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Anxiety Message Board

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Hi there! New to the boards.

I'm 19. When I was 16 I transferred out of public school to an online school. I was bullied, grew to resent the environment. I was inside, on the computer all the time. Not long after this I developed an eating disorder. And as eating disorders do, it became my life. I became unhealthily, severely underweight. And during the span of 3 years, lost everything. I did not only destroy my few remaining friendships I kept when I left public school, relationships, and health, but with it came the return of my anxiety (which I managed to dispel before my ED), and to new heights. I developed intense paranoia and disassociation. I could not leave the house for months at a time. I had this fear everyone was looking at me for being so scary thin. It was easier to just stay inside, on the computer, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Whenever I left, I would be wracked with awful anxiety and disassociate. Everything felt foggy and I felt like a phantom.

3 years later, I am doing much better. I have gained weight, am at a healthy weight, still struggle with food but not nearly as bad. I've made a lot of progress. I am driving again, comfortable going places on my own, communicate with others well. I however, do still have bouts of disassociation and anxiety but not every time I leave and it's not anywhere near as severe as it used to be.

I'm just sad, I suppose. I have no friends. I do not have much of a life. I'm still inside all of the time. I managed to have a job for about 2 days before quitting (and being so anxious customers would try to talk to me.. haha.) But it was progress. I've learned a lot of it is baby steps and patience, and that it will take some time to get rid of the disassociation (which, again, I never experienced until my disorder.) completely. But I have faith and I have hope. It is what has gotten me this far.

I'm hoping to get a job soon that I will commit to. I am hoping to build my life up again. I want friends, relationships, love. I would like to leave this town, possibly even further my education. Not online this time. I'm an adult now, and I do not want to live under my mother's wing for another year. Although I am grateful for her patience.

I'm just feeling lonely. And I'm posting this hoping that maybe somebody knows what I am talking about, lived in such an isolated, damaged headspace that became comforting to them, and managed to get past it or has made progress in coming out of it, if that makes sense. I'm sick and tired of being inside all the time. I'm sad that I lost my teenage years to my disorder. I want my 20s to be full of experience and friends and adventure. I have dreams and visions and don't intend to give up.

Has anyone experienced something similar? Be it for different reasons. Could use some insight and to feel a little less alone. Thank you.

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