Sandy’s Story – Teenage anxiety affects mental health
I didn’t realise that a thought was the start of teenage anxiety and it was damaging to my mental health and my relationships. My greatest fear has always been losing someone close to me. I know this is a reality for everyone; but, for me, it has been something that often stops me from living my own life and, very often, consumes my every thought!
I was about 12 years old when my mom got sick. She went in for surgery and the surgery didn’t go according to plan- about 11 hours in, it seemed like things were taking a turn for the worst. I was staying with family friends, who thought I was asleep on the couch. I overheard a phone call, obviously from my dad. The family friend was relaying the message to her husband and all I heard was, ‘they think they are losing her’.
It was in that very moment, as a 12-year-old girl, that I vowed to myself that I would never let anyone in. I would never bare myself or my emotions; I would never become close to anyone. Purely out of fear, fear that I would let them in, only to lose them.
Your parents are your everything, and it was in that moment, that I thought I had lost my everything.
And so, that’s how I began to live my life.. with big walls and a “I don’t care attitude.” I was horrible to my mom in her recovery- the idea of ever getting close to her again completely freaked me out. I never wanted to feel what I felt in that moment ever again. I didn’t open up to anyone about anything, ever. Never went to anyone with my problems. My parents were constantly asking me what was wrong, but just put it down to me being a ‘typical teenager.’
It was only when I started speaking to people that I had a realisation: by blocking everyone out of my life, I had lost them anyway. I was only fooling myself. This fear will never ever go away. But I have learnt to not let it stop me from living, and most importantly- loving! When those days come, there is nothing that will make it easier. But by trying the ‘not let them in method’, all I will have is a lot of regret- regret that I didn’t treasure the time I had with them.
Teenage anxiety affects mental health and can cause long and lasting effects.