Anxiety: An Insight

I haven’t written here in quite some time – partly due to the requisite of staring at a screen and writing so many words all day for work, and partly due to what the title suggests. Writing about this topic scares the absolute crap out of me. However, with the incredible movement involving anxiety awareness and education, I’ve felt a strong urge to chip in.

Anxiety is a stifling disease: negative thoughts parade in your brain while nausea floods your stomach. If you try to distract yourself, you’re simply left feeling forgetful as to why a sick feeling is in the pit of your belly. For those who have never experienced it, it could be a feeling similar to how you may have felt when you lost an important item, such as your wallet or phone, or an assignment for university after not saving it – you simply feel sick.

It keeps you up at night, it affects how you come across to people, it lingers for hours on hours after a single conversation, and worst of all it doesn’t go away no matter how hard you try to rationalise the situation or the thought/s taking hold of your mind.

Recognising anxiety has recently become more and more common, which has not only helped relationships and how people with the disease are perceived, but it has allowed people who suffer from the illness to understand what the feelings are. Unfortunately, it isn’t a fix. We know what the feelings are, and sometimes we even know why we feel them, but we usually can’t get rid of it.

At the end of the day when we are tucked up in bed, the thoughts are released to wreck havoc and incite fear, guilt, regret, humiliation and eventually sleeplessness. This results in being tired the next day, exhausted even, which only exacerbates the problem further and we are left irritable – hurting those around us, lashing out because we are unable to cope with the emotions fuelling every negative thought conjured up in our brain. This only leaves us to feel guilty and humiliated about every interaction we’ve had and thus the vicious cycle begins.

There are plenty of different types of anxiety: generalised anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety attacks, phobias/fears, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety. These disorders can be mutually exclusive or cross over with one another. These can be triggered by huge events in one’s life, or can develop from thin air.

Every definition you read on the web about these anxiety disorders, including mine, are general overviews because no single anxiety disorder is the same – some could have a phobia, others could have social anxiety, or many could suffer from multiple types of anxiety disorders.

For example, some could feel a heightened sense of fear and nausea when they are about to embark on what they perceive as a fearsome activity. A person afraid of heights has developed a negative feeling towards any activity involving high places – it could be due to a childhood incident, or simply developed out of nowhere – and when they are about to face their fears, such as climb high ropes for a school activity, or jump off a giant rock into the ocean with friends, the nausea floods their stomach and fuels their mind to believe there is a huge level of risk involved – rational or not.

Think about something you’re afraid of: death, losing all your money, talking to a girl or boy, being publicly humiliated, or anything at all which incites worry and fear. This is a phobia, irrespective of how little or big it is, irrespective of how disabling it can be. The intensity of the worrying thoughts increase when you face this fear, but this fades when you are removed from the situation.

Now when it comes to generalised anxiety this feeling sticks around all day and all night long. Not as intense as it is when one with a phobia is about to face their fear, but it can reach this high level of intensity depending on the person and the situation.

It can ruin friendships and relationships because you become so absorbed into what was said and become so sensitive to things which make normal friendships flourish. You then spend too much time obsessing over what you did wrong which hinders relationships even more – if you had just let it go things would be fine. To sum up in a few words: anxiety is a dick.

The worst part is, when it comes to relationships and friendships, you are left feeling, and almost believing, all of the people in your life are slowly realising they don’t want to be around you because you make them feel like a bad person. If you’re so sensitive and reacting all the time to little things they are left feeling pretty shitty and this pushes them away, only triggering yet another fun cycle of irrational thoughts.

This can result in people acting out, unable to really understand why they are like this when someone else, say their brother, sister, friend, etc., isn’t this way (or so it seems). This ultimately ends up making the person feel crazy, and sometimes even results in others seeing the person as crazy. It is horrible to be labelled as crazy when you can’t help or control your feelings – when you would do anything to help or control your feelings.

There is management available for anxiety – medication, exercise, healthy eating, therapy etc., but at the end of the day there is no real cure for the illness, only awareness, education and understanding that no matter who the person is, what they have, or where they are in life, they could be suffering from it.

Anxiety can leave you feeling very insecure, crazy, and downright stupid sometimes, but people who struggle with it can still be happy and can still enjoy life. If you are on the other side of an anxious person and they are freaking out about something involving you it just simply means they appreciate and care about you – because they really care what you think.

The more education on what the illness can do to someone, and the more awareness of the person’s intentions, then perhaps the better management of these cycles, and ultimately the disease.


