In my lifetime, I have had many events outside of school happen to me that have affected me. Not only in my home life but school wise and even social life. Whether for the good or for the bad, these events have been the steps leading up to who I am now as a person, a student and a daughter. From my mother battling with cancer in 2010 and again in 2014, from my father losing his job in 2009 and being unemployed for almost 4 years. The event that affected me the most in my school and social life and still affects me has been struggling with my Anxiety disorder.
In the past I always remember being a nervous kid. I was always the shy one in the class, but somehow still managed to make friends, get good grades and even do activities in and out of school. Up until middle school, I experienced panic attacks but never really understand what they were. I always thought to myself that it was a normal nervousness like when you have to present in front of a class or having all the attention on yourself, so I always pushed them aside, until I couldn't anymore. Freshman year was when it hit home, as they say. I remember always making excuses to get myself out of going to school in the mornings, not being able to sleep at nights, crying myself to sleep cause I didn’t want to wake up the next day, thinking to myself I was crazy and that these thoughts weren’t normal. I’ve always had a close relationship with my mother, but for some reason I wasn’t able to tell her these feeling I was having. These feelings went on to feel like I was alone, that I was the only person around me who felt this way, I even started to have suicidal thoughts. Even with all those thoughts and feeling I never attempted to commit suicide because in reality I was too scared to die.
This situation went on for months, but finally I cracked. I remember this like it was yesterday, it was a school night and my mom walked in my room and started talking to me. My mother started asking me what was wrong and why I wanted to stay home from school all the time...from there I just broke down crying and I remember yelling to my mother, “I can't do this no more”. While holding me in her arms my mother asked “what can’t you do anymore”, I go on to respond, “I can't do anything anymore, I just want to die”, that broke her. She then realized something was really wrong. Later that week my mother made different appointments for me, one being with my doctor and the other with my school counselor. Going to the doctors and being told I was struggling with an Anxiety disorder was somehow a relief for, I finally knew what was going on. Hearing that I was not the only one feeling this way was the best thing I could ever hear, I finally stopped thinking I was crazy. Being able to make a plan with my school counselor and teachers was a step forward as well. Mr. Torres was able to connect me with one of the RAYS counselors or “therapist” to help me with controlling my anxiety.
The last few months of freshman year was hard, but with a lot of help from my family, counselors, teachers and friends, I was finally able to understand my situation and have a control on things without any medication. I would say that has been one of my biggest accomplishments, being a young teen struggling with anxiety being able to control it without any medication to push away. I have been blessed to finally say I have fought the battle of anxiety, but of course anxiety like many disorder is something that you will carry for the rest of your life. It’s within you if you want to handle it or give up. Of course I still face panic attacks here and there but nothing that I can’t control and at least I can say that I have accepted my disorder and am not afraid of it nor speaking of it. I feel as of now I can help more teenager going through the same thing or something similar and that is one thing I am really proud of. Knowing that over 25% of teenagers struggle with Anxiety disorders makes me realize that we are not alone in this. More and more teens and adults are being affected by anxiety everyday.
Not only am I proud I can have the chance to help others from my personal experience, but also am somehow glad I had these experiences because they have helped shape myself and become who I am now. If it wasn’t for my parents, my family and school staff, I don’t know where I’d be or if I would still be in school and alive for that matter. I have grown from my experiences and I’m glad. Yes I have had to grow up a little faster than others but I’m finally happy at where I stand today and at the person I have found in myself. And I owe a lot to this life for that.