I had no idea that what I was struggling with was anxiety, until I stumbled across the Cam’s Kids website. For many months I felt off...I couldn’t manage to bring myself out to social events. Every day was a struggle and my chest got heavier and heavier with every thought of having to leave the house.
A couple years ago I wanted to go watch the Cam’s Kids Ponder This Tournament but when I woke up in the morning I had those same pains in my chest and couldn’t bring myself to go. It was a constant battle of “what if” running through my mind. Always aggressively worrying about things that would probably never happen. I told my mom I couldn’t go & she offered to go with me and asked me to double check the Cams Kids website for the game times. I went on the website and found myself poking around until I came to the page that listed different anxiety symptoms. I had experienced all of them. I remember breaking down crying in my room. I was happy in a way because at least now I had known where all the pain was coming from, I had some answers...but it also lead to more questions. Was I ever going to get through this? Will I ever be able to go out and see my friends again? What caused this? I lost touch with a lot of friends. I chose to distance myself from them instead of explain to them what I was struggling with.
On my journey to overcoming my anxiety I went to therapy once a week every week for a few months. My mom sitting in on every session with me. Talking to a professional helped a lot but I felt like I still needed something more as I was still having anxious thoughts. After a long talk with my mom and doctor I was put on medication. I know medication is not a permanent solution but it really helped me. I was able to go back to school and attend social events and see all my friends again. Since being on medication I have done as much research as I can in the hopes that I can eventually ween off of it and reduce my anxiety naturally. Things like eating clean, ditching alcohol and surrounding myself with the right people has already improved my way of living.
As a new Cam's Kids Ambassador I hope to educate people on the signs/symptoms and help them overcome their anxiety. I want young people to understand that anxiety doesn’t define you and as hard as it is at times it will get better. I want people to understand that mental illness is real and it is not something to be ashamed of. If there is anyone out there that can’t seem to have this conversation with their parents/doctor then please have it with us at Cam’s Kids.
I want to give back to the Cam’s Kids foundation because without their website I would have never known I was struggling with anxiety and might not have gotten the help I really needed. If I could even help just one person I know my role as an ambassador will have had a positive impact on the youth community.