Anxiety decreases with age! No. It doesnt. We need to stop thinking that anxiety decreases as you get older and will one day disappear completely. This is wrong- so wrong.
When I was a kid, I was worried about losing my homework or the upcoming netball game that I was to partake in. I hated the shouting and parents watching me but I loved playing. Even at such a young age my brain was completely at war with itself. I remember times at sports tournaments where parents would be shouting at me like "go Ebony", "run Ebony", and with that, I'd just stop all together, stand there and take myself to a different place in my head because I did not want to be there anymore.
I was worried about having to sing in church, I hated singing around anyone and I mimed a lot so people wouldnt hear me. One thing I will never forget from Primary School was when we were singing in school and the head teacher came up to me whilst I was miming, came right up to my face and told me to stop miming and sing. No thank you. Although I didnt have many worries as a kid, I can definitely see how anxiety manifested itself back then.
And I got older...
Up to Secondary School I went and I dont think I have been more terrified in my life. Going from a school with 60 pupils to a school with around 1200 pupils was a massive jump for anyone but especially for someone who isnt the most confident of people! My fears majorly intensified during Secondary School. I was practically scared of everything and I feared everyone. I was worried about walking to school, would I be able to cross the roads without having to wait for a car to pass? Would I encounter some nasty people on the bus bay? Would I find my friend to meet and walk to form with? One thing that dramatically changed for me in secondary school was bullies. Coming from such a small school, I had never really experienced bullying before but my god it hit me. I had the extra worries of, would I be made fun of today? Would I get laughed at today? This is when I learnt the harsh reality of the world and how nasty people could be. I was scared of everything.
And I got older...
I finished Seconary School and started Sixth Form at the same school- doesnt sound scary right? Staying at the same place, but my god it was. I feel like I just got worse. More things made me scared and I avoided more and more people. Most of my lessons were in the Sixth Form block which was across the road from the actual school but my art classes were at the top of the hill. One of my most feared things was crossing that road alone. I hated it. My art teachers always let us out late too so I'd have to either walk super fast to catch up some people to cross the road with or walk slower with my art class and try to cross with them. But then I encountered another thing that terrified me: being late. None of the teachers helped with this even though they knew we sometimes had to walk pretty far to our next class, they'd just let us out whenever they wanted and for me, walking into a class late was one of the worst things ever. My hands would be sweaty, well, everywhere would be. I'd be completely red faced. My head would be banging. I'd have rashes and everything.
Sixth Form was also a changing point for me too because it meant that I didnt have to eat in school anymore as I could just walk home for my lunch. I didnt like eating around people so I just did this every day. With feeling scared and being at home, I used to comfort eat a lot and it has since become a habit I think which is so rubbish.
But the part which frustrated and upset me the most was reading out in class. My teachers knew that I hated it and therefore picked on me to do it for that reason. I dreaded every lesson that I went to because of it and I really hated every minute of Sixth Form.
And I got older...
So, here we are, the present. I have left the school system all together and I am possibly at the worst place anxiety wise that I have ever been in. I dont have a job because I struggle to do anything alone, so I cant pay for things, buy people presents ect. I cant just go for a nice walk on my own because I am too scared of crossing busy roads or bumping into someone I know or looking stupid. I am pretty much stuck in the house unless someone takes me out or comes to meet me. I am lonely, I get sad and I wish I was better. I am trying to get better- I am on medication to try to control it but it is only helping my moods right now, but I am thankful.
My mind is a warzone. My heart beats out my chest. My head hurts. I sweat excessively. I get unknown and uncalled for rashes. I cry over nothing, but no one sees that. I usually keep my walls up.
People tell me how strong I am and how they admire my strength. I appreciate it so much and it makes me feel so good about myself but honestly, sometimes I could just scream. I am not as strong as everyone seems to think I am and I am not as strong as everyone wants me to be. On bad days, I can cry if I drop a spoon. I cry because I want to leave the house but at the same time I dont want to leave the house, my brain is so tired and confused of fighting itself. I feel trapped and lonely with no way out.
So, no. Anxiety does not decrease as you get older. It only gets
better if you try to make it better with something like medication or
therapy. For me, I am sure it has just got worse and worse.
Please understand that I am trying.