Hi everyone, I am back with another blog post today. Today’s post will be very personal and vulnerable for me to write, something I do not open up about, however I feel like I must discuss my story. If you did not know already, May is Mental Health Awareness Month and from the week May 14th-20th, is Mental Health Awareness Week.
I have no idea where to begin, but I’m just going to dive right in it. I have severe anxiety, mostly social anxiety and I have for a few years now, however in the first few years of dealing with this illness, I kept it to myself and received no help since, I kept quiet about what was really going on. I’m going to break down my anxiety in a timeline.
Ever since I was a little girl, I was a worrier and anxious child. I would worry about situations that no child (should) worry about. Throughout my middle school years, I was this insecure and nervous wreck at school, but I would of never identified as someone with anxiety. It was not until my sophomore year of high school until I compared the symptoms of anxiety with the way I was feeling, and thought to myself that I may have anxiety (undiagnosed). At the time, I was unsure why I was feeling the way I was, confused on why I was so anxious without any apparent reason. Fast forward a few months to the start of my junior year, I began to feel this anxiousness every single day when I went to school. Let me just say that 1st semester of my junior year classes were my worse classes of high school, both from the courses and people in my class. There was this specific class, where I had no friends in the class, completely alone (and although I know it’s common, it just happened to be my worst subject, which made everything 100% more miserable). Anyways in that class, there was a large group of friends who would sit around and gossip (you might be saying well yeah it’s high school, but no this was an insane level of gossip toxicity). For some reason, everytime I walked into that class, my heart would instantly dropped, I feared for my life in that class. Anytime they would talk about someone no matter who the person was, it instantly became a “trigger” for me. Which let me be clear, they didn’t even know I existed so it was not about me, but I would hear these awful things that they would say about other people and I would become incredibly anxious. Later on it became so severe that whenever I heard anyone whisper or laugh, I would immediately think it was about me or even a friend. I was mortified in that class, and not to mention that my grades started to suffer tremendously, simply because I could not focus.
Sometime throughout the middle of the semester, it was so awful that I could not find myself even going to that class anymore. I never told my mom the real reason I wanted to skip the class, but I just said it was pointless or boring, luckily it was my first period class so I would have my mom call me in late. It worsened though, when I realized this no longer affecting me in only that class, but in almost all my classes. As soon as I reached that point, I would miss school once a week at least, I would have my mom call me in sick just so I wouldn’t see those people. At the start of new year, I finally told my mom what I was feeling/going through, it felt good to finally open up to someone for the first time, however she still did not know the all of it. If we skip a few months later to my 2nd semester (mind you this was only last year, early 2017), I was still dealing with the same situation, slightly better, but not over. This time, it started to affect my friendships in negative ways, I felt myself distancing away from my close friends, not because I wanted to, but because I couldn’t help myself. In April of 2017, that’s when I first began seeing a licensed counselor (where she diagnosed me with anxiety) the first little bit helped, however after two months or so, I felt that it was no longer helping because I was receiving no new information or help. Summer was here, I had pretty much closed off ties with friends unintentionally and only hung out with two friends that entire summer, continued working my summer job (which also gave me a lot of social anxiety, perhaps in another post I will elaborate more), but at this time I was not seeing anyone for help. However, I did start taking a low dosage of medication to regulate the way I was feeling.
Then the start of school was already here, and from the moment, I stepped in my first period class of senior year, I already knew that this was going to be a part two of my junior year disaster. During my first official week of high school, I finally started seeing a psychologist, it was my first time meeting her, and things went very smoothly and she became my therapist (currently is my therapist, she’s the best). Without me even talking too much, she exactly knew the way I was feeling, she noticed a pattern of avoidance in my life, and it truly opened my eyes to see all the things I truly avoided. The pattern of ditching school from my junior year, came back again, however it was even more worse. It was so severe that I did not want to communicate with anyone, whether it be peers, teachers, or even my friends, because I was afraid of them all for what they would say to me or anything. My life became a living hell. I became extremely reserved and anti-social, dreading school everyday. It was only the third week of school and I had already missed five days of school, I eventually started to see my guidance counselor and a social worker at school, they helped me make some accommodations in my schedule, which is why I ended up taking my American government class online. Not many people knew the reason I was skipping school, besides my school counselor and maybe two friends. From there it escalated down even more, and that’s all I am going to say for now, until my other post, that I plan on writing soon of my high school experience. (I will explain what ended up happening the rest of the year, and a big change in my life).
If we skip to the now, as I’m currently typing this out, I can tell you that I’m doing okay, not awful, but also not as good as I wish I was. I have made a lot of progress in my battle with anxiety, however there is still a lot to go. I see my therapist twice a week, take daily meds, and practice self-care.
I would continue to write, but then this would become a novel, because there is so much to say, however I will be writing about the other mental illness I battle at some other time. I wanted this post to go up yesterday, however I was unable to. I will posting everyday for the rest of the week on mental illnesses in honor of Mental Health Awareness week.
This was an incredibly personal post to me, it took a while to get started, but once I started, it felt good expressing the way I’ve been feeling for so long. I hope you either like hearing my anxiety story, or get inspired to share your mental illness story, or maybe both. I would appreciate any positivity, any comments on your mental illness, or even questions you have on my battle. Just know that if you are going through any mental illness, you are strong and are loved. It took me awhile to realize that I was not alone during this. I will see you all tomorrow for another blog post on mental illness.
You are all beautiful. ♡