As a Russian person born and raised in, well... Russia, I was always experiencing the strong examples of superstitions in and outside my family. I was surrounded by various strange warnings in my kindergarten, at school, university, that at the time seemed right, but never, in fact, made sense.
Don't whistle at home, you won't have money. Don't come back to your house if you have forgotten something, something bad will happen. Don't spill salt, you'll get into a fight. Don't wash your hair before the exam, you will forget all the knowledge. I blindly believed in everything, and the result was, I believe, my obsessive-compulsive disorder, of which, you have heard a lot. I'm sure. Being anal about cleanliness, dressing neatly and so on. It's not about cleaning. A huge stereotype gone public and wrong.
My one wasn't visible. It's called Pure O. It wasn't obvious to others. With time, it got worse. If I left the house and suddenly saw a disturbing image in the street or in my head, I would return to my flat and not be able to do anything important that day. I was looking out for special numbers, special patterns, people. Some combinations meant I couldn't make big decisions, go on trips, saying yes to things. And the English had their own superstitions too. That is just a story in a nutshell. Only a few people know about this problem of mine, because only recently I started feeling a little better and was finally able to, at least, tell one person, that I once stared at a wall with tears running down my face, bound by the great fear of everything and nothing.
I once was in the middle of Oxford Street tube station, ready to go out and go shopping, then I felt this overwhelming anxiety and had to go back to my house, which was an hour away, because I simply couldn't make a step forward.
Some therapy and medicines worked for a while, but self-help and noticing my irrational fears was more helpful. And then 2016 happened. People around the world, including celebrities, started saying that the year 2k16 was the reason for the terrible things unfolding.
The internet all around us began condemning the 365 days that were just 365 days, and praying for them to be over. Thus, triggering all the anxiety sufferers with the empty Facebook words of understandable sorrow.
If they could only listen to themselves saying "I want this year to be over already". They would hear the nonsense it contained. Blaming the supernatural, they forgot about the good, and failed to remember the people who have stayed with them.
Humans are primal. They see a pattern, they believe in a sequence of events, they make conclusions. Lots of times they are wrong ones. This is also observed in other areas of our lives. We try, we fail, we give up, for we have seen the negative pattern. Hence, by changing the pattern, i.e. switching from 2016 to 2017, they will work everything out, the luck would change.
"Just four more days and it will stop" - I read on my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
"Another day at home and I'll feel better" - I was telling myself in those bad OCD days.
This irrelevant psychology applies to every aspect of our existence. We stop enjoying ourselves because we give in to this all consuming dark age blindness.
I say, stop now, it's not 2016. It just so happened. Accept. Be grateful for what you have now. Don't develop anxiety disorders, and don't trigger others'.
For information about anxiety and panic attacks of people that you love, please, visit www.mind.org.uk
Olya Gerasimova is an instagramer, travel blogger and likes to write about London and the UK in general.
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