My name is Ivey and I suffer from severe anxiety.
Four years ago, I was a normal teenager struggling through my last year of middle school. Four years ago, I was being bullied. Like all middle schoolers, I was insecure and just wanted to fit in, but as we all know, kids can be pretty mean. I was called fat and ugly through most of my middle school years. One day I even went home crying. Now, I don't want you to pity me because of this. I have moved on and I don't let those bullies control me anymore. I won't allow them to. However, they did start a snow ball effect. Also, throughout those middle school years, my family was struggling with health issues to the point where my dad and my mom both had to go to the hospital, at different time of course. This just added snow to the snow ball that the bullies had already started.
One day, my grandfather was driving me to school because my father was in the hospital when all of the sudden I had this sharp pain in my stomach that wouldn't go away. All I knew was that I needed the restroom and I couldn't go to school like that. This was a pain I had never experienced before and from that point on, for four years, it never stopped. Every day I would wake up in pain, go to school in pain, and come home in pain. School was hard for me. My grades dropped because I was in so much pain that I couldn't concentrate on the teacher. Finally, I was forced to homeschool myself because I had to stay at home so much. At this point, we were going to all kinds of family doctors, specialists, etc. However, I couldn't see the specialist that I needed to, a gastroenterologist, until I was 18 because at the time I realized he was the doctor I need, I was a minor at 17 and he only treated adults. So I waited 6 months, 2 and a half years if you count the years before, in constant debilitating pain to see him. Then I turned 18, and I was finally able to see the specialist. I was put on medicine after medicine hoping and praying they would work, but they never did. So I suffered through the pain.
Finally, on the day I turned 19, we made a last ditch effort to find a cure. I went to my family doctor begging for something to help stop the pain, and she diagnosed me with severe anxiety. All of the sudden it made sense. All the stress that the years before brought on had put me here, and now I had an answer to the question I had been asking myself for years. The doctor prescribed me medicine for anxiety and promised it would help. One week later, I realized she was right. I woke up without any pain for the first time in four years, and I cried. I cried because I was so happy and so relieved to not be suffering. I was going to be okay.
I tell you all of this because I want you to know that if you suffer from anxiety of any kind, I know what it's like. I know how panic attacks feel, and I know what it's like to feel out of control and helpless. I've been there. I know. I don't want you to think that I believe I'm better than you because I've overcome this obstacle. I don’t think that at all; I just want you to know that you aren't alone. I've been where you have been or may be right now. I've felt helpless and ready to be done with it all. I'm here to tell you that it gets better. It WILL get better. This is coming from someone who suffered from constant pain for four years. This is coming from someone who was almost house bound for four years. This is coming from someone with anxiety. This is coming from someone just like you. There is a light at the end of the tunnel; you just have to keep your eyes on it. Don't let that darkness distract you. I let it distract me and I almost didn't make it to that light. Don't let fear grab ahold of you. You are strong and fierce and you will deal with this anxiety that plagues you. Just know that you aren't alone. You WILL be okay. I still have my “not so good” days, but they aren’t terrible days every day. I have gotten better, and so will you.
My name is Ivey, I suffer from severe anxiety, and I'm okay.