As a teen sufferer my self, my experience of anxiety first came on the first day of high school. Some people walk through the doors with no sense of what to expect, but I knew when I stepped inside this new world of being treated as a so-called “adult” my experiences would be different.
Primary school helped us all adapt from a child to a soon to be teen. However when it was time to leave, all we could do was hold on to the memories we had created in the last 6 years and hope we had adapted enough to start High School. Then came the summer holidays. I don’t know if it was just me who didn’t feel stressed at all about starting a new school, but those were the early days. Between me and the daunting “big school” were 6 weeks of summer. A time to relax and spend time with the people we love. To be honest with you, I’ve always hated the summer. To me it was like a cover up of the doom to come (kinda exaggerated, I know).
When summer was over, it was the time thousands of children perhaps dreaded. Start of first term. This is when it started. As soon as I walked through the doors a rush of sickness and nervousness hit me as if a cauldron of the two had been thrown all over me. My heart raced, a feeling that can be described similar to watching a horror movie at the cinemas. The loud volume surrounds you. You have no control of turning it down or stopping the nightmarish sounds. The only power you have is to look away or leave the screening. Choosing the latter option only made you look weak in front of the others.
To my surprise the memories I can recall from my first day were fondly “good” recollections. The only negative experience I had that day was the frequent times I got lost or ended up in the wrong classrooms . But it’s those negatives that occur to many new students, and due to that it didn’t really affect me at all. I guess as soon as I got to know people that’s when it truly started. People didn’t treat me differently because of my personality it was because of my appearance. If it had been because of my personality I would have understood. Some people are treated differently because they have a trait of some kind, for an example arrogance. Someone who is arrogant is seen to be over opinionated, an individual who finds them self superior than those around them. This is a trait that can cause people to feel a sense of annoyance or uncertainty towards a person. But to my awareness I was lucky not to have arrogance as a trait, instead I was a quiet, reserved girl who only wanted to do her best and get through the next 5 years.
I hate the word “bullied”, it’s a diction which pulls at your heart-strings and causes people to perceive you as a victim. I wasn’t a victim I was a person who occasionally got “picked on”. Nonetheless it did play a vital part in lighting the match to the “curse” which would devour me for the rest of my life. I knew my life was going to change as soon as I walked through the doors, but I never thought I would start hating myself so much that it would lead me to feel so low about myself, which would then push me into a “cycle of depression”.
What does one expect high school to be like. Our minds in a way are poisoned by what we see in the media. From television dramas to movies. We try to escape the reality of everyday life by believing in what we see on the silver screen. We have high expectations, which only let us down in the end. In the first 2 years of my life at my secondary school, the girl who had left primary school confidently, had changed into a person who wished they could close their eyes and never wake up. I had turned socially isolated, I lost my appetite towards food and mainly lost the belief in myself.
I didn’t tell anyone; not my parents, teachers or even my close friends. That was a mistake that I will have to live with the rest of my life. But it was a mistake that made me stronger. Due to the fact I didn’t tell anyone, I started pushing myself to ignore the (insert swear word) and start enjoying the ride.”Why should I let a bunch of scumbags ruin my education when all they were doing were wasting their own”. Most of them did get expelled at the end of the day. I guess its true when they say; “what comes around goes around”. They did bad to others and karma came back and got her revenge.
There was a part of me that wanted to give up. I wanted to stay in bed, fake a sickness and avoid the everyday carnage I had to face. But I didn’t, not anymore anyway. I had already shed many tears for people who meant absolutely nothing to me. Looking back now its kinda hilarious, these people were driven by popularity not by their futures. We all grow old and things change. These people who had made my life a living “hell” had ended up being kicked out of school and with the struggle of getting into college. Their friends moved on while they stayed in the ditch they had dug themselves into.
My anxiety had ruined a few a chances in my life at secondary school; being a senior mentor, trying out for head girl and being able to try that bit hardest without caring what people thought. But it made me who I am today. I can waste time by looking back and regretting or I can look to the future and aspire to become who I want to be. A journalist.
I have recently left my secondary school. I’ve been accepted in to a highly regarded college, where I will sit my A Levels in the next 2 years. I still will and always carry the memories I had accumulated at my school, both good and bad. I will continue to live with anxiety and some days I will have those days where my heart aches from pain and all I want to do is stay in bed. But I will get myself out of bed in the mornings, I will face the day and any problems that I am thrown with and so will you. With time you will adapt and learn from your mistakes. You will become stronger from all the torment you have felt in your past. If your reading this feeling like crap or crying about someone who has hurt you. Stop and think, you are wasting your time and energy on people you don’t need, they will get whats coming to them or one day they will realize how they were like. Face the pain and move on.
Anxiety is a curse, it will come and go and then return and continue to do its job. But I will never stop it or the people causing it, prevent me from achieving my aspirations.
Not Now, Not Ever.
With Love – M