“Alright here we go. As a newborn, I was diagnosed with chronic anxiety. Of course, it wouldn’t affect me until I was old enough to talk and remember things, but my parents knew about it and had to plan for it because they were already in the military. The first move I could remember. It was from England where I was born to Texas. The second one from there to Idaho I was fine with because I was still young and thought it would be a fun trip. Every move from then on was hard because I was old enough to realize I would be leaving friends behind and not knowing how to navigate the new area. I often felt lost. In 4th and 5th grade I was bullied for being the new kid (both grades I was in different schools), and I was also one of the shortest people there so that didn’t help my case. Middle school came around and I got taller and got a little muscle because that’s what puberty does. People saw me as a taller guy and when they got to know me, they knew I was a smart guy so I was respected by most people. I felt a sense of purpose around my classmates, but there was another problem. Middle school got harder than the grades before. Even though I got all A’s in middle school throughout, my chronic anxiety made everything seem worse than it was. I would worry a lot about tests, quizzes, and especially homework. Everyone from middle school to now saw me as the guy that was always happy, but that was not the case. I was often angry about my situations with moving. In 7th and 8th grade, I tried to fill the gap with a girlfriend. Didn’t work. There was a place where I felt safe however, and that was at youth. Middle school youth didn’t have many people because I was in England so not many Americans anyway, but it was still great and I had high school leaders that I would say prepared me for life. Everything has an end though. I moved the summer after 8th grade. I hated it but at least it wouldn’t be too bad to adapt to a new school since I had done it so many times. At the beginning, it wasn’t bad. I still got anxiety from school work but it had gotten better because I had learned to cope. Around January of freshman I made one of the worse decisions of my life to get a girlfriend. She was completely toxic. She claimed to be a Christian but was not. Throughout the relationship my anxiety spiked so many times. My parents hated her because she would make me depressed. I couldn’t see that back then and thought it was them so I was angry at home often. At one point I started having suicidal thoughts because of what she put me through. The only reason I never attempted on my life is because of my amazing friends at youth. After 9 terrible months, I started talking to an old friend who just moved to Arizona. About 2 weeks or so it took her to convince me that my girlfriend at the time was a terrible person. We broke up and later I was informed that she in fact cheated on me and got pregnant. I was relieved that I didn’t have to deal with her anymore. I had a great first semester of my sophomore year free of depression and with my great friends as well as some new ones. Moving the middle of sophomore year was hard on me since I had always moved over the summer but I got through it. I got to Arizona and saw my grandparents, cousins, and eventually got to my high school youth group. I was used to being the new kid, but I was social so I tried to find some people to talk to. someone i met however treated me as if I wasn’t a social guy and didn’t know how to be the new guy. He came straight over to me and introduced himself. Later he introduced me to his friends now my friends. Winter break ended and I went to school. Drew once again found me at lunch and brought me over to where he hung out. I felt very welcomed. The next Wednesday I met one my good friends that i still have today. Still trying to find friends but I found some great ones. Winter camp came around and I was already loving HSH. From middle to high school, youth brought me closer to God. Even through all the anxiety and girls that I dated that I probably shouldn’t have, God came through with me. After my latest relationship, I still struggle with trust and anxiety with school, but I’ve gotten a lot better at coping with my anxiety. I play guitar, I love the outdoors, and I’ve accomplished much more than the doctors ever thought I would. I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t be here if I never learned to let go of myself and let God be in control.”Noah Bucks (18)