I guess I just wanted to share my story, relate with others, and show others there is some hope out of that darkness
I was always a shy kid growing up. I only had one best friend since middle school and never really hung out with anyone outside of school. During my childhood, i grew up with strict parents. They pushed academics on me a lot, like any typical asian family household. So I also got beat a lot as well. My parents were never really around though because they worked so much. We never talked even though we live in the same house. When I was 12, I was molested by a mover when my family moved to a new home. When I think about it, I'm not sure if it traumatized me.
I suffer with panic attacks in classrooms. It started in middle school and got worse in high school and college. I could not sit through a classroom AT ALL. I tried so hard....I almost didn't graduate high school because my attendance was so low too. In the beginning of college, I tried to commit suicide in 2010 because I couldn't handle it. I didn't know why I wasn't able to just sit in a quiet classroom. My panic attacks happened all the time and it frustrated me. I felt like I was failing my parents too. That's until I found this site and found out about social anxiety. It all made sense to me. I was worried about my peers judging me, having attention towards me, or being embarrassed ( I have a fear of my stomach making noises in a quiet classroom).
I dropped out of college after three years (I was still a freshman...) because my therapist at the time recommended that I do. After that, I felt so lost. I was in an online relationship at the time that wasn't really going anywhere. I had lost my virginity to him at 20 years old. School was my life. I didn't know anything outside of school, so leaving was so terrifying. My parents pushed school on me my whole life, and now I'm pushed into a world where I know nothing of. I basically became a hermit or a shut in from 2010 - 2014. I didn't go out, and I just spent my time with my online boyfriend. It was the worst times of my life. I gained weight and I was hopping from therapist to therapist.
But after three years in that online relationship, crying everyday, and being locked in my dark room, with boxes full of food, I got fed up. I ended the relationship, started working out, and lost the weight. I was the slimmest I've ever been. Then I met my second boyfriend on this site. He lived around my area. It was...the worst relationship I ever had. It became borderline emotional abuse. But what could I expect when both of us had social anxiety and both our lives were going nowhere. I was so dependent on him that I lost myself. I also became pregnant and had an abortion...His support was the only good thing that came out of that relationship. He broke up with me over ten times due to his own anxiety and the last one was for real. During this time, I found a therapist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy. I've always wanted to try it. She was amazing. She helped me get through the breakup, she taught me how to stand up for myself. During this time, I realized something. I was constantly hurting the little girl inside me. I was letting my ex just abuse me and control me, telling me he loved me, broke up with me, and comes back to me all the time. I didn't stand up for myself and since then I've been building myself into a better person, to never have someone do that to me again. When someone wants to walk out of my life, I let them now. Even if it means i'll be alone, I don't ever want to hurt myself like that again.
After a few weeks from that break up, I met a guy online and he lived 30 minutes away from me. I didn't get into the relationship immediately because of the trauma from my last one. But eventually we ended up together and we are still together. This has been the healthiest relationship I could ever ask for. He is so mentally and emotionally stable, has a good job and has a group of friends. I never met someone so well balanced. He's so close with his mom and very family oriented. I learned so much from him. We communicate and our sense of humor is so similar. I hang out with his friends, we all go to bars and drink, have trivia night, play games, and go to the movies. I was starting to get better. CBT helped me see things differently, made me learn to not care about what others think of me. Every time I have a worry, my therapist's words "So what?" comes into mind haha Then I start saying "**** it" and sit through the uncomfortable feeling of panic.
I applied back to school this year and just started in the fall. This is the first time since middle school that I have been able to sit through a classroom !! It was the biggest accomplishment for me. But to be honest, I couldn't have done it without medication. I was reluctant with meds because I didn't want to become dependent on it, but it helped sooo much. The klonopin I took helped me sit through classes and now I'm taking lexapro which has helped me with my mood and depression. My therapist cried knowing that I was able to sit through a class. Not only that but I endured a week of classes and I never ran away! It's been a month now and I haven't skipped a single class. I also started to talk to my classmates, I initiate conversations, ask them their majors and even opened up to my classmate about my anxiety and therapy!! I was so shocked at myself. This girl who had the hardest time opening up to others is starting to just talk to strangers! I also participate in class a lot where my professors know who I am and I've been acing all my classes. My anxiety no longer clouds me and I can finally focus on my studies. It felt like for the first time I finally had a future...My boyfriend was so proud of me. I even went up to my therapist and hugged her.
Even with my parents I start talking to my mom about how school is going and even she starts talking to me about her life. This is the first time I've ever really had a full blown conversation with my mom. I was always afraid of my parents due to how strict that were when I was younger, but now they've been more understanding and know how that I'm struggling with anxiety and depression.
The combination of therapy and meds helped me so much, but like my therapist says, it was really me who decided to take this initiative. I remember I once told her that I didn't see anything good in me. But her words still keeps my self esteem high. She told me I have this quiet resilience about me. Going through childhood traumas and even an abortion, and yet I couldn't even sit through a class. She told me I can do all these adult things, but I can't seem to do something so irrelevant. This opened my eyes and made me see who I really was. I have this hope that things will always get better...I think that's why I'm still here. And I think that's what drives me to keep going, improve, and be a better person. Because in the end, no matter how old you are, we're all learning something new. For the first time, I feel so incredibly happy
Oh man this was long haha