My name is Jamie Xynis and I battled with anxiety. Unfortunately, the struggle occurred during my last semester in high school. Dealing with anxiety affected every aspect of my life, including my grades, my mind and my energy. At that time, it seemed like I had no control over anything that was important to me. I was no longer able to focus in class and panic attacks occurred occasionally. My heart and mind was constantly racing for no reason at all. I had to leave class because I did not want anyone to see me this way and I thought that no one would understand. I did not even understand why this was happening to me. I did not reach out for help and anxiety started taking over my life.
Before this moment I never experienced anything like this. I was always a happy, motivated, friendly and a sociable girl. But during that final semester in high school it was almost like I was a completely different person. I did not want to be around anyone, my grades were slipping, I was not happy and the struggle led to further problems. From feeling anxious I started having panic attacks. I was not aware of what anxiety and sadness could do to someone such as myself and I think that’s what threw me off the most. I believe my ego got in the way of acceptance and a peace of mind. This made the struggle much worse because it came to a point where I acknowledged what was happening but I still could not accept it. I did not want to reach out for help because I did not want anyone to look at me differently nor be thought of as “someone who has problems”.
During my first semester of grade 12 I had high grades and got accepted into multiple different universities. In second semester of grade 12 my struggles with anxiety took over and my grades began to slip, meaning I did not maintain the average I needed to go to university. Isn’t it crazy how one moment or incident in your life could change the path you thought you would be on? I was devastated, disappointed and constantly at battle with myself. No one knew what I was going through. But the second I reached out for help I no longer let it define who I was as a person. I slowly got better thanks to reaching out for help and family support.
If you are dealing with anxiety I strongly recommend anxiety groups, yoga and physical activity. This helped me and I no longer felt anxious or sad. Anxiety, depression or anything you are going through takes time to heal. But if you are open about it and have a great support system, you will never be alone.
I am currently at the University of Guelph in my third year and I can now officially say I am not afraid anymore. The struggle only made me stronger. Sometimes I catch myself thinking and questioning how it was ever possible to ever experience such uncontrollable feeling. But it does happen and I want to let you all know that you will manage and/or overcome what you are going through.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I hope it will help you or someone you know who is struggling to speak out without being afraid.