National Nightmare

3 March 2019

Going into high school, I was lost. I was hurting myself, losing weight at a rapid speed, and didn’t want to be around anymore. I felt like there was no one for me to turn to, and all I heard from my therapist was:
Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorder, Suicidal.

The one thing that distracted me from my anxiety was when I would pass by the cheerleading team. Watching those girls compete and work at those skills was everything I wanted. Joining the team could be the first step to pulling myself up, and starting fresh. Friends and family questioned if I really wanted to be around those girls. The answer was yes. I wanted to better myself and to accomplish what they had been working on for years. I knew the challenges that trying out for the team would present. I was shy and inexperienced, and they had been working for years to represent our school in the best possible light. I pushed myself try out, and I showed up every week to show them that I could do this, that I wasn’t afraid to fail anymore.

National Nightmare Essay Example

I needed this to save me from myself.

Night and day I stood in front of the mirror, working on my jumps and facials. I looked into my eyes and saw myself reborn from my sadness. I had a better mindset, I had more confidence in myself, and I was ready to go and fight for my team. We worked hard and were able to make it to Nationals in Florida. The only problem: the dreaded anxiety attack was back. Colors around me started to blend into one orb, until I was almost completely covered in darkness. The only light seeping in was the hot reds and ambers of the stage lights, and the glow of faces in front of me. My chest moved furiously back and forth, my breath refused to live in my lungs, and my body couldn’t stop trembling. The world seemed to be slipping out of my fingertips, and there was nothing I could do. Everything around me was slipping away. All I had worked for seemed to be evaporating into the air in seconds.

Then, a hand was on my shoulder.

“Just breathe. You’re going to be okay.”

Everyone started to share with me how cheerleading has helped them get over their anxiety. Many shared inspiring words of how amazing they thought I was to come with no experience and to work hard. This memory will always be my favorite one from high school, and we weren’t even performing. It was one group of people who shared their love and self improvement with one another, and to be proud of the goals accomplished as one.
To see how much I have grown from my past and to see how much other people have seen me grow is something I will always want to continue to share in this world. Cheerleading has opened my eyes to show that there are always people who care about you.

There will always be someone to support you through your worst times.

I now have the strength to focus on myself and realize it’s not selfish. It not only benefits me, but the people around me. I’m proud to say that I am happier, healthier, and learning how to love myself. Now, I try my best to talk to someone first because I know it will only help in the end. To this day, I still have the loving words written to me on my nightstand.

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