In the eighth grade I was going through a lot of stuff, like my dad (who I didn't live with but was always the most important person in my life) got laid off and started doing drugs and ulitmately detached from me. My mom and her boyfriend were always fighting, and I had just moved to a new town where I really had trouble fitting in. One day at lunch I fainted (my mom and sister and I all have fainting spells for different reasons). I stayed out of school for two days to recover, but when I returned to school and then to lunch I started to feel panicky. I had to ask to go outside for the rest of the lunch period, then the next day I got permission from the principal to eat my lunch in the lunch detention room for the rest of the year. I was really embarrassed about it becuase everyone, most of which didn't like me already because I was someone new in their small town world, was asking me why I was eating in there everyday. This was also affecting me outside of school too. I would get panicky in restaurants, but I found that distracting myself by coloring on my little brother's kiddie menus and playing hangman on napkins would help. I hardly ever ate my food though. Most of the time it would end up in a to go box. I was so afraid that I would pass out if I ate the wrong thing because I never knew why I passed out at school to begin with, I thought maybe it was the effect the food had on my blood sugar or something weird like that. (I had also stopped eating school food bc I was afraid it would make me pass out!) Anyways, the next year I went to high school. I would experience an overwhelming wave of panic when I had to go into assemblies and awards ceremonies where the whole school, or large groups were involved. I also had to make sure that the lunch table (where I still refused to eat) that my friends and I sat at was near the bathroom. Some days were better than others. If I would feel anxious in the cafeteria I would just get up and go to the bathroom to calm down. Slowly, my anxiety started to ease off throughout high school. During the first semester of senior year I decided to buy some school food and then take it back to the classroom after lunch and eat it, since I was more comfortable in there. After a few weeks of doing that and realizing that the food wouldn't make me pass out, I started eating in the cafeteria. It felt great being like everyone else for once. Nobody asking me why I wasn't eating and stuff. Outside of that you would have never guessed that I suffered from anxiety unless I told you. I had to do alot of presentations in my classes and all of my teachers remarked on how comfortable I seemed in front of the class, and how wonderfully I had presented the material. I was all about planning for prom, and a graduation trip. I was always out shopping at the mall, my mom and I spent alot of time together on the weekends going out to eat and the movies or whatever we could find to do. I was really enjoying my life. At that point I was excited about starting a new chapter. Then came graduation. It took forever to get all 225 students organized for the walk into the gym, and the whole time the anxiety "demon" was festering inside me. By the time we started descending the staircase to enter the lobby, the cheers off in the distance became a loud buzz in my ears. Everything around me started to go black, and I was dizzy. I knew this feeling because it was the feeling I got everytime I was about to faint. So I ran over to the water fountain (broke the beautifully orchestrated line) and went to lean against a wall. My old gym teacher who is also a first responder ended up talking me out of fainting, which is the first time anyone has ever done that. She also helped me calm down enough to walk across the stage on my own (I had another one when we were waiting in line to recieve our diplomas). After it was over I put it out of my mind and went to New York to stay with my cousin for the summer. One day I went to a bagel store with my cousin and my boyfriend, it was a tiny place and verrry crowded. While waiting in line, my heart started to beat faster and I started to sweat. So I got the keys from my cousin and went to the car. Both of them didn't know what was wrong with me, they thought I was mad at them. But I was too embarrassed to explain my situation to my boyfriend. I think I got even more panicked because he was there. Well, throughout the four months I stayed in NY I noticed a progression in my anxiety disorder. By the end of my time there, I discovered that going into the grocery store was really bothering me, but not much else. When I came back home things were fine. I was going to my brother's football games and going out with my mom again. However, one day we were going to Alabama for playoffs and we stopped at wal mart to get some things for the road. As soon as we walked in my mom told me to take my two brothers to one section and her and my sister had to go find something in another section. As soon as we separated I began to feel panic come on. My brother was picking out a snack for the ride and I started getting really nasty towards him, yelling at him in front of everyone to hurry up. I feel so bad about it now. Also I was yelling at my three year old brother to walk faster because I needed to hurry up and find my mom and get out of there. We walked around the whole store and finally when I saw my mom the panic wore off for the most part and I was able to go through checkout and the rest of the day fine. After we got back I was given temporary guardianship of my two littlest brothers (they're my dad and his gf's sons). Ever since then my life has been put on hold and I've been stuck in my house. Being stuck in the house has made it to where I don't want to go anywhere. Now its gotten so bad that I don't even want to go for a ride in the car. We've got a vacation coming up tomorrow morning and I'm scared to death. Its like a 2 hour ride and I know we're going to have to eat at restaurants and go places. I don't know what to do about this and I need advice. I can't even sleep because I'm so worried about this trip!
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