I have struggled with social anxiety for as long as I can remember. From a young age I remember being ashamed of my body and believing every look or whisper was about me; I thought I was being judged.
I remember dreading presentations throughout school because I hated having all eyes on me. It felt as though everyone could notice every imperfection, every mistake.
This social anxiety was coupled with the occasional random panic attack. During my ninth grade, I remember not being able to sleep for months at a time because sleep would bring a panic attack. I am grateful that my mom sat with me all those nights and taught me different breathing exercises to help me work through the panic attack.
My advice to anyone with anxiety is that not every method or resource will work for everyone. For me, focusing on my breathing while ignoring the world around me helped me to get through the panic attacks. As for my social anxiety, I still struggle to get up in front of a crowd but now I look at the people around me not as people who are judging me but as people who have their own unique story.