Persistence Memoir 2nd Draft (New Topic)

For most of my life, from when I was just beginning preschool and continuing to this day, I have been very introverted. As a child, it mostly focused on the usually shyness that many children display. This personality feature led to me burying myself in books, and rarely pursuing any social behavior.  As a young student, this  largely manifested itself in my inability to ask for help or directions from others. Usually, though, it didn’t really hurt me, because my teachers always said I was “very bright”, and didn’t need the help. As I got older, however, this led to a strong aversion, perhaps even a phobia, to initiating interaction with others. This introduced a persistent anxiety into my thoughts, which has proven hard to shake.

My pre-college school years all largely consisted of me easily gliding through my work, with incredibly little effort required. Sometimes, it was as though everything we worked on in class was instantly absorbed and locked in, never even needing to be studied or practiced. I never struggled with academic issues and was able to do all my work on my own, which exacerbated my issues. When I reached my last years of high school, however, I suddenly met struggles, particularly in my math, and history courses, which I had never known. Instead of quickly reading my textbooks once, and never having to open them again but for homework, I then had to read and reread many times to understand. Math equations which earlier would have been easy concepts were suddenly akin to foreign languages, and history topics weren’t as discernible as before. I pushed through, finishing high school, but not in a strong fashion, by any means. The wall I hit made it very difficult to start facing my tasks, and difficult to approach anyone for help. I hoped it was simply an isolated incident, but ultimately, this was not the case.

When I first stepped into class in college, I felt prepared and excited, ready to finally begin focusing my education towards what I wanted to do with my life. However, I nearly immediately began to struggle, sidled with difficulties in multiple courses coupled with stricter time constraints. I was unable to force myself to ask for help, and I quickly fell behind. When this happened, I knew my anxiety was a significant issue. Group work in classes forced me to face my social anxiety head-on, and it caused more problems with performance in class than it helped me open up. I knew I needed to take action, and, upon desperately consulting a few others, I began seeing a psychiatrist, who I still meet with today. In the time since, I’ve been advised on how to approach my problems. Being more proactive, even when it has been challenging to push myself to do so, has helped keep individual problems  smaller and less urgent, which has made my anxiety more manageable. Instead of being hit by a mental wall when I realize what I’m facing, it’s easier to make progress, and, thus, easier to ask for help when I need it.

Now, my anxiety, though still quite present, is more manageable.  I push myself to talk to others more when I can, just to make it easier to talk when necessary. It’s still uncomfortable to do, and I still have trouble expressing myself, but it’s not so debilitating anymore. I’ve spent the last few couple of years writing in a blog, so I can work on communicating with others, and focus on accomplishing my goals. I still have plenty of trouble approaching others, and feel anxious in most social situations, but I’ve taken steps to try to work through it, and that’s the most important thing.

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