“Get over it.”
“Just do it.”
These are words I tell myself every day – unfortunately I don’t always listen. That is because I am one of the millions of people discretely struggling with an anxiety disorder. In my last post, I spoke a bit about my struggles with my body issues and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). I will come out and say that I have Depression and Social Anxiety. There is a stigma in this country about mental illness, but sometimes the people, like myself, who hide it so well are the ones suffering the worst. Anxiety disorders come in a range of specific diagnoses, but we all have from anxiety sometimes.
Do you get butterflies in your stomach before making a presentation at school or work? Do you feel like everyone is staring at you when you enter the cafeteria? Do you sweat bullets when you’re the center of attention? I Do.
Socializing comes naturally to me, but deep down I am the most self conscious person I know. The reason I find this interesting is because I am more self-conscious of my personality than my looks. The silver lining in that is that I really am happy with who I am on the outside. The dark cloud is that I am not happy with who I am on the inside.
I was a social butterfly until I was about 20 years old, but I was able to push away my anxiety by drinking and partying. Gradually the monster of depression crept up on me. I slowly started isolating myself. I know that what really sent me into a downward spiral was my breakup, but the depression and anxiety were monsters deep inside just waiting for their chance to escape -and they took over.
A few years and many medication cocktails later – here I am. I am a strong, confident woman, who is carrying a dark cloud, but I am not trying to hide it anymore. I am pursuing modeling because I’m so confident in myself outwardly. The problem is, when the anxiety takes over, sometimes my body will just not let me do things. I’ve skipped countless casting calls and even turned down appearances because the thought of leaving the house terrifies me. I’ve learned in the past few months that in order for me to be successful as a model I MUST learn how to break out of my comfort zone, which I have been stuck in for nearly five years.
I have actually been following through with my self improvement plan. I have made friends. The next step is allowing myself to spend time with them so I am not so withdrawn. I am RSVPing to events and following through every time, because messing up once could be a career killer. Now I’m booked for live events for the next two weeks. When I’m thinking about it now, I get anxious, my stomach turns… But I will take it one day at a time.
I promise to myself and my readers to overcome this hurdle in my life, and show myself that I am stronger than I let myself be.
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