I’m on the waiting list for surgery to remove them but this has now upped the game of fear for the future yet again. I’m 35, no kids and don’t know if I ever will now, I’m in limbo, can’t make plans, I love plans, but you know the most annoying thing is other people telling me it’s going to be ok, it’s routine, loads of people have them, everyone knows someone that it’s happened to, it’s really common etc… I don’t know if clobo felt the same but I want to scream at these people – ‘fuck off with your positivity and advice, I don’t care that I’m not the only one, to me, I am.’ saying all that, I really am ok and my point is that these thoughts and fears come and go.

  • Heather

    Thank you for this post! It’s lovely to read something that I completely agree with and is so honest.

    I’m a massive perfectionist and, without sounding awful, have always been an over-achiever. I wonder if you are too? I always want to be the best and have the best and be the most liked and it’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that I can’t and won’t win everything. I remember getting an A in Maths GCSE and re-sitting for an A*, FGS! I know it’s silly but I just wasn’t happy with it. The funny thing is, if anyone else had got the A I would’ve said it was amazing but, for me, it wasn’t good enough, I knew I could do better. It sounds like I think I’m better than everyone else but I just wanted to be the best so I could feel proud of myself.

    A close friend recently fell pregnant. Combined with the fact I’m leaving uni in 3 months and I’ve been unsuccessful with all of my post-grad uni choices, it made me massively freak out that I wasn’t progressing and getting anywhere. Super long story short, I’ve recently been diagnosed with severe depression and am taking anti-depressants (again another reason why your blog is so helpful, you just GET it.) They’re helping, but I’m still not happy. I also worry that if I couldn’t handle the last few months without drugs what am I going to be like if something really terrible happens? That’s a scary thought.

    Anyway, I need to stop writing my life on your comments- sorry! I really hope you start to feel better and more on track soon. Have a lovely time in Tuscany and I look forward to your next posts! :)

  • rose

    I know how this feels! Yesterday I had an interview for what is effectively my dream job, I can’t gauge how well it went and I don’t find out until Monday if I got it. I’ve pinned everything upon this. I’ve got to spend the weekend waiting and waiting for what could most likely be a massive let down. I’m thinking about it every minute and I can’t relax. This is my future it’s what I went to university to do. If this doesn’t happen I’ll start the fourth year at my job that was meant just to be to get me through two degrees. I realise that this sounds like first world problems – I have my health, my family, my friends and my boyfriend. I just want the last few years to have meant something I guess.
    Btw Hannah I love your blog you’re an inspiration!

  • I am SO happy that I’m not the only person who thinks like this. Literally at least once a month I’ll have crushing bouts of anxiety fuelled by thoughts such as “what is even the point in taking my pill, I’m infertile anyway” and “I’ve definitely got a deadly disease that I don’t know about”.
    I thought I was crazy but it’s so reassuring reading I’m not the only one, you have no idea.

    I’m really struggling with the fact I’ve now failed my driving test twice. I’ve never failed an exam, and my younger sister passed first time. I keep thinking everyone thinks I’m a huge failure when I know I’m not.

    I really hope you’re alright and thanks again for this post x

  • I know exactly how you feel, I’m getting married this year, then I’m going to Italy next year and then I want to stop renting and buy a house and then have babies and everything is going so awesome in my life right now but sometimes I just sit there at night in a huge panic that something HAS to go wrong! Surely my life isn’t going to go exactly the way I want it?! Life never does and it’s an awful feeling. I’m so glad I read this to know I’m not the only one who feels like this. I feel less crazy now. Brilliant post 😀

  • I found this quote some time ago and saved it to read over on days when I’m feeling overwhelmed:

    “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you” – Buddha

    Master this and you can’t ‘loose’ at life. I believe Buddha is kind of a big deal. In the meantime there’s always massive slices of cake! xxx

  • Katie E

    Wait… did I write this? Are you me? I thought it was only me that thought these things…

