I am sitting in bed tonight, feeling a little crummy and thinking about how I got here. No, not how I got in my physical bed but, how I got here.. this place in my life. How am I so young and married? How did I decide teaching was what I wanted to do? How did I get blessed with amazing friends that I met through the internet? -- Heck how did I end up meeting my HUSBAND on the internet?

As I thought and pondered this, I decided it is time for me to share my story. The story of how I came to be me. A version of me that I never want to forget. A strong, confident and faithful me. 

I have never talked about this before. I never wanted some of these people mentioned to get offended. That being said, the chances of them seeing this are pretty slim. So..  I am finally going to share an experience I had that I can undoubtedly say, changed my life. Now, I am not telling you this story so that you feel bad for me but, simply because I want you to know that I went through a trial. The trial didn't kill me but made me stronger. I am sharing this story to inspire you and to maybe just maybe give you the tiniest bit of hope during your hard time. 

I wrote this letter to a board at my school district. I missed quite a bit of school my Junior year and I needed to fill them in on what had happened. ( I left out some names, for privacy reasons.)

This is what I wrote..

"Mr. _______ told me to be honest. So here I am. I am going to be honest with you. My Junior year in High School was the hardest year of my education career. I know what you are thinking, “She’s just being dramatic” All I can say is, ask anyone close to me, they will tell you I was a completely different person last year.

I struggle with anxiety.

I always have.

Long story short..
Last year I got a boyfriend. Not just a “see you at school” boyfriend but a “meet the grandparents, come to family parties, secret keeper” boyfriend. It was real for me. I really liked this boy.
We dated for six months. He broke up with me.
Soon my friends started to pick sides. Girls that I had been friends with since Kindergarten decided a stupid/cute boy was better than a lifelong friend that they had in me.

I was alone. I had never felt so alone. One minute I had all of these friends and the next, people were staring at me in the halls, calling me crazy simply because I got a haircut after a breakup. I wasn’t invited to lunch anymore. I would walk out of ______, seeing people I had trusted with my biggest secrets and considered some of my best friends, totally pass me by. They didn’t care I was all alone. They didn’t care about me anymore and it completely shattered me.

There were times on a Friday night, I would get invited to hang out with some of these old friends. I would get all dressed, hair done and ready to go. Then I would get a call. A call saying “I am too tired tonight, I am just going to stay home” or “I forgot I already made plans with some people (AKA my ex and his *coughs* my friends) and I can’t bail” All lies. I would go find an empty parking lot and yell. I bawled my eyes out screaming. I didn’t understand why this was happening to me. I almost hurt myself that night.

With having anxiety and all of a sudden not feeling comfortable at all at_______ going to school became a huge challenge for me. I would walk in the halls, seeing faces that I used to care about so much, hurry and look the other way as soon as we made eye contact. My best friends of 12 years were gone. They didn’t care.
I never would of thought fifteen minutes of my Junior Prom would be spent sitting in the bathroom stall crying.
I ended up seeing a doctor. She understood what I was going through and how my anxiety made this situation a whole lot worse. I got put on a medication, and started seeing my doctor on a regular basis.

Overtime I learned more about my anxiety. I decided to share about this on my blog, kalliecooper.com. The response I have gotten from speaking out about my story has been incredible. I am helping people all over that struggle with anxiety feel normal.
This is one of my posts..

I struggle with anxiety. It is something that has affected me almost my entire life. I wouldn't ever sleepover at someone else's house. I wouldn't run into the grocery store alone, while my mom waited in the car. I wouldn't do things I wanted to do because I was too anxious.

For the longest time, I thought it was normal. I thought I was a wimp. I would tell people I just got 'home sick.' Finally I started researching my feelings and found out that people really do struggle with anxiety. Over time, I have learned more about myself with the help of medicine and family. I have noticed a dramatic difference in how I act and feel. I want you to know that if you are struggling with anxiety, YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE. It is not a bad thing to get help. “

Okay so now to what I am really writing this about. Should I have missed that much school? No. But, you have to understand I have medical condition. A condition in which I couldn’t sit in a classroom in a building I did not feel comfortable or safe. I would call my mom sobbing in the bathroom, begging for her to let me go home. Whatever her answer, I would still get in my car and leave. I would find myself at parks, sitting on a swing set or at an LDS temple.

I am better now. I have learned from this trial. I have grown because of it.

Like I mentioned before, I started sharing my story. I can’t believe the lives it has touched.

I am not a bad kid. I just have Anxiety. I did not sluff to go to the mall or do whatever you think teenagers do.

Thanks for your time,

Kallie Cooper"

I can't put into words how hard that year was for me. I actually ended up loosing 30 lbs because of the stress and mental state I was in. I would put my headphones in while I walked in the hall and pass by so many faces that I used to consider my "sister" and just cry inside. I made it into a bathroom stall and I finally would let the tears come. I felt like an outcast. It was so hard. 
But... then I look back.. and I think "why did I start posting on Instagram and not just a picture of me and my date at the school dance but actually share personal things?" Oh yeah.. because I was going through a hard time and writing it out gave me hope. Telling other girls they could do it gave me hope. I got on a medicine that changed my life because of that experience. I found my confidence. (You can read more about the medication and how it changed my life, HERE)

I am who I am today because of the hell that I went through.

Now you know, what truly happened and why I really share what I share here.

I hope you know that you can do anything. You can get through anything. There is a god and he knows you. He knows whats in store for you and he knows your potential. This video gave me hope during the bad days, I hope you watch it. Click HERE to watch. 

I love you. I love that I can share this. I love that I get emails from young girls saying that I inspired them. I am so grateful that I can do this. If you ever need to talk.. I am here.