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I was 15 when I had my first panic attack. I didn't know what it was at the time; I thought I was dying. I walked to an information booth next to a bus station and asked if they could call my parents. By the time they picked me up, I was already calming down and fell asleep in the back of the car on the ride home.

For the next twenty years, anxiety and depression would be a dark cloud in my life; always there in the decision making process of my brain. The amount of parties and opportunities that I declined because of my anxiety is off the scale. Outwardly, I was fun and extroverted, so I suppose it would be hard for people to make sense of what I was going through. I started two degrees but didn’t quite finish either because of my anxiety. I also have never been able to hold down a proper job.

"Outwardly, I was fun and extroverted, so I suppose it would be hard for people to make sense of what I was going through."
All those pennies I threw in the air as a young girl seem to be falling back to Earth in the most predictable and depressing way. Currently, I have the anxiety under control to some degree, but I'm left with serious depression about how much of my life it stole. I'm in therapy, but nothing can give me those years back. I do hope for some good to come out of it though. Right now, the one thing I can think of is that when everything was going great for me and my future looked amazing, I didn’t really understand other people. Now, because of my struggle, I have so much more empathy and compassion. Maybe that’s a good thing.