Anxiety is not glamorous.
It can keep you small and suck the life out of you. It steals your sense of calm and fun. If you feel yourself slipping towards it, reach out for the safe people around you. If you find yourself there, don't beat yourself up, it's OK, but don't stay there. You might have a battle on your hands, but you can win.
Push through to seek help, please. We're counting on you to be part of this world, to search for truth, to live and to love. Don't let anxiety keep you down.
When I was about thirteen, I was told I had social anxiety. I had been a cheerful kid – passionate and full of energy. I can't pinpoint exactly when that changed. I guess I just let things eat away at me as I grew up.
Fear stopped me from a lot of things. For the past two years, I let it define me. I was a shy, socially awkward and anxious person who barely talked. I felt like I would be judged for every single word that came out of my mouth. There would be days where I felt like falling apart and crying but I never cried in front of anyone. It was always late, in the stillness of the night, sobs muffled by my pillow. Even though I had friends, I had never felt so lonely in my entire life.
Lately, I have decided to overcome my fear because it doesn’t save me from embarrassment - it stops me from living. Music and God have been my lifelines in this journey. If you have a friend who seems really shy, just be there for them. Chances are they may be fighting a tremendous battle.
If there was a choice of going to hell or going through another panic attack, I once might have chosen the fiery depths.
Quietness overrides me during a time of anxiety. I begin to feel disconnected from my body and then often, out of nowhere, comes this rush of pure fear that floods me to the point where I begin to hyperventilate. It honestly feels like I’m choking on air. It’s humiliating and terrifying.
In the midst of an anxiety crisis it feels as if the terror will never pass. But, like waves, emotions always peak and fall. I remind myself of this in the tough moments. I use my physical senses to regain a sense of reality. This involves asking myself what I can see, hear, touch, taste and smell within a given moment.
My anxiety is still present to this day but I have an incredible team of professionals helping me out.
The most important things to remember about anxiety are other people go through this too and recovery is possible. Recovery takes time, and at times is overwhelming, but it truly is worth it.
If you're struggling with anxiety please don't wait for it to stop you from living. Find safe people and talk to them about what you're going through.
For more information about anxiety you can visit:
Or you can contact free professional help at Kids Helpline:
1800 551 800