Giovanna Fletcher - Dream a little dream
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When I got diagnosed with social anxiety last year, all I could do was try to understand what it meant and trying to figure out why everything had been such a mess for the last years. Why I had dropped subjects at uni, why I was feeling down all the time, why I couldn’t get out of my house, why social interaction made me shiver. Then someone appeared in my life, a friend that appeared when I needed him the most. I tried, with my limited information, to explain what I was going through. His personality was just what I needed to become myself again. We went to uni together and I was seeing a big progress. Then, this year, everything changed. We don’t talk anymore and I remember that last day when we saw each other. I was having an anxiety attack in class and I couldn’t even talk or move. When the class was over, he just ran away and I didn’t understand anything. My anxiety attack had gotten worse. I couldn’t breathe, I was crying so much and my entire body was shaking. I still don’t know how I even managed to come home. My friends tried to calm me down via Whatsapp messages.
I remember the following months: I was a zombie. I had lost the will to do anything. Whenever I saw him I relived everything that had happened, the anxiety, the sadness, the abandonment.
Out of pure impulse I went to the book store and got myself a notebook. I called it my ANXIETY NOTEBOOK. There, I wrote on my worst days, whenever I had an anxiety attack, whenever I felt like dying. I had a Tumblr where, last year, I had written about our best moments together, now, a year later, I still can’t find the strength to click it and read about our friendship. I thought I was doing just fine with my anxiety and this year, 2015, everything went to hell. I took my notebook everywhere, I started giving advice to friends and strangers about my anxiety and got surprised at how many of them were suffering in silence. I learned not to judge the other person, I was now more understanding, I turned myself to the hands of God, without him, I think I’d still be in a deep hole, wanting to die.
My friends had given me a notebook last year which reads: “Enjoy the little things”. I didn’t use it up until now. There, I plan to write about the small and happy things that help me overcome my anxiety, the other notebook is for my bad days, this will be for those good days, like today. I’m still struggling to overcome this, but I’m learning too. I’m lucky to have friends who understand me and don’t put me aside. They are the ones that really matter. I think that being able to help others with just a simple kind word said at the right time I’m making a difference. I feel good with myself too, I’m becoming more social, I’m feeling good again, I’m going out for a walk, I’m smiling while I listen to music, I’m singing again, I like studying and I’m a good student again. Looking back, I’ve realised that having found this friend and then losing him has made me stronger, now I see it. He was a very big fan of The Little Prince and used to say that he found the perfect word whenever he needed it. Now, as a reminder of my good and bad days, I read the book to find that perfect word that will help me go on and get better. So thanks, even though we are just mere acquaintances today…
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