Overcoming Anxiety + Asking For Help

December 02, 2021

By Maddie Powell

My name is Maddie and I am a teenager. I live in the UK with my family, and I suffer with mental health, which is what my story is about. I want to help people by sharing the lessons that I have learned through the years. Teenage trauma is valid, and it is a passion of mine to give people a space to talk freely about that without judgment.

Pledge to Take Action

For a very long time, I did not believe I could be happy. I was suffering greatly with my mental health because of school, and everywhere I turned, the walls appeared to be closing in on me. When the world shut down because of the pandemic, it was as if a great weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. life appeared to be turning around – though I knew I would plummet mentally when the world opened back up.

When that time finally came, my mental health (in particular, my anxiety) forced me to crash. I tried to go to school because I wanted to learn; I wanted to see my friends, but I simply couldn’t. I was having no less than 7 panic attacks a day. I wasn’t eating or sleeping properly.

My mind often lies to me about what I should be fearful of, and in the past, there have been occasions where I could quiet it, shove it back inside me, and just get on with things. this was not one of those times. Truthfully, I have never liked being in school, and I have been asking to be homeschooled for as long as I can remember. All of the emotions that I had bottled up inside of me, that I have pushed down so I didn’t cause any problems, came up.

I finally exploded. This was my breaking point; things got so bad I couldn’t even wake up at the time. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I am finally homeschooled, after months of jumping through hoops, and I could not be happier. My life has totally changed. I have the freedom to pursue what I really love. I do art classes and study things I have always dreamed of learning about.

I have discovered that I am actually capable of things that I never would’ve found out in school. My mental health is far better, my panic attacks have subsided greatly, and I was told I could come off of my anti-anxiety medication. I never thought that I would be able to say I have found an education that I enjoy. Yet I can. I still have a long way to go. That is no secret. I have a great deal of trauma from school that I still need to deal with, but this is okay.

This is a very hard story for me to conclude because there is so much of me in there that I don’t yet know how to break down, but I think the main message is: you don’t have to bottle things up.

I didn’t tell anyone for a long time that I was struggling so much, and it often makes me wonder where I would be if I had spoken about it at the time. I would not change my story because it has made me who I am, but I do sometimes wish that I hadn’t bottled all of this pain up for so long.

There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. There is absolutely no shame in talking about your mental health. There is no shame in exploding after a long time struggling to keep things inside. You are how you are, and that is beautiful. You can find greatness in your pain. It does not have to result in anything less than happy for you. Joy is possible. Euphoria in your every move is possible, and so I urge you to keep fighting. There are so many people in this world who need you and your story. There are so many people in this world who love you, even with all of these struggles you may not perceive as worthy of people’s time. Keep fighting. Keep talking. Keep loving – even through the hard times. You are worthy of help. You are worthy of love and kindness. You are worthy of it all.

Pledge to Take Action