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2017, Katelyn Sorensen, HWRA, Weber HS, Awardee

May 3, 2017

When I was in elementary I had a bad experience that triggered anxiety. I worried about things that most people don’t give a second thought to. I worried about silly things. My mind could never rest because of my worries. I tried medication but didn’t continue because of side effects. This was an ongoing battle that I had to learn to control. This lasted from kindergarten to about third grade. I was doing pretty good until eighth grade when it was triggered again, only this time I didn’t know what was going on. I was sitting in my health class when I got this hot flash. This feeling of adrenaline flooded my body. Later that day I was in my last period class and it happened again, only worse. I couldn’t get it to stop. I didn’t know how to shut it off. With the hot flashes and adrenaline, it made me scared, so scared that it made me feel like I needed to throw up. I tried medicine again which helped to a point but controlling it was largely a result of determination and controlling my thoughts. It was really scary at first because I had no idea what was going on. Imagine you as a fourteen year old kid not knowing what was wrong with your body. You have no idea what’s wrong with you other than you know something is physically and mentally not right. Imagine being scared everyday not knowing what was going to happen to you.

After talking to many doctors and trying my best to explain what was happening, we came to the conclusion that I was having anxiety attacks. Eighth and ninth grade year I had to learn how to control this. This was very hard. I had to go to school everyday with the fear of it happening again. Sometimes the very thought of it happening again was the very thing that would trigger the attack. I had to learn to focus on my school work as well as controlling my thoughts and learning to shut off an anxiety attack before it happened. It was tough to go to school with this challenge. When ever my anxiety was bad I would go home. I remember crying a lot because I was confused and angry about, “Why Me? This is terrible. Why am I going through this? I didn’t do anything to deserve this.”

Sports was something that helped me a lot. Sports gave me something to do and helped me not focus on my mental illness as much. Being physically active was one of the best medicines out there for me. I wouldn’t have been able to get through this trial without my family, friends, sports and especially God. I’m not anxiety-free but I have got past the hardest part and am now enjoying life. I am thankful for the challenges I have gone through because it has made me who I am today.

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