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To the One Hiding Your Anxiety

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It’s so incredibly easy, isn’t it?

To curl up in a ball and continue to hide inside of your shell, your safety net, your comfort zone.

This the place where you feel the most like yourself, where you don’t have to worry about what others think. It’s the best feeling in the world.

Although you are such a strong person, independent, ambitious, driven, determined and motivated, it is continuously overshadowed. By a secret, a thieving, sneaky ogre deep inside of you. Something no one else can “see,” but it has complete and total control. Of every aspect of your life. Of every move you make. Of every. single. thought that floats through your mind.

You are terrified to let anyone else know. About this monster. Because, the reality is, they might associate you with “it.”

“It” has nothing to do with who you really are.

This “it” is a seven letter secret. It drags by its side a plethora of stereotypes.

You know you fit none of them. Yet, you are afraid you will be labeled as all of them by those who know you the best and those who don’t know you at all. You know these labels by name. They are your worst nightmare and your greatest enemy. They are your greatest hill to climb and overcome.

Therefore, you continue working overtime to keep it all in, so you don’t have to continuously worry about others’ perception of you.

Stigmas. They carry such an unbelievably negative connotation.








I can see why you like to bury it all. Because I do too.

Every. single. day.

You see, that’s the thing, though. There are so very many of us out there, with such amazing stories to share, but we are so incredibly nervous to do so. Because we know there’s a good chance we’ll become a label.

And the truth is, we don’t need that anxiety whirling through our minds. We have enough going on in there as it is. So, we make the most “comfortable” choice.

But me? I have battled this bandit for a long time, for as long as I can remember, from my first memories until now. Each and every day, I battle this as a woman and a mother. I battle in today’s social media driven society, always worried about what others think. I people please to the core. And, I have to tell you, I am utterly exhausted.

So, a few years ago, I decided to let my family and friends in on my little secret, hands shaking and all. Their response? Shocking. More and more people started opening up to me, sharing their own battles with me. It refueled me with courage and gave me newfound passion to be a cheerleader for others.

In the wake of such a consuming and deflating “illness” and in a world filled with judgment, vanity and instantaneous opinion, hiding is the easy part. Vulnerability never feels easy. Please, believe me when I say I understand your fear. I live your worry every moment of every day.

What has pushing through the uncomfortableness, the “shame,” the distress and the anxiety mounted on anxiety done? It has allowed me to share with you the one thing you are not — alone.

Originally published: July 28, 2016
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