Facing Childhood and Adolescence in Iowa’s Cedar Valley: A New Friend

Adolescence, Anxiety, Facing Community Belonging and Citizenship from University of Northern Iowa (Waterloo, Iowa)

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I made a new friend, let’s just call her A. She’s been with me for a while now. She’s a bit of a homebody, and I guess I wouldn’t want her as anything else. A service-learning project I had worked on in fifth grade, which was called pizza bingo, was something we had decided on. The ELP kids had an easy job of serving people and helping out. I thought it was easy and underestimated my opponent otherwise known as life. I basically couldn’t even do my job :D. I wasn’t making eye contact, and I was shaking like a chihuahua. I thought of it as shyness I guess, but it was actually something like a bajillion times worse. I ate some cookies and stuff and played bingo. It was fun yet very scary.

People can interpret this as anything they want and all that yadda yadda yadda.

But if you really wanna know, it was actually about GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). “A” is actually a personification of GAD. Basically around that time, around fifth grade,  I had started to really show symptoms, and it really started manifesting I guess. And of course, it’s gotten like suuuper worse over the years but I’m like good. I guess.  And eye contact is a huge no for me dawg (who gets the reference?), and basically I worry about everything. I am anxious about everything. If there is something, or even nothing, I will worry about it. I run away from my problems and worry about non-existent ones. That just got like suuuper real. But yeah, it’s basically about worrying about nothing and being like extra scared for no apparent reason.

This story originally appeared in Facing Childhood and Adolescence in Iowa’s Cedar Valley, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by the University of Northern Iowa in Waterloo, Iowa.

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