Anxiety and I.

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This is my story of living with mental “disorders”. I’ve been diagnosed with Social Anxiety, Schizophrenia, and Manic Depression. Everyday has been a struggle with these “disabilities” and I’m still waiting for it to get easier. Lets talk about anxiety, not all types of anxiety are the same, which I didn’t know until I was diagnosed. I imagine social anxiety is probably one of the worst, but no anxiety is or ever will be easy. I am a 21-year-old female, who is honestly terrified of literally everyone and everything. My therapist thought it would be best to start blogging about my experience with mental health problems. I’m hoping that someone with the same “disabilities” will find this blog useful in their life long journey with anxiety. I don’t really remember my anxiety being THAT bad when I was a child. I briefly remember little things really getting to me; like dancing on stage, and going to my first day of school…every year. My memories of “panic attacks” while being a child weren’t as intense as my panic attacks are now. My childhood panic attacks where very seldom and more calm than they are now. I’d have the typical jitters before big events, or meeting new people but never anything bad. Once I was in middle school I felt like I was anxiety free. I’m not to sure if maybe my surroundings where different or maybe I had better control over my “childhood anxiety”, but I remember being comfortable in middle school. I had friends in middle school, my self-esteem was high, and I was very athletic. I was never that kid that wanted to be inside, ever! I was always either outside playing basketball, fishing with my dad, or running around with my friends. I have no idea what changed but my freshman year going into High School, everything seemed to fall apart…mentally. I started having more intense panic attacks when I would get uncomfortable in a situation. Then I started to begin hearing voices, very distinct voices that I never heard before. Between the constant noise going through my head, and my racing freak out thoughts I became seriously depressed. I went from being the happy active girl who had friends to the quite boring girl no one wanted to be around. At this time in life all I wanted was to fit in. It wasn’t easy to “have a good time” when you’re hearing very negative things coming from the inside of your head. I started to lose control over my own thoughts, and reality. I started acting like a completely different person, someone who was never happy, someone who never smiled. By this time everyone at my high school thought I was a loser.  I started to get bullied, every day non stop. It didn’t help that I went to a private Catholic school that was insanely small. Personally I was never a person who stood up for themselves, so once I started getting bullied I guess I made it easy for people. By the end of my freshman year I had the whole school against me, everyday from the moment I walked in the doors till the moment I walked out. The “voices” that I had/have in my head aren’t the nicest to anyone…including myself. Once I lost the ability of knowing the difference between my “voices” and my own thoughts I started to get scared. My “voices” had me believing that all the names I got tormented with,all the awful things people said to me, I believed every word.  I believed everything those girls did to me was my fault and I was asking for it. I believed how hideous I was, I believed that no one wanted me here. All it took for my “voices” to take complete control over my head was three little words, “Go Kill Yourself”. I was starting to hear it everyday “you’re better off dead” it was bad enough hearing it come from my head but from people I once considered my best friends?!  I switched schools thinking this would fix everything, man was I wrong. First public school I ever attended, sophomore year and I was actually happy. Don’t get me wrong, my anxiety was definitely there just chilling on the back burner. My voices where still there, full on, clear as day. I learned how to kind of “ignore” my voices, but that lasted for maybe a month. There is no way to “ignore” voices that you hear in your head constantly playing like a song. I started hanging out with some older kids soon enough I was introduced to drugs and alcohol. I thought I found my answer to all my problems. Take a bump of this, smoke this, take a few shots of this, voices gone, anxiety gone. I will not lie and say the drugs didn’t help while I high because they totally did. When I was under the influence of anything, my “disabilities” felt like they disappeared. The next morning was always bad though, my voices where ten times stronger, and my anxiety was through the roof.  After 2 years of drug abuse it wasn’t helping me anymore. I started to realize the drugs where doing nothing but keeping my “disabilities” on “low” until the drugs and alcohol wore off. Once I got off all the drugs and stopped drinking as much…I never had anxiety that intense or heard “voices” so loud before. I lasted 2 weeks before I began cutting my wrist and planning my death. I literally thought about my own suicide non stop for months. It got to the point to where I was even talking about it out loud and then realizing what I just said. Finally I looked in the mirror and thought to myself “You’re only 16 you still have 50 plus years to go through this”. I couldn’t take not wanted to wake up one more day, I honestly thought it would the best thing I could do. I pulled out my laptop, sat down and began writing my suicide letters to my family, I was ready. I think my mother had a feeling deep down that I wasn’t OK. I realize know how lucky I was that my mom came home and knew I was mentally “sick”. I hated her for taking me to the hospital and sending me to a psych ward. I was sent to a mental hospital where I spent almost 2 months learning about my “disabilities” and finding the right medication to put me on. The first couple weeks where probably the hardest, and probably the dopiest. I was finally put on the right medication and started seeing life differently. I was finally starting to smile, I could literally feel the depression just shedding off of me. My “voices” never “disappeared” and they never will, but I have learned how to deal with them. I’m currently taking a medication for my “voices” called “Saphris”, and it’s done wonders! Every day I don’t quite hear “voices” but I do constantly hear noise, kind of like a white noise. My original “voices” do pop up every now and then, and they scare the living hell out of me every time they “pop up” but it’s something I’m still learning how to live with.  If there’s one thing I remember and wish I could tell every kid with schizophrenia and anxiety, the drugs and alcohol, they’re not worth it! They may seem like they’re helping you right now in this moment of your life but I promise they’re not worth your future!! If you would have asked me my freshman year in high school “Where do you see yourself in 8 years?” I would have told you “I’m going to college to be a special education teacher and hopefully teach a girls basketball team.”  I will never lose that dream but that’s what it is now, a dream. Drugs can do this to anyone but we aren’t just anyone we already have chemicals missing in our brain, the side effect of drugs and alcohol affect us people with mental disorders differently! Now I’m 21, I have attempted college online and offline 4 times now, I go out of my house maybe 3 times a week and it’s just outside of my house or to pick up my girl friend from work. I am not a teacher, I have not lived out my dream and I still “suffer” everyday. It hasn’t gotten any easier on me but I can also promise it hasn’t gotten any harder! I don’t even have a job, I’m awaiting trial to see if my SSI came through, for the 5th try now! I will tell you I’ve never felt so stupid, so worthless, and I’ve never felt so disappointment in myself. I spend way too much time thinking of my old dreams and not enough time making new dreams for myself. I have an amazing fiance that loves me more than life itself and I’m still letting my anxiety get me down. I would love to take my beautiful girl out to dinner every weekend and shower her off to the world but how am I supposed to do that when I can’t even walk into a store without having a panic attack? For example, I took her out to dinner last month for the first time in 2 years and we’ve been together for a little over 3 years now. I am currently on four different medications and I swear they help me, a lot! Marijuana to me is the safest medication around, I do not consider marijuana a drug. Weed really helps my anxiety, calms me down and can let my head focus on one thing instead of twenty different things all at once. I just want anyone out there that may have these “disabilities” to know that you are NOT alone. So many people have lost there lives to mental “disorders”, please do not give up on yourself, you are worth so much and have no idea how much you really mean to some people. Please keep your heads up! Life keeps moving on:)