It probably didn't help - and in retrospect it helps contextualise some of my fears - that I did ask for help, only to get none over the course of almost two years around that same time.
So instead I ran away from them, or distracted myself from them whenever and wherever I could, for as long as I could. If I couldn't get help, that seemed like the next best option. To just look away from it, and occasionally pretend it wasn't there. I distracted myself mainly through media and browsing the internet, often obsessively. The alternative was having to confront what - at the time, at least - could not be confronted. This obsessiveness doesn't come from that though, it merely only served to exacerbate the pre-existing obsessiveness I already had, being autistic.
Rinse and repeat for years. Years in which I barely interacted with anyone, besides maybe a few scattered conversations here and there with some people, mostly because they were the one starting it. In other words, I isolated myself from most people if not all. Yes, I know I played many games here on BZPower. But that was just another manifestation of what I spoke of above: running away and distracting myself.
It wasn't until half a year ago or so I finally stopped isolating myself. and thanks to that, and a lot of the people I met that helped me. They pushed me along those smaller steps you don't really have the strength to take alone when your thoughts are dominated by anxious ones. Hence where I am now: were it not for them I doubt I would have finally decided to stop running away from my anxiety.
Though now that I've had that support, those small pushes, that foundation beneath one's feet... I fear, perhaps irrationally, that I'll lose it again, and then where will I be? Would I retreat back into isolation, or would I push forward yet still? But... hmm. Perhaps that fear is just another manifestation of anxiety, perhaps because I am finally taking steps against it. In a perhaps cringe-worthy metaphor, I'd say it's scared it's going to lose control. I think, if I were to disappear entirely at this point, a fair few people would miss me.
I can't help but wonder, if I hadn't let my anxiety control me, where would I be now? But I guess there's no point in considering 'what ifs' and only being disappointed, there is still a future left unshaped and a past to heed.