Standing in SUNSHINE

I’ve always been one to appreciate my privacy. I’m not sure if that’s because I was afraid of others judgement or I just enjoyed the peace and quiet. Maybe, it’s a beautiful combination of both. Either way, I’ve grown to stand in the sunshine and want to share my story.

Anxiety, fear, judgement, self-consciousness, self-doubt… I think we have all been in one of those emotions at one point in time. It’s a catch 22 for me because aesthetically, I love beautiful things but at times, inside I was a beautiful mess. It’s so easy to put a smile on your face but inside be completely at odds with yourself. Your family can love you, your friends can love you, your spouse can love you. But, if you do not love YOURSELF, you cannot appreciate the joy that is surrounding you and the beauty that lies in the unconditional love.

I’ve always considered myself to be an extremely lucky person. I was raised in a traditional loving family that from the outside looked extremely healthy, I had and have wonderful friends that have always excepted me for me, I’ve had my dream job(s) in the fashion industry and now I’m married to a man that is truly a wonderful person to the core. But, with anxiety comes a need to fill a void. A feeling of “fight or flight” when things do not go your way and a state of panic when the unknown arises. So, I decided it was time to slay these dragons. These dragons are keeping me from being in the present and enjoying what IS right in front of me. This is a daily battle that I face and I constantly need to check in with myself because this is a part of me that will stay. But, the difference is — I control IT and I do not let it control me.

Seeking an incredible therapist for me was the first step in gaining control. Sounds easy, right? No! Having anxiety also means having a hard time with the ability to trust. Letting someone in and letting them see YOU is extremely challenging but proved to be incredibly rewarding. But, we all have a choice and my choice is to always be the best version of myself. And ultimately, the most rewarding and still sometimes the most challenging is to not give a FUCK what people think. We don’t know what is going on in the life of the person sitting next to us. We don’t know what demons people face day to-day. But, we can choose to love ourselves and be kind to others because giving positive energy into the universe is simply the most beautiful gift we can give.

So, what is “fight or flight” — It’s a psychological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived event, attack, or event. What this means is that your body literally assumes it is being attacked and needs to prepare for survival. It is gaining energy from every ounce of your body and sending blood from your brain to your limbs to be able run from the threat. Basically, you run a marathon without the benefit of losing the calories and being able to consume a yummy cheeseburger afterwards. (Boo!)

I know that my body does and has done this many times and it’s truly mentally exhausting.

Sometimes, opening up to a close friend or family member is a good idea to just bounce ideas and release some emotion. But, be cognizant that a lot of people might not understand your anxiety and therefore, will not able to mend that wound. I think the first step is truly being comfortable with the idea of being vulnerable. Vulnerability is one of the hardest things to be able to do because we are basically standing naked in front of that person asking them not to look at our chunky thighs. (Insane, right?)

So, I decided to just make baby steps. Do not let fear guide my day but acknowledge that it IS there and it is a part of who I am. Acceptance! Accepting that I have anxiety but not to let it determine the person I want to be. I also adamant about not exposing my fear and anxiety to my beautiful daughter. I want her to chase fear and stare those dragons in the eye. But, the best way to do that is to lead by example.

For me, I decided that-every morning I am going to sit down and take thirty minutes to myself. Thirty minutes to sit there and think about my fears and wallow in my anxiety. I am going to allow myself to immerse in those negative thoughts for THIRTY minutes. I am then going to close that book of negativity and start my day. I am going to smile, I am going to allow myself to feel raw emotion and accept ME for me — good, bag and ugly. And. I’m going to acknowledge that I struggle. I am also going to acknowledge that some days are just pure SHIT. But, every day also has beauty and sunshine if you just eliminate the clouds. So, let’s bring out the sunshine together, not fear anxiety but, embrace it.

Be YOU for YOU are beautiful!