I stopped taking lessons after two years. In my last recital I played two pieces, one solo, and another with my teacher. It went a lot better than my first, and again, a woman came up to me, and said "You played beautifully." I was sixteen and my thoughts were "Thanks, but I'm pretty sure I botched it." Though I wasn't taking lessons anymore, I didn't stop playing. Now that I had the basics down, the rest came naturally. I self-taught myself dozens of songs, and started composing pieces of my own. As it turns out, I had a pretty good ear for this sort of thing.
This was also around the time I began isolating myself from friends, hiding in the dark chapel to play the piano blind. For as long as I can remember, social skills didn't come to me like music. Whether it was saying something out of context, or rambling on about some obscure musical fact, I always seemed to be awkward in a crowd. This learning disorder, was to be one of the largest factors in my recent depressive breakdown. I returned to guitar lessons in late high-school. The new teacher I learned from was great, learning the things I wanted to learn from the start. Chords and strum patterns, I was a happy camper. Eventually, she convinced me to sing. Reluctant at first, I gave it a shot. I guess I didn't sound too bad, because she was pretty happy about it, and soon I was getting voice lessons as well.
I started to perform, playing for the elderly with a church group, at talent shows, and from the front porch. My anxiety didn't just go away, every time I perform I still shake and feel like I might pass out, but when I was performing, It didn't matter. I couldn't live my life in fear of the things I couldn't control; and besides, music was and is, something I feel I was born to do.
I went to college to study Psychology (I would have chosen music but as I lack the right amount of training...) another subject I enjoyed. Ironic as It was partially due to school that I wound up in the loony bin.