My name’s Sarah, and I’m a 16 year-old with social anxiety.
The beginning of my sophomore year I had it all. I was on the dance team and had three best friends. We did everything together. But slowly, throughout the year, things went downhill. I was always the second choice. They stopped inviting me places and my slowly decreasing health was of no concern to them. It didn’t help that my school is very judgmental. If you’re not a size two, a cheerleader, or an athlete, you are a nobody. Making friends was really difficult and my social anxiety didn’t help. Note: My social anxiety was developed from all the judging I had gone through over the years. I felt stuck and that there was no way out. I wanted to please everyone all the time, but it didn’t make a difference to anyone. I was never good enough.
With the help of my medication, I realized I didn’t need to make everyone happy. I cut all ties with my friends. For two months, I ate lunch at home by myself. I did things that made ME happy. I transferred to a new school. I was accepted instantly and now have a great group of friends. My social anxiety is now going away, slowly but surely. It will always be a part of me, but I’m not going to let it control me anymore.
Sometimes it’s okay to want to make yourself happy first; if you’re not happy you can’t possibly try to make things better for someone else. It’s okay to let go of the past. Anxiety doesn’t have to manipulate your life. Take it by the hand and control how you want things to happen.