Winning a trip to New York City

Entering a competition online feels like how all the men in your life felt after that pic of Justin Bieber came out, while winning feels like how all the women felt.

Winning a free trip to New York City

When I received my boohoo package and a flyer fell out featuring a competition to win a trip to New York for the boohoo X Charli XCX launch party, I decided to enter it.

Then, just as everyone should with the new white girl Pumpkin Spice hair trend, I forgot all about it. I even forgot about the fact I had entered it, because let’s be real this basic bitch wasn’t going to win it.

Weeks later, at 3:00am AEST, my phone lit up with the message ‘You are one of our winners for the Charli XCX launch party’.

The next morning I responded and stared at my Gmail inbox for a solid 20 minutes without blinking only to realise that Australia is literally nowhere on a map. I did the math to get the time difference, then Google’d the real answer, and figured I’d have to wait until around 7:00pm AEST for a response.

Hannah, the social media manager of boohoo, responded and it was real. I, Sarah O’Brien basic bitch number 3,111,267,980, won the competition of a lifetime – a free trip for two to New York and access to a VIP launch party.

I screamed like my jam in the club just came on and then I went to my group chat on Facebook and bragged, finally receiving a response after all these times of being ignored.

Winning a trip to NY

Replicas of our faces when we found out we won a trip to NY

I was able to take a friend, and as much as I wanted my friends to each send in an audition tape, there was no time and I settled for my boyfriend so I could hold it over him and win any fight for the next year or two (Him: You spent all the money on a Simba outfit for a cat? Me: Yeah but I took you to NY for free so..).

The days leading up went slower than the minutes on a microwave, but the day finally arrived and we were at Sydney International Airport boarding a 14 hour flight to LA. I took a few sneaky snooze tablets and they decided not to sink in until we got to LA so I was going through customs like I was Snoop Dogg at his 420 party. I made it though and we boarded our six hour flight from LA to NYC.

New York City

We landed at nighttime, which worked well so we could get rid of the jet lag, and then got to our hotel somehow (quite vague as the tablets were still in full force). We were put up in the amazing DoubleTree by Hilton in Midtown and received a warm cookie on arrival. I MEAN WHAT!? I don’t think I have ever received a warm cookie on arrival – #basicbitchlife.

We decided to hit a pub, because STRAYA, and then went to bed in preparation for the launch party the next night.

Sarah in Central Park

Classic model shot of a basic bitch in Central Park

We got the whole day to do what we wanted, so we did touristy things (video recorded squirrels while yelling “ALAN, ALAN”, in Central Park) – and then went back to the hotel to get ready.

Once we were dressed we tried to get a subway to our meeting point in SoHo, but that was a flop that set us back and decided to hail down a taxi instead.


So I was in the back of the taxi having a huge panic attack half because we were going to be very late, half because I had no idea if the taxi’s car alarm was going off or it was just our driver on the horn.

Charli XCX for boohoo

We arrived, and while we were late everyone understood it was because we were from STRAYA. Once I recovered from my panic attack I took in what we were about to do. Get on a giant double decker bus with the face of the beautiful Charli XCX sprawled across and drive all the way to Brooklyn with the wind in our hair.

Then out came Charli, making me feel like my basic bitch status just went down to number 6,789,723,980. She gave us each hugs and I tried not to wet myself because I was wearing white. Then she got on the bus, YASSS!!

We jumped on board and each scored some beers, which is so STRAYA. The view as we were crossing the bridge on the top of a double decker bus was incredible – not to mention surreal.

View from the double decker bus

View from the roof of the bus

Once we arrived we took part in some interviews, during which Joe Jonas got out of a van with his crew and I realised I was not even worthy of a basic bitch status anymore.

We walked in and I walked straight past the photo lounge because all this excitement had turned me into a nanbots and my bladder was going to explode. Once I could take it in, it was incredible.

The Villian venue in Brooklyn had transformed into this amazing neon-lit party featuring pac man machines, hot girls on stilts, a mechanical bull, and most importantly free Charli XCX cocktails.

Joe Jonas came out and started DJing and I had no idea what I was doing with my life. Then the Queen herself, Charli, slayed the stage and I realised the morning after I was slut dropping to Boom Clap – I really need to stop doing that.

Charli XCX with Sarah and Ryan

Charli XCX – with her besties obviously

After the performances were done we got to go up and take photos with Charli herself, which I then obviously posted on Instagram pretending like we were total besties and this was just another day in my amazing life.

After the party we headed back to our hotel and I tried to get more warm cookies because I felt like a Queen and Queen’s probably get unlimited warm cookies.

