How are you all today? I’m having a good day today.
The last couple of days the topic of my blog has been on my mind. I find it hard to come up with something that people will enjoy reading. Do I focus on a topic surrounding my book? Something personal? Do I write about something I’ve seen on the news or a topic surrounding the latest celeb gossip? These are all topics I will cover in time I’m sure but today I thought I’d give a little in-site about me.
I’ve shared a little about how I struggle with acceptance and my thoughts on image, I’ve touched a little on what my fears are and how I choose to use them to push me forward. But today, what I want to share with you is a little of what makes me, well me.
Growing up I never fit in (as I’ve shared before) with any group, floating around between them. It was never because I didn’t want to be just with one group though. I had a few really close friends throughout high school but at some stage we fell out.
I often felt like I was cast away, for whatever reason I was not good enough to be friends with anymore. I felt alienated and sort solace by myself or with another group if they let me join them.
After high school I hit the real world. I started working in Hairdressing and quickly and painfully learnt that even when you showed loyalty to an employer, that didn’t mean you received loyalty in return. At the end of the day, business is business and when you work for someone else, decisions are made that don’t always favour you.
Sometimes these kind of things helped me grow, other times unfortunately, it did more damage to an already fragile person.
I discovered only a few years ago that I suffer from anxiety. It affects me in different ways. Different things set it off but I guess the main thing is whether or not I’m good enough, will I be accepted and the most crippling is whether I’ve done something to upset someone.
I’ve been in situations where a friend hasn’t been as chatty to me or I’ve noticed that they’ve pulled away for some reason, and what ensued was days of wondering if I had done something that had upset them. I would analyse things I’ve said to them in past conversations, and in some cases, I built the nerve to ask if there was something I’ve done only to hear that I hadn’t. This was even more confusing to me because I felt I was still being shut out and couldn’t understand why.
There is a saying ‘it’s not all about you’ this is something I have to remind myself. People have problems in their life they may not want to share with me, that isn’t a reflection of me. I can offer my support to them and hope that they believe me when I say I’ll be there for them if they need someone to talk to. I had to learn that not everyone will accept that offer no matter how genuine it is.
I was out to dinner with some friends last night and we got on to the subject of how when we all met each other two years prior what we thought of those around us.
I was reminded that I came up and spoke to one friend so easily and confidently but what she didn’t see or know was the almost crippling anxiety that almost prevented me from approaching her. I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of her rejection. I had a ball sitting in my chest that made it hard for me to breath.
She never saw the war I had with myself about whether I should talk to her. I somehow managed to look confident but I was anything but. When a situation that involves what someone’s opinion of me will be, my anxiety is at its worst.
To add to the anxiety, I also am a sensitive person. My whole life that sensitivity was treated as a weakness. It was never viewed as a strength.
I remember once I broke down to a woman I barely knew, and when I apologized to her with the excuse ‘I’m just sensitive’ and that I was embarrassed about it she looked at me like she didn’t understand why I felt that way. My whole life I was shamed for being like that. She stood tall and told me to be proud of that, I needed to view it as a strength not a weakness.
This was not something I hadn’t heard before, my best friend told me repeatedly the same thing but it took a virtual stranger for me to start seeing myself that way.
I identified that I often let my emotions rule my reaction, so in times I was in a confrontational situation I would burst into tears giving me the label ‘cry baby’.
Over the last few years I’ve worked hard on not letting those emotions rule my reaction. When I’m confronted with a situation that ordinarily would have me in tears, I now allow myself to feel those emotions but I have the ability to push them aside and react with a clear head. I know in the future my ability to do that will be tested. I often wonder, will I be strong enough not to fall into what I call the ‘old me’?
I’m starting to see strength in my sensitivity, it has taken me almost four years to believe that but in the end, I believe it only makes me stronger. As for my anxiety, well I don’t believe that’ll go away completely, but I’ll continue to learn how to deal with it.
I love life, I try to live it to the fullest. I don’t want to let these things about me hold me back. I want to use them to help me grow as a person. If I can help others understand someone like myself by sharing my story then all the better.
I am no longer ashamed to admit I’m sensitive or that I suffer from anxiety. The only way we can become stronger within ourselves is to be open about these things.
Anyway that’s enough from me today,
Until next time,