Anxiety Is Not All That I Am

By Jessica Juarez

I’ve had this thing about me for quite a while. At first, I thought I was just sick; I thought something was wrong with me. Turns out it was anxiety. Going into high school, it got way worse. All the insecurities I had, all the stress and homework gave me both anxiety and panic attacks. I didn’t tell my parents. I was too afraid, of what, you may ask, I have no idea.

Sophomore year, I joined a therapy group. I didn’t like it at all. They tried to make us share what was wrong out loud, with everyone instead of one-on-one. I left after about a month because it made me feel uncomfortable. Toward the end of the year, my parents started noticing a shift in my behavior. They started noticing how mentally and physically tired I was, I finally got a real therapist, but after a while I left her too.

All of this affected my schoolwork and grades all throughout the rest of the year and even my junior year.

Now in my senior year of high school, one person has helped me and it honestly has changed me. I found someone I could trust and talk to. Although I still have a few panic and anxiety attacks, I know I have at least one person there to help me. It’s my boyfriend. He talks me through it and supports me. Group therapy didn’t help me because they looked at me like anxiety was all that I am, but Noel has never looked at me that way. He doesn’t make anxiety all that I am. Make no mistake, though. He isn’t the only one to help me. I’ve come a long way by myself.

From the groups, I learned various methods to calm myself, including counting, focusing on your breath, drinking water, and thinking of something that makes you feel safe. This is what helps me. Try to find out what works for you.

Now, I am striving academically, and working on striving as a person.

I’m a varsity soccer player, I’m an honor roll student, and I’m waiting to hear back from the eight colleges I applied to. I’m finally feeling great about myself. I feel like I’m making something of myself..

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