I suffer from moderate to severe social anxiety along with waves of severe depression. I try not to allow my mental illness define me, but I do not hide it from those around me, since it is a part of who I am. I can almost remember the day when I stopped wanting to go to stores or visit friends. Don’t get me wrong, I was never the most social kid. Yet, before I was 19, I had a few friends and went out on Friday nights. Then one summer, I stopped calling people and began to be content being within the four walls of my home. There was nothing that had happened, there was no traumatic incident. The outside world suddenly became scary and unknown.
Now, some years later, I am a university student trying to make my way out of school. My boyfriend is working very hard to convince me that I deserve to think of myself as an equal to my peers and deserve to be treated as such. University was not what I expected. I have to spend a lot more time arguing with professors then I thought I would. I have been granted accommodations from the university, such as a quiet room to write exams, but a lot of my professors seem to think these accommodations are not necessary. I am often told that my illness is inconvenient. I know, but I am trying to convince them (and myself) that I am worth it.
I would just like to thank those who helped me when I didn't think I deserved it. People like my boyfriend, and my current close friends, are the reason I am alive today. Though everyday, I still need to make the choice to get out of bed and it still takes all the energy that I have, I am glad I am around to make that decision.