  • Lou

    Hello,
    I just wanted to stop by to tell you from a girl who certainly doesn’t have it all (ie. ANYTHING) together (That means; I’m rapidly approaching 32, I’m single, I’m not dating anyone, I have been stuck in the same job for 9 years without promotion, I’m absolutely so skint and in masses of debt that I just had to switch to shopping in Lidl and just bought a crappy car for £700,oh and I have 700 health problems.)…. 1. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. I do this too- my friends have all progressed in their careers, bought houses and had babies. I haven’t. But it hasn’t ever been the right time for me. Leading nicely on to 2… It’s important not to jump into stuff just because you think you should be doing something. If you do, invariably it will not end well- have you SEEN the high divorce rate in the under 35s?! Expectations by society to have it all sewn up so to speak by a certain age are pressures put upon us by the media and ourselves- there are no rules for when to reach milestones. Chill out because…. 3. Live is too short. Don’t spend it worrying. Live for the moment, appreciate what you have and do what makes you happy. Please! It’s really important. I feel a bit shit that I am single and haven’t progressed in my career, but I don’t beat myself up about it because life took me on a bit of a detour one day. (I got sick. And tbh, I’m a bit lazy on top of that.) But the fact is- if it all ended tomorrow, could you say you were happy? Yes, I think you probs could. If you couldn’t- then make sure you wake up tomorrow and DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. It’s so fucking important to live in the moment. Sure- plan for the future too- but don’t spend so much time worrying about that it takes away your enjoyment of today. :)

    P.S I love your blog. Awesome work.
    Loves and Gin,

    xx

  • Hey Hannah!

    I really enjoy reading your posts, it makes me feel like I’m not alone in how I feel sometimes and it’s such a comfort to read your posts. It inspired me to start a blog myself and gave me confidence so that I can open up to readers, I’d love to be as relatable to others as you are.

    I did mention you in one of my posts – check it out :) http://harrietvictoria.com/2015/03/17/blog-post-numero-uno/

    Thanks so much!!

    Harriet xx

  • I really love how you wrote this post. I always love reading other bloggers more vulnerable posts because a lot of the time I can relate. I completely understand how you’re feeling at the moment..it’s like you scooped out the thoughts in my head and put it into words. I also don’t feel extremely sad..but I just feel low and scared for the future. I’m having one of those days where i’m having worries such as – will I ever find someone to marry? am I studying the right degree? It honestly is such a bad head space to be in so I know how you feel.

    Hope you start feeling better soon, and that Harry Potter will cheer you up! Holly x http://thechroniclesofholly.blogspot.com.au/

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  • I definitely have exactly the same thing, panicking that because everything is going right for me at the moment, the only way is downhill. Like before I had a nice job, and a lovely boyfriend and a little flat it was like Christmas eve because I had all the excitement was to come and now it is Christmas day and I don’t want Boxing Day to come! If you follow my weird Christmas analogy…I think you just have to have confidence – easier said than done – that if something bad happens, you’ll survive it. When something awful to people happens, similarly to when something amazing happens to people, it is doesn’t alter their overall happiness levels forever, it is normally a few months apparently. People have a happiness threshold they keep going back to, and if you are the sort of person who is able to count all your blessings now, chances are you will always be that type of person, even if life deals you a few hands you don’t like so much.

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  • Joni

    Hannah,

    I’m currently in the middle of a crisis. Everything in this post I can 120% relate to. My boyfriend has just sprung it on me that he needs to move back to Liverpool ASAP (we currently live in Surrey with my family) as his gramps is unwell and he has an amazing job opportunity there. I’m currently working for a great company – allbeit the workload is a little slow and dull – and I am constantly driving myself insane with the ‘what ifs?’. And these what-ifs are coming from the drive I have to be successful in every aspect. If I move to Liverpool, what are my job prospects like? Am I leaving behind a fairly decent job & amazing family for something not worth while? But I am so in love with my boyfriend, he is a huge part of me and not being with him is unbearable.

    I think what I’m trying to say is, thank you for being so real and honest in your post(s). It’s a great help to know I’m not the in-my-twenties year old who feels she’s about to have a huge meltdown.

    Keep up the wonderful work,
    Joni xoxo

  • This is so relevant to me. Its literally exactly how I feel. I’m 17 and constantly being nagged about where I want my life to go. Its scary as fuck. I’ve had a serious lack of motivation lately and it sucks because I always want to come first and be the best but I just don’t have the motivation to get there.

  • Maddy

    WOW! This is spot on. I love finding blogs that just hit the nail on the head to how I’m feeling. Do you think everyone in their own way is chasing that contentment in life? Or you look at people and think they seem to have their life together and wonder if they their insecurities.

    I have to keep telling myself “I’m doing just fine.” but sometimes that’s not always enough. I crave going back to when I was younger and had that security of home and closeness of family.

    My biggest moments of contentment is when I’m sitting back on the balcony enjoying a couple of drinks with my mum and step-dad. Wish that feeling would last forever.

    Once again, awesome post!!

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