Life with Anxiety

Shannon Slater

“I wouldn’t want to let go of my mother’s hand, I would be crying, and I just didn’t want to go into the school.”

That was Connor Slater’s first experience with an anxiety attack. He was three years old walking into his preschool.

Slater has lived with extreme of anxiety all his life and it affects every aspect of it from school, to sports, to even just hanging out with friends.

He wouldn’t want to go to school, he wouldn’t want to go to youth football practice despite his father being a coach, and constantly worried about time, all he wanted to do was sit with his mom and not have to worry about anything.

(Photo: Stacey Slater)

“I started seeing a therapist when I was really young, probably 4 or 5. He helped me with breathing exercises, possible ways to diffuse stressful situations, and overall ways to stop and think ahead of the stuff I was worried about,” said Slater.

Nonetheless, Slater still excels in his sports, becoming a starting offensive lineman for the Stafford High School football team, in Stafford, Connecticut, which has also helped him become more confident with his school work.

“It is hard sometimes with sports at the beginning of a season because my anxiety takes over my whole body. I cry, I shale, and don’t want to go because even if I’ve done something before I don’t know what’s ahead and it freaks me out,” said Slater.

Slater works hard to combat and stay ahead of his anxiety, by making plans with the people around him. For school, he has a 504 plan that is customized to his needs and it allows him to ensure he follows along with all the syllabus work and teaching for that day or week.

These plans came into place during his middle school years when the anxiety made it hard for Slater to even participate during class. The plan followed him into high school and allowed him to transition easier with the ability to speak to guidance whenever he needed it.

(Photo: Stacey Slater)

Slater has exceled inside and outside of the classroom since gaining these plans and his overall anxiety level as aren’t what they used to be.

“I still struggle with the anxiety that, is something that will probably with me for the rest of my life. But now I have but I have so many people who I’m able to work with that it makes it easier to control how bad the attacks are and how I can deal with them,” said Slater.

Slater who is graduating in the spring looks forward to beginning community college somewhere in Jacksonville, Florida, where he hopes to lay the groundwork for becoming an X-ray technician.

3 Responses to Life with Anxiety

  1. This article is wonderful great job Shannon

    Connor Slater December 8, 2017 at 10:06 am Reply
  2. Two of the kindest souls I’ve ever met, Shannon and Conner. Nice article. Love your Cupcake mama

    Nicole December 9, 2017 at 11:16 am Reply
  3. Beautiful article. I suffer from anxiety (not as severe as Connor’s). Proud of you, Connor, and how you’ve not let this define your life. You will reach your goals – great article Shannon!

    Maureen Anderson December 9, 2017 at 1:55 pm Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Music electives expand individuality

“We could find a role for anybody, even if someone is just playing cow bells,” said Bunk.