I didn't think there was ever a problem with making friends. I was pretty out-going, fun, confident and was a fluent speaker.
𝑨𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆...
Then when I turned 14, something happened. Something changed. Something was removed and replaced from my mindset. Something told me this is how things are going to work now. 𝑰 𝒈𝒐𝒕 𝒅𝒊𝒂𝒈𝒏𝒐𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒂𝒏𝒙𝒊𝒆𝒕𝒚.
I was unprepared for what was going to happen, I was unprepared for this anxiety to be an obstacle in the future. I was unprepared to have my freedom as a teenager taken away. I was only 14 at the time yet there was so much to worry about and expect. 𝑬𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑰 𝒎𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒑 𝒂𝒕 𝒂𝒈𝒆 𝟏𝟓.
𝔹𝕖𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝟙𝟝 𝕐𝕖𝕒𝕣𝕤 𝕠𝕝𝕕:
15-Year-old me found a new group which I found most comfort in out of all the friend groups I've been in. Everyone understood each other and it was such an open and hospitiable group. However, I never knew how annoying I was when it came to this group. I didn't realize how badly my anxiety took a toll on me. I always felt different from whenever I would stutter and not speak properly. It hurt me a lot when I found out how many people were actually bothered by my me, and my presence. I was once fronted by a girl in the group who I was close with, her words "You're just a bit too much, I feel like you're just a bit weird and annoying, not in a bad way of course." This made me re-think my self-worth and belongingness. I didn't know if I was me creating all of this, but it felt like it was ME. The ME that didn't feel normal around people because of this constant, anxious, tsunami following you. I didn't feel normal same after this, I had this new perspective on what people thought about me. 𝐀𝐧𝐱𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞, 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐦𝐞.
When I addressed the school about this issue, I was told that....
"𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒚𝒑𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆".
I hated when people always told me that I was friends with the wrong crowd. Sometimes I just wanted to scream in their face and tell them to mind their own business. I did do that though, I had the worst attitude possible. That's why I sometimes felt like I could connect with the group that I was in. They understood my emotions and had great compassion and empathy. But I guess they didn't understand me when they left me all hurt and attacked.
After weeks of not having a stable friend group. I felt worthless. I felt unliked and unloved. It felt like no one cared about me anymore. I never realized how lonely it feels to have no friends. I started getting depression when I was 16 and it was anxiety's best friend. Being depressed made me not eat, shower nor get out of my room for days. I missed school a lot when I started year 10, I didn't have the courage to get up. People will always tell me "I wish I wouldn't have to go to school." But they don't get it, I WISH I went to school; I don't want to be in bed all day feeling sad and regretful. I want the old me back who had motivation. I didn't want to feel sad, I wanted to do things. But it seemed like that spark was lost somewhere in my wounds.
𝐍𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭, 𝐢𝐟 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐭, 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝟏𝟓 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞. 𝐈 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝𝐧'𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞 𝐠𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝟏𝟓. 𝐈'𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝟐𝟏 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝.