Anxiety-riddled 8-year-old with wide eyes and a scared mind. Waking up every morning not being able to breathe and literally crawling into my clothes. Dreading every moment I’m away from the security of four walls and the comfort of the closed blinds. That was me nearly every day until I finally got help.
No one knew why I acted the way I did. Isolating myself from anyone and anything. Having frantic eyes that look over everything and make sure there is a way to escape and quick. I never liked going out, being around unknown people triggered me more. My mother knew something was “wrong” with me. She finally decided to get me help. Personally, I didn’t want help, because who’s going to know exactly how I feel and what’s going on inside my head.
Going into that office at 11 years old felt like a prison. White walls, loud ticking clock, sliding glass at the front desk, and a little waiting room with 5-6 chairs and loveseat. I was supposed to tell this man how I felt? How am I supposed to do that if I don’t even know what I feel? Little words and short sentences felt endless and it had felt as if time had stopped. The first visit is always the most dreaded. Before you leave you get the name of your therapist, a total stranger. Great.
You go to therapy and you’re expected to open up to this person you don’t know and they’re supposed to help you. How’re you supposed to do that if you’re “scared” of everything? They ask a question to get you to open up, you hesitate at first but finally, you speak. It’s nerve-wracking when they write something down or type on their computer. Those little sounds are amplified.
As I started going more often, I started to get more comfortable. It was nice not getting anxious leaving the house or even the room. Knowing what you’re going through and there’s someone that actually understands was reassuring. You can go through this alone, but it saves you a lot of emotions and trouble of not knowing.
Getting on medication was a rollercoaster. The chemicals in your brain become imbalanced as they try to balance themselves, how ironic. There wasn’t one consistent medication that I was on that helped. Switching medications going through more lows than highs. Finally, I got off of them. I coped. I learned healthy ways to manage. Five years had finally passed and I was finally discharged from therapy.
It’s been two years of no help but my own. Walking away with what therapy had taught me. It can get brutal at times. You never know how your day is going to go. Are you going to spazz out on anyone that tries to help when they see you beating your head on the wall? Are you keeping your head low so they don’t notice you’re off? Or are you going to act okay enough to get through the day? It seems like you’re a different person every day. Sometimes you can’t get out of the house even if you literally drag yourself to do so. Other days you’re perfectly okay, but anything can set you off.
Anxiety is something you can go through alone but it’s a killer. You might think it’s nothing big and it’ll blow over but it’ll slowly eat away at you. You can find ways to cope with it but in all honesty, getting help is the best way. Even if it’s not professional help and just someone you’re close to is there is more than enough. Don’t let the anxiety keep you tethered to your house.Tags: Chicago Curie High School mental health