It was my sophomore year of high school. One of my worst years of high school. It was all because of the first three months. I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember.
This horrible feeling struck me on the very first day of school during the sophomore year. It felt horrible. As if my insides were beginning to compress together. My heart felt as if it were trying to break free from my body. I was shaking seemingly as if the earth was constantly vibrating my body.
It was miserable during lunch at school. The cafeteria is always packed with students and a few teachers as well. My eyes flutter around, watching everyone, feeling eyes glance over around the room and come across me. The worst times, however, were right after lunch. I had English, known for class presentations and public speaking. This was what I dreaded each and every day. My mouth would become dry, my body sweating constantly. My face a glowing red cherry as I began to imagine what was planned that day.
The very first memory that comes to mind during this experience was actually near the end of the second month. This day is the one I believe to be the worst. We had just gotten done with lunch, my brain over thinking, as usual, causing me to be on edge and want to hide away from society. That day, was group presentations. As I began to present the summary I had written, I couldn’t think or see straight. My words were stuttering. I couldn’t pronounce some of them. My body was sending me signals of panic and I just needed to get away. I couldn’t however, so I finished my paper and sat down. The rest of that day I spent calming myself down and distracting my mind from the rest of the world.
Of course, it started to get better near the end of this three-month period. I thank my friends for being there because they are what helped pull me out of this horrific time. My anxiety resurfaces when I overthink too much.
I believe that this awful experience affected me in more ways than it affects other people with anxiety. During school, I couldn’t talk to anyone I had known before that year. My grades were rapidly dropping since I was too embarrassed to ask for help, feeling I would be judged by both my fellow peers and teachers. My social life consisted of people who could calm me down long enough to talk to me for more than five minutes. My family life was ruined. I couldn’t be around them because my body would have an anxiety attack from all the noise. I would wear two sets of headphones just to distract myself from everything going on around me.
There were positives through all of this though. I began to understand how others feel when they have anxiety. It also helped with making me a better listener for others.