I have never made friends easily in my life. I was shy, I was afraid to talk to people, and I was scared to be with large groups of people. My parents and I thought that this was just a phase and I would grow out of it. As the years went by however, the fear of talking to other people had only increased. It was at its worst when I went on a trip to Washington D.C. my middle school has every year for the eighth graders. During that trip in early June, there was a dance that was mandatory. I really didn’t want to go because I knew I would just be sitting in the corner, bored out of my mind. I thought this dance was just going to be another event where I was bored, but at the time I had no idea this dance would be one of the most important events of my life.
When I went outside to wait for the bus that would take us to the dance, I noticed how the other eighth grade girls were dressed. They were dressed in sun dresses with bright colors and fancy sandals while I only had a purple and white striped sweater with fancy black shoes. The bus arrived and we were at the dance in less than twenty minutes. When we got there, the teachers told us the dance was on a ship, and everyone was so excited, but I was worried. I could not leave the dance early as I usually did when my parents made me go to these dances because we would be in the middle of the ocean. When the dance got started, I did not feel that nervous or scared yet, but as the dance went on, I started to feel more anxious. There were so many people on the boat, it was not spacious and the fact that we were in the middle of the ocean made me feel more overwhelmed than I ever had before. My heart started be...
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...g to be okay because now I knew my limits of social events and what I am able to handle. I walked out of the doctor’s office, confident and hopeful that I knew what I had and I would do anything I could to make sure I don’t have another panic attack.
I learned a lot about myself because of what happened, and even though at the time it was my lowest point, I am still glad that it happened. If I never had that panic attack, I never would have known I have Social Anxiety Disorder. I would have always thought that I was just really shy and that I would just get over it but that day would have never come. Now, I have found ways to cope with it, and I have surrounded myself with people who love me and understand what I am going though. While I still get really nervous in social situations, I have also found more people that I can be comfortable with and be myself around.
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