When I was twelve years old, I lived at home in the suburbs with my mother, father, brother, and sister. I enjoyed hanging out with my friends and playing basketball and baseball in my free time. I was your typical middle school student, or so I wish.
It was at this age that I began to experience anxiety attacks on a regular basis. My heart would start to race, my palms would begin to sweat, and I would choke on the air around me at a loss of breath. I would become dizzy and light headed as the negative thoughts began to swell up in my mind. “What is happening to me, and when will it stop?” I would often ask myself.
My disorder could start and stop on a dime, and just the thought of it was enough to trigger another attack. Up to ten times a day I would experience these feelings. I saw doctors on almost a daily basis and was prescribed to up to four different medications at any given time. Why me, what did I do to deserve this? At such a young age it was hard for me to comprehend everything that was going on around me because I could only see the negatives. However, as I have grown, I have come to believe that you can be thankful for adversity in your life.
These attacks were debilitating to my everyday activities and have made me reevaluate the priorities in my life, as I think all adversity does. I did not have time to worry about what I looked like or what others thought of me. All I wanted was to wake up in the morning and not have to feel this way. I wanted to go about my daily routine and not even think about another attack.
This disorder made me appreciate the simple things in life like family, friends, and my own health. I am thankful for my family because they care and I am thankful that they are willing to do whatever it takes to help me in times of need. I am thankful for my friends for being there in the good times and the bad. I am thankful for being here today: breathing, healthy, and alive.
There is something positive to be taken out of every negative. There is something new to learn with every experience in your life. With this adversity, I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life that I used to take for granted.
It is rare that a day goes by where I do not think about my past, and the things this disorder caused me to feel, but I am thankful. When faced with adversity in your life be strong and be thankful. This I believe.
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