I don't share very much about my anxiety, it's kind of a personal thing, and for people who do not have this disorder- they don't really understand how it affects you in such a strong way.
I have had this issue most of my life, and when I think back on my childhood, I can now realize what was wrong with me. I was not a weird child, I had an anxiety issue that no one new I had, not even me.
I grew up in Orlando, and was born to very young parents. My parents did the best they could given their circumstances. I was very close to my grandparents because they were a huge part of my life from day 1. My grandfather died when I was 13. I remember it was right after the 1996 olympics, and while I was watching my favorite gymnast, Dominique Moceanu on re-run, my grandfather had a stroke- right in front of me. After he died, I was TERRIFIED of hospitals. They reminded me of him, and it scared me. To this day, I still try to avoid driving by any hospital, and if I do- I have a mild anxiety attack. It has gotten better though, but still not something I can do with ease.
During that time, that was also when my mom and dad got divorced. My dad left to Nashville with his girlfriend and I was devastated. Not good timing! Another person who I didn't have close. My mom was angry and hurt by both her dad and the divorce and had her own issues she was dealing with. This left me extremely insecure. Jump a few years later and my mom re-marries, and someone new moved into my broken home. Oh boy- was that fun. Enough on that.
A few years passed and I met friends who became my second family. My anxiety subsided and I felt happy and was having fun with my friends. We did EVERYTHING together. Beach, concerts, swimming, parties, scrapbooking, BBQ'ing, and traveling to name a few. They were in my life for 13 years. That is a long time- and they became my family. I met most of my current friends from this circle.
You always hope that people have good intentions, and sometimes you find out otherwise. Friendships change as you grow older, and so do your feeling towards people. When feelings get in the way, depending on the circumstance, it can be tricky. And in this case it was. Our friendship ended last year, and even though I am pulling through it, I miss a certain few terribly. It is very strange not talking to them, and some days are still hard.
Some people close to me tell me that maybe they will have a change of heart. And as sad as I am to say this, I do not want to go back. I am moving forward towards bigger and better.
A close friend of mine's son was also diagnosed with childhood cancer last year. This boy was always close to my heart and when I walked in to his hospital room a day after his diagnosis (yes this took courage), my heart cried. It hurt for him and hurt for my friend. No one should ever have to go through such a terrible thing. It has been a tough year for them, but they are keeping their faith alive and fighting for a cure.
After saying all this, my anxiety has become a large part of my life. Even though you cannot see it, it's there. The physical and emotional part of anxiety is the worst to deal with. It literally makes you sick.
But I know God is just putting me through this storm to end up in a place where I will be the happiest. I am teaching at a small christian school, in which I love. I am working with children doing ABA for Autism, and getting ready to begin classes for board certification for Applied Behavior Analysis. I have a lot going on, and am truly excited about working towards this goal.
Be honest, kind, sensitive, passionate, motivated, and just give a smile or hug to someone you know. You never know who is battling a storm.
Thanks for reading- and if you are having struggles in your life right now...may this truth bless you-