We then got a few extra days to explore the beautiful and exciting city of New York, where we hit comedy clubs, saw Cold War Kids live at Terminal 5, and harassed the front desk for more warm cookies because now I am a #basicqueen.

10 things New Yorkers need to own up to now

New Yorkers have some explaining to do


Retrieved from: Flickr: Pascal Subtil

I recently visited New York City – the city that seems to have its shit together – but I picked up on just a few things that need to be explained…

1. Why does everyone beep so much, the only time I want to hear beeping is when the microwave beeps to tell me my pizza pocket is ready.

2. Why are your toilets actually swimming pools, what happens when guys sit on the toilet do their peens get a bath, ARE YOUR TOILETS ACTUALLY PEEN BATHS?

3. Why does everyone on the street always ask me if I want to a buy a CD and when I say ‘no’, they say ‘bitch, don’t think I got change’? I don’t know what you got but it sure ain’t change.

4. How are you all so skinny with those damn portion sizes – I want a slice of lasagne not a slab to take home and feed my family of 10. Does the peen bath have a magical calorie extractor attached? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!

5. Why is everything pumpkin spiced? What sort of white girl shit is this?

6. How is everyone so calm when they decide to close the only subway that will get you straight to your destination without having to catch 5236 different ones? If you’re down there you obviously can’t afford to life so what have you got to lose people? RIOT!

7. Why is every pub so surprised that I want to eat when a baseball game is on? DO YOU ALL FAST WHEN A GAME IS ON? DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL FEELINGS SO YOU CAN’T EAT?

8. Why do you put your rubbish on the side walk and not in a huge bin? I’ve seen crows literally open bin lids to get into rubbish, but they don’t even have to work for it in your city.

9.Why is Stabby McStab town (Stabby McStab town) just a few streets away from Richy McRich town (Soho). One wrong turn and everyone is saying gun in every second sentence like they talking about a pumpkin spiced latte.

10. Why is the cab driver always on the phone? Who is he chatting to? What are they talking about? Is it his mum? Is it my mum?



Anti-Melbourne cup actually supporting animal cruelty?

Are those against the Melbourne Cup actually supporting a more widespread sense of animal cruelty?

Two Melbourne Cup horses died in last year’s race, but if you do your research approximately 50 died that same day because their owners were too lazy to call a vet when early signs of illness became apparent, or because the owners fed their horses the wrong thing causing colic – a disease that causes premature death.

So would it be too far of an assumption to state by being against the Melbourne Cup you are actually supporting a more widespread kind of animal cruelty as these horses would become either wild or cared for by irresponsible or poor owners?

The more horses pushed into the wild face death due to starvation or dehydration. The more horses taken in by owners face a lack of care, colic disease, and more due to owners being irresponsible or even just unable to afford it – a rising trend as farmer’s income declines. The race-horsing industry is a multi-million dollar industry giving these animals the right care that they need, immediate attention to early signs of illness, and while it may be for greedy and selfish reasons, it still sees these animals cared for.

In actual fact the horse Mongolian Kahn, a front runner for the Cup, has been showing signs of colic disease and instead of receiving zero care it will be treated immediately, and removed from the race. That doesn’t sound like animal cruelty to me, but letting it die because the owner is too lazy to call a vet, does.

I am a vegetarian and I have often struggled with the for and against battle with Melbourne Cup and ultimately the racing industry. I don’t eat any meat including fish, nor do I consume anything with Gelatin in it (this is made from cows hooves and found in many lollies, jelly and more).

I don’t wear anything made out of leather, nor do I shop anywhere that supports Angora Fur (David Jones and General Pants both supported Angora but have recently ditched due to the video footage of rabbits having their fur ripped out while they are alive).

Many people I have seen posting about the fact the Cup supports animal cruelty, shopped at these places, wear make-up and clothes brands that are notorious for testing on animals and animal cruelty, respectively, and more. They support definite animal cruelty without even bothering to do the research, yet are quick to state the Melbourne Cup, and only the Melbourne Cup (not any other race days) is a form of animal cruelty.

There is a whole other argument for racehorses and their futures after racing, which has left me very confused about my stance on racing, but for now this is how I see the Cup and the race-horsing industry – straight from a vegetarian’s mouth.

10 annoying questions vegetarians get asked – by cats.

1. You don’t eat meat?

You don't eat meat?

