Stories, skills, and positivity- to anxiety sufferers from anxiety sufferers.
Throughout elementary school till high school, I was always a very friendly and open person. I used to be the girl who could just talk to anyone and be friends with anyone. The group of friends that I currently have, came together as one because of me. All my friends always tell me that “without you we wouldn’t have this group, you ARE the group”. And obviously that made me feel great. Even though I was able to make friends, I wanted to get out of high school, get out of Toronto, and go somewhere completely new and different where I could start my life over. I never worried about having to make friends at the new place, because like my friends would always tell me, I knew I would be able to find people. But I was very wrong.
I never actually thought there was something wrong with me. I just thought I was different. I mean, I am different, but not to the extent where I have issues with my mental health. Being different though seemed to be my downfall in high school. I couldn’t even say I was at the bottom of the food chain because I wasn’t visible to my student body. I was very secluded. Very introverted. I didn’t think much of people. Considering people didn’t think much of me...
My difficulties with anxiety and depression began a lot younger than a lot of people might expect. I was 12, bullied, and generally miserable when I started to want to self-harm and had my first thoughts of suicide. The fear of being bullied more for being ‘the attention seeker’ left me suffering in silence until I reached university...
My mom has always told me that ever since I was a little girl, I was afraid to jump off of curbs.She told me that I was terrified of diving, that I’d always put my feet first, or belly flop into the water. I realize now, as I sit here writing this that I’ve always been afraid of the unknown.
Katie McLean holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and bases her anxiety aid in personal experience, as well as techniques that have been passed on to her by counsellors, friends, and fellow anxiety sufferers.