Always Have and Always Will

         I can't remember living without social anxiety. I have always had it and I always will. Unfortunately, you can't say "I don't like this problem. Can I have a different one?" If only things were that easy. I have made a lot of progress with my social anxiety. It used to be a lot worse than it is now. The only reason I have made so much progress is because I have had the help of a lot of wonderful people.

         I don't remember a lot of the problems I had when I was younger. One of the perks of my childhood I guess. I do remember hating going to school. I always did. In elementary school, I would just not go or I would spend time in the back of the classroom away from all of my classmates. I also remember spending a lot of time in the guidance councilor's office just to avoid seeing a lot of people. Truancy has always been an issue for me.

         In middle school, I was put in an emotional support class. The kids in the class had more behavioral problems than emotional problems. I never acted inappropriately. I just didn't want to be there. I remember that my mom would have to come pick me up sometimes when my social anxiety was really bad because I was too much for the school to handle. I remember sitting in the hallway right outside of the classroom because I refused to go in. I was always in tears by the time my mom came and picked me up. That was when my mom actually managed to get me to go into the school. A lot of the time, I would refuse to leave the car when we got there. Once again, that was when she managed to get me in the car. When my social anxiety was really bad, I refused to leave the house and I would watch daytime television with my dogs.

        By the grace of god, with the help of my mother, and great teachers, I managed to make it to high school. It seemed that during the beginning of every school year, I would be extremely nervous, but I would go. It was normally after winter break when I would start refusing to return to school. Then, towards the end of the year, I would start going again just so I could pass. I am pretty smart and I wouldn't have been able to make it through school if not for that. Anyways, the pattern that had been followed for all my years of education changed when I entered high school.

        The nervousness in the beginning of school still existed and I still went in the beginning of school, but I wasn't able to continue doing what I had done previous years. Instead of skipping whole entire days, I would just leave early. I would break down if I wasn't able to leave at the time I was promised. I remember I once got a detention in high school because I was late to school three times. In order to serve the detention, they made it a morning detention because they knew that I would not be there to serve it at the end of the day like all the other students did.

         Nineth grade was my last year of public high school. My mom had reached the point where she was tired of taking me to school and picking me up early. She couldn't do it anymore. We researched my options and I joined an internet school for my tenth grade year. Internet school really was a god send. I was able to focus on my education without having to go to that dreaded brick building. I am not saying social anxiety just stopped when I entered internet school, but it got better. I took virtual classes which meant I would log on during a certain time with other students and we would be taught by an actual teacher. Think of virtual classes as chat rooms where you couldn't talk unless you were called on. This is where my new social anxiety problem came in.

        I was so afraid that my teacher would call on me and I would have to talk. Everyone would hear me. I was worried about getting the answer wrong and everyone would think I was dumb. That wasn't my only problem, but with the help of my mom, the instructional supervisor the internet school assigned me, and my teachers, I managed to make it through. I actually ended up graduating from high school a year late because of social anxiety and my own laziness.

        I just graduated from high school a couple months ago. I think my mom was actually happier by this fact than I am. I am going to a community college this fall. I will be attending actual classes. I am not too worried about it because when I went to internet school, they had a dual enrollment program which allowed you to go to college classes while in high school. I took three college courses doing this. I took one college course one semester and two college courses another semester. I am worried that I will now be taking five college courses at once instead of just two. They are also all classes that you have to attend in person. I could have chosen to do internet classes, but I chose not to.

        Over the past few years, I have made a lot of improvements. There is still a lot I have to work on though. I still prefer being home instead of out. I probably always will. I only have one friend. I have known her since fourth grade. I want to make more friends. I am a nice person, but I just think people can sense that I am not always comfortable around them. I can also only remain out for a certain period of time unless it is a special occasion. My limit is normally about four hours at the most. I went to my brother's graduation and that had me out longer than that. I only was able to do it because I knew it was a special occasion and I was not going to miss his college graduation. I also don't have my license yet and I am nineteen. I am working on getting it now, but only because I have to be able to drive to my classes.

        Everything I do is mostly because I have to do it or I refuse not to do it. I know that I wouldn't have made it through these years without my mom, my best friend, my teachers, my instructional supervisor, my therapist, and everyone else that has helped me. I am in therapy and I can honestly say that I don't think I would be where I am without it. A lot of people think going to therapy means you can't solve your own problems and that it is a weakness. I don't think it is a weakness. Without it, I would still be staying inside my house all the time and always be depressed. I need help with my social anxiety and I am not afraid to admit it. I am going to continue working on my social anxiety and it will keep getting better. The minute I stop trying is the minute I go back to where I was in elementary school. I am not willing to go back.

        I hope my story so far has helped you. This definitely isn't the end though. I refuse to let it be. I am going to keep trying to improve myself. I will probably fail sometimes and it will never be easy, but someday, I will be able to stay out all day without having a special reason like attending my brother's graduation. I can't wait to get to that point. I can't say I definitely will, but that is my long term goal.

Doglover5290 Doglover5290
26-30, F
4 Responses Jul 14, 2009

Yours story is so much similar to mine. I had the worst time going to school aswell i would be crying on the way to the school and in school. unfortunately nobody new i had an anxiety disorder they thought i just hated school and was very shy. Now i cant seem to finish post secondry and graduate i wish i could somehow

You should be very proud of yourself. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Thanks for sharing, i have had a similair life thus far, was diagnosed with depressiond and anxiety about 10 years ago, and been on meds ever since, but hay im doing okay now, cheers

Thank you for sharing. I feel less alone