When I was young, I was diagnosed with a Separation Anxiety Disorder. I would cry every time I left the house, I would cry when my parents would leave. I was so scared of trying new things, meeting new people, even going to school was a struggle. But as I aged and began therapy, my anxiety was no longer constant. I could be triggered by a certain event or a scary thought, but I was managing.
Years later, I was packing for my first semester at college. There was nothing scarier to me than being away from the comfort of home for months. How could I survive without my mom to calm me down? What if I don’t make friends? Or what if my roommate hates me? These questions plagued me for weeks. My appetite depleted, my bursts of OCD (which is often accompanied by Separation Anxiety Disorder) would flare up, and I had trouble sleeping. I was excited for college and to start my adult life, but my excitement was heavily clouded by my anxiety.
August 24th eventually arrived, and I sat in my car driving away from my house, from my puppy, from the people that understood me more than I understood myself. It took every ounce of strength inside me to not scream, “turn the car around!”.
Each mile, each hour I was further from my comfort zone. Soon enough my parents drove away from the University and left me for my own. I walked across the quad to my dorm, holding back tears.
But as the days passed I got more comfortable. I was okay - imagine that! I. Was. Okay. I could do this, I could handle this. I made a few very close friends, whom I shared my anxieties with. I told them of my fears, my disorder, my triggers. They helped me in ways I never thought possible. They made me understand that I wasn’t alone - I’m never alone.
The familial bond I formed with those great friends is what got me through my anxieties. My friends became my family - and family is everything. If I ever had a flare of anxiety, I just went to them and they would talk me through it and calm me down. I could share every thought in my head with them without judgement, and although many of my anxieties were not warranted, they never passed judgement.
Strong women help build other strong women. I could never have the strength to fight my inner demons without my friends. Their unconditional love and support propels me to succeed. Without them, I would be lost.
Thank God for fated friendships.