I remember sitting in class sophomore year at Ashland High School feeling terribly insignificant, my insecure thoughts drowning my senses- causing my inability to focus. I sat in my chair with an unobstructed view of my English teacher’s podium and the screen projector hanging on the ceiling above the desk my chair was pushed into. Beside me, to my left, was a vibrant female whose thoughts when verbalized channeled through me and traversed the air around me, she was captivating and I knew I wanted to know her. She was quite nice, there was talk in the classroom that she was a model from NYC. She was modest, while naturally beautiful with symmetrical features and bountiful locks of long hair. Her eyebrows were naturally full and added dimension to the bed they laid upon- curious eyes that have seen much of the world, yet she was always quite optimistic. I admired her thin frame and the way she spoke her words. She enjoyed learning and provoking thought and it was enjoyable to be in her presence. We would smile and speak briefly, but we never quite became friends. She was a doll, truly. I only wish my social anxiety would not have prevented a potential friendship.
I only wish I was able to express my own intellect when I was around her and in that classroom full of diverse teenagers. I felt far from unique. Everyone there at that school had something that made them interesting or different or just unique in general. I felt so far removed from each of those individuals. It seemed they all had their own niche. I never did.
Maybe it was my depression kicking in, but I felt my value as a student, person, and friend was all very low. I felt invisible. I found it difficult to make friends.
I became so insecure I could not focus in class on anything other than my failures. My English teacher was concerned because he knew I was quite smart or maybe he just knew I had somethings that needed to be said- read. I never even finished one writing assignment. I felt so much overwhelming anxiety that I convinced myself I could finish school at home through a local charter school. I stopped going to school and eventually after about a month of staying inside of my room, I began taking classes online and lost motivation after a few months. I stopped doing schoolwork altogether after being ahead of all of my deadlines out of crippling anxiety that made it impossible to focus on school. All I could focus on was my discomfort when going to school and not having friends, I felt so alone, confused and depressed. I dropped out of school for a month or so and forced myself to go to Rogue Community College to get my GED. I took some GED courses there and my writing teacher was always so motivational and she made me feel like I was worth something in my academics. She was truly wonderful. She helped inspire me to take my GED tests (along with my boyfriend at the time). I exceeded standards on all sections of the test and felt pride in my being when I recieved an email a few weeks later from Jasmyne, my old GED writing instructor congratulating me on my success.
I can’t imagine how smoothly things could have gone in my life had I not had to suffer with so much anxiety. I still suffer from it and I’ll admit- anxiety does get the best of me; it is crippling and I fear many things because of it. I feel held back in many ways. Repressed because of this mental illness.
I wish I had a memory without the reminder of anxiety and depression and the hold it has had on me for as long as I can remember. I just want to be okay.
I just want to find my path.