Socially anxious
By Carla Roumani

My name is Carla and this is my story. When I was twelve I transferred to a new school, and I still wish I hadn’t moved there. Everyone started making fun of me, teasing me because of my accent and the way I think. I never once hated myself until I met them. They made me feel insecure about things I thought were too silly, and now here I am: 16, still insecure, and facing a mental issue which is social anxiety.

Socially anxious

Afraid of speaking

I was bold but now I am afraid, afraid of speaking because people might judge anything that comes out of my mouth. I’m so socially anxious that I can’t even knock on a door or buy something in a store. I can’t answer a phone call or go out with my friends. In class, I always have questions but feel too anxious to even raise my hand, because everyone might look at me and talk shit about me inside their heads.

Some of my new friends always make fun of me but then they say, ‘We were just joking ‘…Making fun of someone even as a joke will still hurt them. And people do, they hurt me so much, but I always pretend to be okay. When I was in grade 10, I lost some of my friends so I had to make new ones because I hated being alone, and all my new friends were boys…

They called me names

Is it wrong to be friends with boys? Everyone in school started calling me a b**** just because I have boy best friends. They made up rumours about me and started telling every person who speaks to me that I’m a sl*t and that they shouldn’t be friends with me.

This alone made me feel like I didn’t belong any more. I had no shoulder to cry on and I had no friend to share my pain with. I had to go home to my house every day – a place that doesn’t feel like home – and spend most of my nights crying. That year saw the beginning of my anxiety attacks, and I still get them. Stone in my chest, unable to breathe, speechless, and then tears come out all at once.

I’m gonna prove them wrong

Moreover, one week ago I was sitting with an old friend of mine and I was telling her what I want to do in college. She was like, ‘No ,you are too emotionally unstable to do any of that’. This sentence won’t leave my head, because I do believe we are all equal. White or black, female or male, ill or not, we all have the same opportunities and I’m gonna prove her wrong.

I was the strongest kid and now I’m the most anxious person ever. Depression is a disease just like cancer; even a 5 year old kid can have cancer, so for him to have depression is also something natural. I have depression because I tried to change myself all the time to satisfy others and let them accept me, but even now I don’t know how to be anything but myself: a weird feminist girl who writes poems and quotes to express her opinions.

Please speak out against bullying

Bullying is the worst factor that can induce depression and can induce suicide. I was never suicidal but I did cut, and now I’m two years clean after seeking one solution, which is writing.

If you are ever bullied, please speak out, tell someone, and don’t let it all stay inside you. I made a mistake by ignoring the issue because I thought it was too silly. But now I know how much bullying has impacted my social life.

1in4 mental health anthology

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