I just feel like writing this down just to relieve some of the pressure. I never talk about this with anyone IRL.
The earliest time I can remember being affected by what I now am pretty certain is SAD, was when I first started at school. Most kids hate it and some cry a lot but I really couldn’t stand it. I didn’t speak to anyone at all for a long time and some of the other kids used to pick on me a lot. At break times I would just stand around on my own and I remember some kids would think I was deaf because I wouldn’t talk to them and used to shout in my ears.
Eventually I made a few friends, who I stayed friends with for a long time and looking back I was almost like a ‘normal’ kid for a while. When I was in the final year at primary school it was the best time I can remember, I had more friends then than I have had since and I used to enjoy going to school.
It all changed when I started secondary (high school) though. i was very intimidated by the older students, I have never been friends or hung around with anyone older than myself really. I started being very quiet and was picked on a lot by the other people in my class because I was good at lessons. They used to call me ‘square’ and would always be making fun of my name and the way I looked and was so shy. This pretty much destroyed any self confidence I had and the only people I ever talked to were those who went to the same primary school as me and I had known for years.
I didn’t go to my prom or any of the Christmas parties because I knew that they would all be laughing at me because I’m so awkward in social situations. Eventually even my friends would get annoyed at me because I never wanted to go out places with them. Although I had known them for years I was still uncomfortable around them and I can only think of about 2 people who I could be alone with and not start geetting anxious because I didnt know what to talk about.
When everyone was getting ready to go to university they were all excited about it but I was petrified of going to another new place with thousands of people I don’t know and all the social events that take place. I applied to a uni in the same city I live in so I could stay at home because I knew I wouldn’t be able to deal with living in halls with other students. I dreaded starting for ages, I thought I would be on my own because my few remaining friends were going away to other cities but a couple of them changed their minds and decided to go to the same place as me. I was disappointed because I thought that it might be a chance to make a fresh start and not have people around that already had preconceptions about me but that didn’t happen.
When I started there it was just as bad as school for me, my friends were increasingly annoyed at me for being so unsociable and I didn’t want to be around them any more because it was causing me so much stress. This is when my phobia of phones started, I would go into a panic every time it rang in case it was them asking me to go somewhere. I ended up turning the ringer off because I couldn’t take it any more.
At university I would just go in for lectures and hang around at the back of the hall, then go straight home afterwards avoiding people if I could. Then later on we had to make a presentation in front of everyone and that was the final thing that sent me over the edge. I was so depressed around that time and I couldn’t bear to go back, I don’t want to talk about what happened next but it was the lowest point in my life at the time. I decided I couldn’t carry on going there and I knew my friends would try and talk me out of leaving and get mad at me so I sent them and email saying that I wasn’t going back and that I had been going through anxiety problems and not to call me again. I haven’t spoken to them since and that was 4 years ago now.