To Everyone Hiding Behind A Smile

Life can be hard. You are thrown hundreds of decisions a day. Every decision, every moment, helps define you as a person and affects everything after it, so it is understandable that with each and everything you do, you may question or worry about the outcome. I don't like to share a lot of personal information, but I just want to share a little bit of what I've been going through to say that everything will be okay. Most of my anxiety is friend related because of everything I've dealt with in the past. I'm not going to go through all of it, but I'm going to start with when I started college, because that's when things started to get worse, and I started to realize and notice a lot more compared to middle and high school.

The last three to four years have been extremely hard for me. When I first started college, I had no friends. My roommate was a music major so she was hardly ever around. I went to all of the freshman activities alone and felt so out of place because everyone else seemed to have someone already. Then I decided to go our for sorority recruitment. After joining Delta Zeta, I decided to move in with one of my sisters. She had two open rooms in her suite style dorm. We were so close from about October to April. Then I began to notice something. She was kind of controlling. She always had to know where I was. I was in choir that year and ended up missing a lot of rehearsal, sectionals, and quartets because I felt like I couldn't go without her getting upset. This was not good considering choir was a class and I was getting a grade for it. Throughout April, things progressively got worse. I found out from some of our mutual friends that she had been talking shit on me and the sorority behind my back. It got so bad that I didn't even want to go back to my room. I started staying on the couch in my sororities lounge and only went back to my room when I knew she wasn't there or if someone else was with me. And every time I went back I had an anxiety attack just thinking about her being there or walking in.

Fast forward to the next year. My old roommate left the university. Everything was great. I roomed with my best friend and sorority sister that year. This time, I had no roommate issues. But then, again, at the end of the year, some of our other friends started to argue and stopped getting along. This put me in a really bad position. I felt like I had to choose between two groups of people. I felt like I was losing one of my closest friends. And then I decided to move into an apartment with one of the girls who I felt I had to choose between. That was one of the worst decisions I made.

Things, living situation wise, were great for the first half of the year. However, I did go through a rough patch involving a few friends from high school. Long story short, they basically said they don't like who I've become and we no longer talk. Then sometime in February something happened. She started coming home late, not taking care of her dogs, or the house. I was having a break down a least once a week because of the mess. I couldn't sleep at night because she would come home and not let the dogs out, so they would bark. I ended up deciding to move out, because my name wasn't technically on the lease, and move in with another sister who had also just gone through some stuff and had an open room. I still had this uneasy feeling every time I knew I was going to have to see my old roommate.

Fast forward again. Everything was great since I had moved in with her. We got along, it was a nice apartment, etc. Then in the middle of summer, she told me she was going to move closer to work. I understood but was also panicking because I didn't have anther option for a roommate and didn't know how my parents would react. My parents ended up being okay and agreed to pay the full rent. Then another one of my sisters and really good friends said she had talked to her parents and would move in instead of living in the dorms. I was so excited but also anxious because I knew it would upset my best friend, which it did.

Fast forward again. The semester started. I had become really close with my coworkers over the summer. I stayed in my apartment and worked instead of going home for the summer. When the semester started I was struggling to split my time. To be honest, I still am, but I'm working on it. And I don't want to go into too much detail about the next thing, but all I'm going to say is that the last two or three weeks have been the absolute worst and I've have been on the edge of or have had multiple anxiety attacks a day.

But there is one thing getting me through everything. My friends. They have been so comforting and have helped me deal with literally everything I've endured lately. I can't remember the last time I was stressed or anxious, but my friends always let me know everything with be okay. They always know how to comfort me and most importantly, they help me to know that I'm not alone.

So to everyone who has been struggling lately, please know that you are not alone. Don't drown yourself in busy work just so you don't have to think about what's going on. Talk to your friends. Talk to your family, or a professor, or a coworker. There's always someone willing to lend a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. ALWAYS.

Finally, I want to leave you with something a really good friend told me. Sometimes you just have to let it all out. "Cry. It's natural to fight how you feel because you think you need to be okay, but you don't need to be okay all the time. It's like a puzzle. Sometimes you have all the pieces and everything fits perfectly. And sometimes, you lose some pieces and you frantically search for them, and it may take a few hours or a few days, but eventually you'll find them. And if not, you'll just start a new puzzle."

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