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The War With the Monster

My Revelation That I Had Severe Anxiety

By Katelynn Marie Published 6 years ago 5 min read
"Anxiety"- Illustrated by Toby Allen

We all know that foggy feeling in our heads or the moment when everything seems to be rushing by so damn fast. That moment your heart quickens and your palms get all sweaty. That moment you start to have a panic attack. Panic attacks are just one symptom of anxiety. Anxiety is a monster who shows up uninvited and decides you are their new best friend. A monster that makes you feel crazy and scared but convinces you that they are all you have. A crippling feeling of fear and panic that hits out of nowhere. When you all of a sudden can't move, can't think, and your breath leaves you like an autumn leaf falling from a forgotten tree. How? How do we develop this feeling of hopelessness and fear? How does our mind turn on us and eventually leaves us hanging?

I don't remember when I started having anxious moments through life. I just know it started as stage fright. I loved to perform and read, but all of a sudden I couldn't stand in front of even a small class of students and read an excerpt out of a book. I partially think most of that hit when I realized I had a speech problem. I became scared to embarrass myself just with talking. So if I was told to read a paragraph, I would stutter and mumble to just try to get through the reading.

This heightened as I entered Middle school and the bullying started. I didn't want to be the weird kid no one liked, and I would stress myself out to just pick outfits that the girls my age would be wearing. And let me tell you, clothes shopping was awful. Most girls my age didn't have boobs, and yet for some reason, my body decided to develop them quite early. I had moments where I would sit in the bathroom before class and cry because I didn't feel like I looked cute enough.

Enter Junior high and I discovered boys but I wasn't allowed to date yet. Now the stressing over what boy is cute and how you should make your move didn't seem like an anxious thing, rather a teenage thing. However, I could speak to guys no problem, and if a girl liked a boy I could totally talk to the guy for her. When I liked a guy and tried talking to him, I'd freeze up. Just clam up and I was immediately back to being that weird girl.

Now all this backstory doesn't explain when I realized I had anxiety or even when the huge symptoms started showing. This is all stuff that I look back on and think this might have been the start of it all. I just didn't know it at the time.

High school time. I was a senior, band student, German club secretary, and football homecoming maid, and I was section leader. All achievements that should have lifted me up. This was when the panic attacks hit. I would all of a sudden feel trapped like my throat was being squeezed by an invisible monster that was forcing me into this box of solitude. I'd freeze, start crying, gasping for air, and then I'd run off the practice field, giving my band director the excuse that I had to pee. I had to use the bathroom a lot that day apparently. This continued through high school. The bullying I endured by band students and the hostility I received from my own directors made it difficult for my escape to be just that. The bandroom wasn't my safe place anymore. It became a trap. A void of what it once meant to me. My hard work was seen as trash. Undermined by brats who had fancy lessons to get them far when all I had was my will to succeed and my talent. Nothing I did was good enough. The panic attacks increased. The thought of living in the real world terrified me because I didn't know what to expect. Would I have friends? Would I be alone? Will I be nothing as everyone already saw me as? The panic attacks grew. My will to move on was snuffed, my will to continue breaking. My boyfriend flirted with the actions of emotional abuse. My grades floated above average. My friends flew to places my wings just wouldn't go. The monster took control and yet I didn't have a clue about what was wrong with me.

When I entered college, it softened a bit. The giant beast was now the size of a wolf. That lasted all of a year and then it got worse. It got dark. Like hiding underneath tables dark. Like rocking back and forth while crying and hiding under a table dark. That thickened the moment my best friend's fiance at the time sexually assaulted me in my own driveway while dropping me off from a group hang out. I didn't know what was wrong until I finally sat down and asked the school nurse if she had any idea of what the hell was wrong with me. She called the top counselor who said that one sentence of truth. That moment that was a revelation to my self-acceptance. The moment that I went seeking a method to keep the monster at bay.

The quote: "Honey, nothing is wrong. You just have an anxiety disorder."

I couldn't believe the weight that was lifted off my shoulders. My revelation helped me seek the right devices and methods to keep my anxiety at bay. My friends call me Katie and I have anxiety and social anxiety disorder. The truth is freeing. I am a bird discovering flight.

If you have anxiety or any other mental health issue I'm here to tell you that though it may seem hopeless, nothing is ever hopeless. You can go far. You can grow and succeed. It may not seem like it now but everything will be okay in the end.

"For we are warriors, that's what we've become..."- The Greatest Showman

About the Creator

Katelynn Marie

Hi, I'm Katie. I'm a 27-year-old musician with a passion for writing and streaming. Aside from writing on Vocal, I stream on twitch. I play a variety of games. In May of 2021, I lost my dearest grandfather and it's forever changed me.

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