Once I discovered I had an anxiety disorder, and therefore understood I wasn’t legitimately crazy and with a LOT of help from my counselor, I was able to identify my origin story.
Way back when, in the monstrous hell of junior high, is where my anxiety began to seed itself into my psyche.
Elementary school was fine, I didn’t care about grades, and I had awesome friends. But the minute those hormones hit, the changing of a girl into a woman, definitely sent things into a frenzy. Granted, every tween and early teen deals with an identity crisis and who they are meant to be.
Funny thing is, I didn’t suffer from an identity crisis…or at least, not in a traditional way. I still had my amazing friends from elementary—so that was nice—but I was also incredibly shy. I would walk around campus, head down, walking a million miles per hour, clutching my violin case until my knuckles were white.
Yeah, I was shy.
But, I was also smart and a hard worker.
Part of my anxiety disorder includes perfectionism. All which originated in these tremulous years of junior high. My friends were nice to me, but they began to make more friends—ones I didn’t particularly like at first (and even then it grew to more of a tolerance and will to survive socially in high school).
It came to a point where people only started noticing me because of the good grades I received. People labeled me as the smart one. They knew they could ask me for answers and I would know them. Kids often asked to cheat off me, but my parents taught me well, and I also felt too guilty—the whole gut clenching, clammy feeling—after I let just one kid do it.
Part of this is my fault, had I reached out and talked more, people might have noticed me differently, but that’s not what happened. And honestly, at that time, that’s not who I was.
My perfectionism—my anxiety—all began when people outside of my family (my family is awesome, they are not the reason for my anxiety) only saw me for how well I did academically. My value, for years to come, would be tied only to my academic success.
When you’re twelve, you never realize how that might affect you as a college student.
Here’s my origin story. I can’t even explain how discovering this has helped me realize and overcome a lot of my anxiety issues. It’s a hard and grueling process. Mine included many heartbreaking sobs and times of darkness, but knowing where my anxiety all started has brought light into my life.
Find your origin story. It’s not easy, but I promise it’s worth it. Nothing that’s easy is worth much.
Always and Forever,