I am more than my anxiety. I am happy.
Anxiety can be all-consuming and it is incredibly hard not to let it take over your life. Lots of the time it can be tough to convince yourself to leave the house, and to do simple tasks like going to work or speaking on the phone can be terrifying. My anxiety can range from just nervous energy to my body breaking out in hives and being unable to breathe or see. It used to take up a large portion of my life, but now with the help of therapists and medication, and learning to face my fears, it is only a small part of me.
One trait that I highly value in myself is my ability to find the good in bad situations. I like to find small things that bring me joy, like belting out a song while driving, or watching all of the Harry Potter movies in a row, or eating mac and cheese, or dancing alone in my room and truly letting go.
Performing is something that has always brought me immense joy, and I am so grateful I have been able to find my passion so early in life. The arts are such a wonderful outlet and there is truly nothing like being on the stage. I remember when I was 10 being in my first real musical Oliver on a real stage. I had the first solo line in the show, “Cold jelly and custard!” and I will never forget the spotlight hitting me and not being able to see anything except the blinding white light and knowing that I had found my career.
A small thing that changed my view of myself was cutting my hair a year ago. As silly as it may be, I used to hide behind my 2 feet of hair. It became my security blanket and I would hate putting it up because it would lose that effect and people would start actually looking at my face. I thought that it defined who I was. Then I started going through a rough patch in my life and I decided I needed to cut it. I didn’t want to but I knew it was time to start living without my security blanket. I went to the salon and cut 12 inches off my hair. I cried for two days straight and then I never looked back.
It was time for me to start allowing myself to accept change because it is inevitable. I realized that I am so much more than the parts of myself that I focus on, whether they be positive or negative. I am more than my hair; I am more than my anxiety. Every single person has so many millions of intricate details about them, some they don’t share with anyone, like their guilty pleasures or their deepest darkest secrets; some are the first things you notice about them like their voice or their appearance; and some are right there for you to discover about them if you look past your first impression. I love roses and peonies, my favorite drink is raspberry lemonade, I love to travel, I get grumpy if I don’t have caffeine, I love playing with puppies, I’m happiest when I’m on the stage, and I could watch reruns of “Friends” for hours. I’m learning to see myself as a whole person, not just the parts of myself that I don’t like. I love myself, all of myself.
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