2. What do you eat, lettuce?

cat laughing

3. OH, I forgot you were vegetarian, can you just pick the meat out?

pick meat out

4. I don’t know how you do it. I want to be a vegetarian but meat is just so delicious.

cat licking pig

5. But WHERE do you get your protein?


6. It’s evolution, we are meant to eat meat.


7. If I was going to die but you could save me by eating meat would you?

eat meat to save me

8. But you know you’re still killing plants, right?

plants maybe

 9. What if that fake meat is actually real meat, and you’re eating real meat right now!?

fake meat

10. Do you hate me because I eat meat?


All images are from and

Facebook -where opinions and passions go to die

If you have ever seen a cockroach slowly struggle for life as it is sprayed with poison then you will know exactly what it is like to be on the opposing end of a Facebook fight. Here are some tips to win your very own social media battle;

  • Go in strong. Use phrases like ‘lol’ and ‘hahahhaha’ to commence your argument to let everyone else know their opinion is ridiculous and there is no way in social media hell it is valued.
  •  Attack their personal appearance. Check out their profile picture and find their biggest flaw, then use it against them because it will make your argument logical, sound and you will ultimately win the quarrel.
  • Don’t bother reading their comments. It is incomprehensible that you should be open to their opinions and beliefs. Do not question your beliefs because that could incur change. Nobody wants change, especially if it benefits society. But by all means questions theirs, especially if it is arguing against your self-funded education that has been instilled into you and couldn’t possibly be flawed.
  • Screenshot their comments and post them in another thread -potentially one who is on your side (the right side) and laugh. Add some laughing emojis for added effect.
  • Get your similarly educated friends to like all your comments so the opposition feels humiliated. The aim of the game is to completely destroy their opinion or desire to ever have one again.
  • Never educate them on the topic at hand. You want their argument to be wrong, but you do not ever want them to know what you know.
  • If all else fails attack their grammar. “It’s you’re* -YOUR argument is now invalid.”

20 things I have learnt in my early 20’s

In just under two weeks I will be turning 23, and after taking a good week to accept Mean Girls was created a decade ago, I have finally come to terms with my age through a list of everything I have learnt so far. Here is 20 things I have learnt in my early 20’s.

1. It is okay not to have your shit together, actually it is expected to be a complete mess. Waking up with a nightclub’s stamp from the night before transferred onto your face and finishing off the leftover kebab for breakfast, does not mean your teacher was right about you not going anywhere in life, it just means you’re cultured.

2. If you take less than five minutes to decide whether or not to have guacamole on your nachos, it means you have the ability to make informed, intelligent, life decisions. Don’t get me started on sour cream.

3. It is a time when less and less people card you when buying alcohol, so wear a school uniform to trick the bastards.

4. It’s no longer acceptable to just have a gym membership, now you actually have to use it.

5. No matter who comes over to your house (whether it’s a pool boy or a delivery lady) if your parents catch you talking to them they think you are going to marry and start a family with them.

6. Sleepovers don’t mean sleeping over anymore.

7. Post Festival Depression is actually a serious illness.

8. Used by dates become more of a recommendation than a necessity.

9. It’s completely fine to want all your similar aged friends to get married so you can take full advantage of the open bar, but think yourself as too young to tie the knot.

10. You’ve only got a few more years before you become too old for Instagram. Post as many selfies as you can.

11. Unless you are a professional or get paid, it’s kind of weird if you play sport.

12. The snooze button is your best friend.

13. Two day hangovers are actually a thing.

14. It’s time to accept that you will never go to a house party ever again – well not one like you did in your teen years where everyone you had on Myspace showed up, and the police showed up while you were curled up in the backyard telling a bottle of Passion Pop that you love it.

15. If you don’t have internet banking by now, then you aren’t a real person.

16. Chocolate is a colour, not a food source.

17. It becomes your responsibility to check for tissues in your pockets before you wash your own clothes.

18. Dating a celebrity seems more and more unattainable.

19. It is socially acceptable to have a public melt down over Subway not putting enough salad on the sub.

20. You’re going to be 30 sooner than you think.

Sexism or Feminism Feud?

Family feud has flustered the nation with the recent airing of the segment which showed the nation’s answers of what they believe a woman’s job and a man’s job is.

Despite articles and comments stating they believe the two questions were ‘ill-advised’ and ‘wrong’, only the women’s category has caused fierce backlash.

For those unfamiliar with the show’s format, it sees 100 random Australian’s surveyed about certain categories, which host Grant Denyer then puts them forward to two opposing teams, made up of family members, on the show to score points by stating what they think would be the top answers. The winning team then goes on to compete for $10,000.

The criticism it generated centred on the misogynistic answers that topped the women’s question including hairdressing, reception work and domestic duties like washing clothes and doing the dishes.

