Stories, skills, and positivity- to anxiety sufferers from anxiety sufferers.
On October 21st, 2007, I got a phone call telling me that my best friend had killed himself.
Before this day, we were just normal 14 year olds starting grade 9 and I thought everything was perfect. I had my best friend in all of my classes, and we were trying out for all the sports teams. We had a huge friend group and everyone was really close. I was with my best friend every day and I never knew he was unhappy. I felt like it was my fault and that I could’ve done something to prevent him from feeling so alone. Little did I know, he was being bullied because he was gay.
I can remember a time when I wasn’t anxious. A time when my happiness and self esteem were not predicated on my grades. The last time I felt that way was in 2006, when I was in grade 6. It’s hard to believe that there was ever a time when I could get a bad grade and be okay with it. When a B or C didn’t keep me up at night, when an exam or a test did not make me feel ill, and when I still had the ability to shrug off a less than stellar grade and think “I’ll do better next time.”
My name is Andrea, and I live with anxiety. My story begins a couple years ago, when I was still in high school.
When I was in Grade 12, I found out that I have a performance anxiety disorder. I was drowning in school work, and my grades were slipping. Every time I had to write a test, my mind went completely blank! I also had regular panic attacks while in classes. Thankfully, I had teachers who noticed that I was slipping. They encouraged me to see a counsellor, which helped, at least for a while...
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.