Hey there! I figured it was about time I take a second to introduce myself, told you a little bit of my story, and told you why I started this podcast. Let me just take a second to say this right at the beginning – I AM NOT A WRITER! Somehow I work in social media and end up writing blog posts for brands but I do not in any way claim to be good at this whole writing thing. What is grammar? There, they’re, their… someone please teach me the rules? So just embrace all my flaws.
Now that I brought up flaws – this is where it gets good! I realized today that it seems pretty unfair that I ask people to come on my podcast and tell me all about their lives while I sit here and ask the questions. If everyone is going to be vulnerable with me, whether that’s via interviews, conversations, or social media, I want to be vulnerable with you as well. So here we go. Let’s get real shall we?
I’ll start out with a quick snip about me just to get things rolling. Grew up in the sweetest town in Utah – Ogden! If you haven’t been, make the trip. I love this quaint town and the people here but that SO doesn’t mean I haven’t had my time away. I’ve spent time living in places like the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the farms of Denmark, and orphanages in Ecuador. I love seeing the world and all the culture it has to offer. My job really allows me to do that! I wish I had a perfect title for what my job entrails but it changes every day. When people ask, I say I am a Free-lance Social Media Marketing Consultant for Start-Up Companies. I work with brands in all different aspects whether that’s planning events, influencer outreach, or just answering emails till my eyes burn out and my hands fall off. I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I feel so blessed to have found what I love at such a young age. Work basically follows me 24/7 (by choice), but when I am not at the computer you can usually find me exploring the world with friends, eating something constantly, or buying platform sandals I probably can’t afford. Whoops.
So that’s me. The surface part of me that the people around me usually see. I’m hoping by this many paragraphs down, you have stopped reading. If not, congrats to the 4 of you and can’t wait to share my thoughts ;). I’m going to get vulnerable. @weslie_ started this amazing #magicofvulnerability hashtag and I couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon. There is a lot about me that even my closest friends don’t know. That isn’t because I don’t trust them or I am too afraid to talk about it, I have just never felt like they would get it. Or maybe felt like I couldn’t explain it right? But let’s hope I can put it into words here.
I suffer from anxiety. What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a constant state of worrying and panicking and being on the edge. It’s irrational fears.
Anxiety is wanting to fix something that isn’t even a problem.
Anxiety is the fear of failure and striving for perfection. Then beating yourself up when you fall short.
Anxiety is caring. Caring too much about the people you love, the things you invest your time in, and the outcomes of your investments.
Anxiety is a lot of things I can’t even explain.
I suffer from anxiety. I think we all do in different ways and I think that is normal. But there have been points in my life where it has been absolutely crippling. In high school, I missed roughly 90 days a year from school because I would get migraines. Migraines that lasted for days, weeks. My parents took me to every doctor under the sun and we couldn’t figure out why it was happening. Now I know it was my anxiety but I had no idea then that something so emotional could cause something so physical. My anxiety brought me migraines which would literally make me lose my vision, throw up, and be stuck in a bed for days at a time. Then I got to college and it died down a little but still hung over my head. I think that’s when I realized the migraines were all about anxiety. School brought me so much stress that I would find myself in the middle of the day hanging my head over our creepy college apartment toilet holding myself back from throwing up. Turns out college wasn’t my thing and I dropped out after about a year and a half of school to pursue other dreams.
Removing things that bring me stress has eliminated a lot of my anxiety. I have a job with a roughly low level of stress, I live a carefree life. I just kind of figured that since I had eliminated the items that brought me stress, I was fine. Obviously, I would still get stressed like anyone does but nothing like my literally being ill and not being able to live my life. I went months without any anxiety and it felt SO FREEING. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I could finally live my life. Like REALLY live. And then – it came back.
Over Christmas of this last year, I had the opportunity to meet my parents in Peru to backpack Machu Picchu. My parents were living in Ecuador at the time so I was flying alone. All the sudden on the plane leaving Utah, I felt anxiety. It all came flooding back and I panicked. Should I just fly back home? It honestly crossed my mind multiple times. But I realized that was ridiculous and just pushed through. Made it to Peru, met up with my parents, and headed to our hotel. I got in late so we went straight to getting ready for bed. I literally didn’t even make it to brushing my teeth before I started sobbing. I didn’t want my sweet parents to see so I hurry and jumped in the shower to cover up the tears. I finally got out and climbed into bed. I tried to contain the sobs but finally, my mom heard me and hopped into my bed. I think I probably cried until about 6am. I honestly have no idea why my anxiety attacks happen. She kept asking why I was upset, what we could do, what was happening. I had no idea. I still don’t. Every time it happens, I have no answers. That’s the most frustrating part. I can’t do anything because I don’t have answers. I won’t tell you about the whole trip and all the details. I was supposed to stay roughly a month and ended up staying about two weeks. My amazing parents bought a very last minute / very expensive plane ticket back to Utah for me. They didn’t have to but they knew it was what I needed.
Guys this story has no resolution. This still happens to me all the time. I will go out with people and have to have them take me home because I lose it. I go out on vacations with friends and stay alone in the hotel on certain days. At this point, I don’t really mind it. I’ve found ways to cope with my anxiety. I’ve realized it is here to stay, at least for now, and that’s ok. I kind of like that my story has no resolution because that makes it more real in my eyes. I wish I could say it is over and I have solved it but I SO haven’t and that’s ok. I’ve found ways to still live a VERY happy life with anxiety. If I need to take a day to lock myself in my room and be alone, that’s ok.
Honestly, this has been A LOT of blabbering on my part. Lots of explaining that I am sure made zero sense. Here is a quick summary – I have anxiety – It sucks – I’ve found ways to deal with it because it is my burden to carry in this life and that is ok. I am almost grateful for it (love-hate relationship yuh know?). Would I give it away if I could? HELL YES. Do I embrace it now? You bet I do.