Obviously the credibility of the surveyed have been questioned, and full-fledged arguments regarding women’s equality rights have developed. However, what about the stigma attached to the men’s category?

Answers for this category included building, mowing the lawns, taking out the bins, being a mechanic, tradie, fixer of things, carpenter and plumber. What about the men who want to be a hairdresser, a teacher, a house husband, or a gardener?

Where is the uproar about these answers for men?

It appears people are so quick to defend women’s rights, but forget that it is equally difficult for men who want to break into industries which have a feminine stigma attached.

Denyer also defended the show on his twitter stating it was not the show’s fault, rather Australia provided those answers.

In some sense Denyer is correct. Ask your parents and grandparents what they think a woman’s or man’s job is and these type of jobs are the first one’s that come into mind because they have been ingrained into their cultural values. It doesn’t mean they are the ONLY jobs women can do. It is just what Baby Boomers grew up with, and more than likely the people surveyed were of this generation, rather than generation Y, as this is the target audience.

All the feminist ladies

I have recently been reading an array of articles on feminism only to have come across multiple women using Beyonce as the poster girl for their argument. While I greatly appreciate my predecessors who fought for my right to choose whether or not I want to wake up and put an apron or a pant suit on, or whether or not I want to get pregnant when an inebriated idiot thinks he doesn’t need a condom, I am disappointed in those who state Beyoncé is the epitome of feminism.

Don’t get me wrong, I love attempting to mimic the star’s illustrious dance moves, wearing my underwear, while singing ‘All the single ladies’ as much as the next woman, but having many argue she represents what women fought for decades ago is somewhat embarrassing.

Beyoncé’s hit song ‘Drunk in Love’, a collaboration with husband Jay Z, has the star echoing the rappers words “Eat the Cake, Anne Mae”, a distinct reference to the biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It, in which Ike Turner assaults Tina Turner.

In the 2013 February issue of GQ Beyoncé argues that men define what is feminine.

“Let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show,” she states. “It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.”

As GQ proves by featuring half naked women on the front of their magazine each month, sex sells. Beyoncé states that men define what is sexy, so a men’s magazine that identifies nudity as selling highlights that’s what men believe is sexy.

Since feminism is about gender equality and not being defined by a man, being half naked goes against this ideology especially when paired with these claims. In the same issue of the magazine she features on the front cover wearing underwear and showing her breasts.

But I thought she said it was ridiculous that men define what it means to be sexy?

I find my love for Beyoncé tainted by many people arguing that the star is a feminist. When asked by my friends if I love her I often hesitate because people have reiterated so many times that she stands for gender equality.

I am not arguing that she wants to stand for feminism, as she may not, I am merely stating that people who argue for feminism and use Beyoncé as an example need to ask themselves whether the women, such as Gloria Steinem who pushed for access to the pill, abortion, equal employment opportunity, and more would like to be represented by a woman who glamourises assault and contradicts her statements.

There are kids who want to be vaccinated in Africa

The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has undoubtedly caused devastating effects, but the lesson one should take away from this is that there is no excuse to be against vaccinations.



Despite living in a developed country, where access to a drug and vaccine network is readily available, people still choose to avoid vaccinating not only themselves but their children too.

There is even an organisation which advocates natural alternatives to drug based medicines, including the recent suggestion that epilepsy patients should never take anti-epileptic drugs, and this is in Australia.

In West Africa efforts to control the outbreak  of Ebola are hampered by unfounded suspicion of modern medicine and reliance on herbal medicine.

This misinformation is understandable due to the fragmented, under-resourced, or non-existent health system in the region, but what is Australia’s excuse?

Recently there have been reports of an outbreak of highly preventable diseases such as the Measles in Australia and it is all due to the decline of implementing vaccinations.

In one case, a woman died from Ebola after her family forcibly removed her from a hospital to bring her to a traditional herbalist.

In addition to rejecting medical quarantine in favour of herbal medicine, angry mobs have attacked medical workers to protest what they view as a conspiracy to infect the population, believing it to be a government scheme used to either collect money or harvest the organs of patients said to have Ebola. In Liberia, police shot tear gas and bullets at a mob angrily protesting the quarantining of a densely populated slum in the capital, Monrovia.

While the anti-vaccination community in Australia is not violently opposing lifesaving vaccines, they are rejecting the overwhelming scientific data on the effectiveness of vaccines, embracing conspiracy theories on vaccines causing autism, and refusing to vaccinate their children.

If this outbreak can teach us anything it is that vaccinations have been created to save lives, not destroy them.