Anxiety

March 13, 2017
By , Wyckoff, NJ

I’ve faced difficulties in my life, but never one like this. I never knew something could make me feel so small and make me so fearful for so long.
I remember the first time it happened.
I was in the second grade and was heading to my soccer game. I got out of the car and ran to my teammates and warmed up. I remember looking up and not being able find my parents. My stomach dropped and my heart was pounding . I remember freezing, not moving, and staring into the sea of families trying to find mine. Soon after, I spotted them which relieved my panic quickly. Although this may have only last for at most three minutes, I had never felt that type of fear in my life. I remember playing that game and constantly looking over at the sidelines to make sure they were still there. It was such a strange, new feeling.
Soon after that day, life felt pretty normal. I woke up and got ready for school. I glanced out the window and waited for my carpool to arrive. As the minutes passed, I had this uneasy feeling in my stomach as if I were sick. The car pulled up and I froze again. I looked at my mom who was sitting on the couch. My stomach twisted even more as I heard the car honk. I told my mom that I felt extremely sick and ran to the bathroom. My mom went outside and told them that I wasn’t going to school that day. After I found out I would be staying home and not be leaving my mom, that sick feeling went away. It had felt the same way it did at the soccer game.
I went to the doctor that week to find out what was causing my extreme stomach pains. After they ran some tests, it came back saying that there was nothing wrong with me. They had no explanation to why I was feeling the way I did. For the next couple of weeks, a lot of my mornings resembled the one I had the other day. I felt sick every morning and cried. I did not want to leave the safety and serenity of my home. My parents had maybe just thought the only reason I felt that way was just because I didn’t like school. But that was not the issue. It was not clear until one day my parents went out to dinner. My oldest brother Mike was home and had his friends over while I was in the family room probably watching TV or drawing. I remember just getting losts in my own thoughts and then it happened. I froze. My stomach started to hurt. I started hysterically crying and my heart was beating so fast. I ran to the basement, tears streaming down my face, yelling to my brother that I needed my mom home immediately. I completely embarrassed him in front of his friends, but this was more important to me. He gave me his phone and I called my mom. I vividly remember sitting in the bathroom, on the phone with her crying so hard. Telling her that I needed her to come home now. I was completely petrified and felt so unsafe. She probably came home in the matter of 20 minutes, but to me it felt like a lifetime. As soon as they came home, I ran to the door to hug my mom. That was one of the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had in my life. It was now clear to my parents why I would feel sick and why I felt like I couldn’t go to school. I had a major anxiety problem.
School was definitely not easy for me from there on out. No one knew about my anxiety except for my best friend, her family, and the school. I would go to school crying practically the entire day until I got home. This repeated often. I went to a therapist once. It didn’t help. It just made me feel more abnormal than I already did. It was a long process. Anxiety is not something that goes away easily and without hard work. It was a work in progress. Mine took me over the course of a year to two years to shake. Panic attacks came often during those times, but they got better as I worked on becoming independent. That time was definitely the hardest time for me in my life. It seemed impossible to beat, but with tons of hard work and dedication I was able to overcome it and become a stronger person because of it.
But, I wouldn’t say that my anxiety is completely gone. It comes back whenever I feel the slightest bit nervous. I still get that feeling in my stomach in the morning sometimes, but not as bad as they used to be. Panic attacks are pretty rare at this point, but the memories can come back to haunt me. It’s been a long journey that has taken immense effort to overcome, but I think that the results show that I have been a stronger, more confident person because of it.






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