My name is Jacqui, I'm 25 years old and have lived with anxiety for 12 years. I first started having anxiety attacks on a daily basis when I was 13 years old. I had just started high school and to make matters worse I was bullied throughout Year 12.
I was always the quiet girl who had problems opening up. When I was 16 years old I was in Year 10 and we had a health class and we were watching a story about a guy who had anxiety – all the signs were there and it sounded a lot like me.
I tried to ignore the signs, I had a breakdown the following year, my dad found me crying non-stop in my room – I told him I needed help. I sat my mum and dad down and told them I couldn't go to the letterbox and at school hated crowds of people, it made me physically sick.
I was even making myself sick and had a lot of time off school. It was like I was forcing myself to get out of the house.
My mum took me to my local doctor. I felt scared going alone, I told him my experiences and I was diagnosed with social anxiety. I felt relieved knowing I had a name for what I was going through. My counsellor was so understanding I felt comfortable, not only was she a counsellor she was also a health teacher.
I was put on medication and things were starting to improve for the better. I felt like a weight was lifted.
Today I still see a counsellor and am on medication but it has helped me a lot.
Today I'm an administration assistant and have been at the same job for the past seven years and am loving it; I even got my full drivers licence this year.
I plan on doing a community services course and bring out the awareness to people that they are not alone.
Asking for help saved my life and I feel like a different person for it, I love the happy person I am now.