“Not until we are lost, do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau
Following that first experience, I was headed in 20 different directions. The ex had a new girlfriend within a few days, which was like salt in my wound. I was bitter, and afraid that no one else would want me. The anger was overriding all of my logic, I said and did a lot of things, I’m not sure how I made it out of that period of time with friendships still intact. I was a monster, just downright hateful at times. God bless the people who kept me grounded when I couldn’t do it myself.
From my experience, anxiety presents itself outwardly 3 different ways. As a child, I cried pitifully, and uncontrollably. As a teenager, I screamed & threw objects in fits of rage. Now as an adult, I go numb. I don’t want to speak, think, or move, for fear of shoving myself off that imaginary cliff I’ve made into a balancing act. They’re all defense mechanisms, and you learn how to survive as your symptoms change. Heaven forbid you be able to conquer the signs, right as a few new ones appear, and you have to restart your battle.
I was supposed to go to college about 4 hours away from home in the fall of 2010, I knew that it would be the best thing for me. My parents were very supportive, we had everything ready to go by the summer before my senior year. Three of my good friends were set to go as well. We had our acceptance letters, and big ideas for the near future. Until, my anxiety started to creep up. Soon I put in a request to graduate high school midterm, because I couldn’t stand the idea of being there for another full year. My request was granted, I was so ready to be done with that part of my life.
When I was applying for colleges my junior year, I covered all my bases and applied at the local community colleges as well. I think I knew I would end up choking eventually, my separation anxiety from my mom never let up, I wasn’t going to be able to live 4 hours away from her. In December I graduated high school, and by February, I started dating a friend of mine that I had been acquainted with for a couple of years. He was drop dead gorgeous, and we had a great foundation of friendship. One night we were hanging out in my bedroom, watching movies and downloading ridiculous ringtones, which was normal for us. The next thing we know, we’re laughing, and then that first, perfect kiss happened.
We were hooked on each other, and in comparison to my first boyfriend, I was in paradise. He never mistreated me, raised his voice, or a hand. Loving each other came so easily. We basically started living together as soon as we were officially dating. The next three years went seemingly well, with normal ups and downs that young couples run into. We were best friends, and I thought I would spend the rest of my life with that man. Back then, I wouldn’t have ever guessed that I would be the one to toss it all in the trash…