"Do you think you're a different person?"

One of the things people ask is do I think my struggles with mental health have changed me. It's a pretty difficult question seeing as the entirety of my teenage years have been riddled with anxiety and depression.

Then again, is it really that difficult? I was a top student at school before the anxiety hit hard. I was predicted 11 GCSEs, grades A*-C. I have three Cs. Would things have been different if I'd got those 11 GCSEs? Absolutely. I'd have gone into college, picking any course I wished (I suspect it wouldn't have been Animal Care, a course I started and didn't finish), and probably have gone on to university.

Instead I walked away from school with two Cs and a D. I went into college anyway, and didn't finish due to conflict with a number of people. I left there, and attended a youth group for a year, which was a turning point for me. When I'd done my year at the youth group, I went to a different college and studied a fast track English course for a week, bumping my D up to a C.

I entered the world of employment, realised my mental health was deteriorating, and promptly left. I then entered the world of employment again, and lasted longer this time around, but it still wasn't a good fit.

Then I threw myself into mental health full time - and here we are! So yes, I do think I've turned out to be a different person than I would have been without my anxiety. I'm glad of it too.