So like many of you out there, I am an anxious child, always was and always will (probably) be. When we are young children, we tend to be more ruthless and more out there, we search to discover and learn about the world around us and sometimes I miss that. Although I am an introvert, I tend to make huge efforts to follow my dreams and take big steps…for some, those steps are of no import, but to me, they are huge accomplishments because the fear and anxiety I go through is unreal. Because of my huge anxiety issues, I ended up with IBS and it’s the worst!!! Stress is a killer yo! I think for many of us, it’s so much easier to hide behind closed doors than putting ourselves out there to be judged.
It is hard to believe for many that I am an anxious person, because I tend to hide my feelings super well, so well that my poker face can’t be broken. I am hard on giving away anything at all…sometimes, especially in the beginning or our relationship, my husband would get frustrated with me because he couldn’t read me or know truly how I felt. But over the years, I have learned to let my guard down and full let him in, it was hard, but I made it and even though sometime I don’t tell him everything, I would say that the progress I have made is tremendous. It’s all partly because of him really, my husband helped me get through a lot of self-confidence issues I have had in my life and has made me fall in love with myself as he fell in love with me. He made me accept my flaws and work with them for the better. He doesn’t judge me but instead takes the time to guide me and push me out of my comfort zone. I truly am the luckiest girl in the world.
This doesn’t mean that I am over my anxiety, on the contrary, I feel like since moving to Palestine, it got worst. I was afraid to leave the house on my own, go shop on my own or be anywhere in public on my own. If I had a meeting or an event to go to in Palestine, I would start thinking about it for weeks beforehand and then go through sleepless nights dreading for the day to arrive. I, sometimes, made excuses to avoid going to certain meetings because I was so anxious; I would have really bad knots in the pit of my stomach, which led me to eating less, sleeping less and stressing more. Ugh, sucks!
I remember when we used to go to public places when I was younger, my mum would get frustrated with me when I was impatient and wanted to go home, I would try to explain to her how I felt, but she couldn’t get me…I guess the language barrier was much too strong. But reflecting on it now, perhaps I didn’t need to be as nervous or uneasy with life but I couldn’t control it.
This anxiety has given me a clear title in many of my social circles…I was either known as the bitch face, the conceited girl or the ice queen. I wasn’t proud of those titles but I never felt like I should defend myself because it was pointless. The first impression I always gave off was bad and perhaps this is why I struggled to make any friends in Palestine. I never intend to be that way and for those suffering with anxiety know what I mean. I am socially awkward and that I know I have tried to be more open and less rigid when attending public event. Working with a huge group of people and in the fashion industry has given me the chance to improve my social skills. I think, as long as we try to do our best and improve, that’s all the matters. And no matter what, do not listen to other people’s negative comments; you’re full of yourself, you’re bitchy, you’re dry….just let it go, because those who don’t have anxiety don’t know how real the struggle is, to get out of the house sometimes is so stressful I want to pass out.
I remember cancelling many events and outings with friends because I was dreading the whole going out in public part. I always prefer staying home, curled in the comfort of my sheets and the comfort of my room. I realize now how stupid I was for not taking more chances in my life, will I call it regret, absolutely not! Because I still did a lot and accomplished so much. However, there are opportunities that I never took because I was too afraid to take them and let my self-doubt and anxiety take over; working for Cirque du Soleil or working for Maire St-Pierre or even opening a store…those were some of the major let downs that I went through in my adult life. Even starting a blog was a dreadful task for me, I love writing and wanted to do it a long time ago, but I couldn’t because I was too anxious from the response I would get. My sister pushed me to finally go through with it and I am forever grateful! Regardless of what happened in the past, I still have my own fashion line, my vintage online shop, got through many TV interviews and went on insane travels. But most of all, I moved continents, to an unstable place; to be with the man I love…that to me is brave! I am not going to lie about how much of a battle I went through to do that move and how many panic attacks I got…but I finally did it and this is a story I will tell my little child over and over again to help her be the strongest woman she can be and to push herself and explore the universe and to leave her mark for others to see.
Despite my “issue” I always was a doer and never a follower, I always wanted more for myself and had too many ambitions. So, at the end of the day, I think what helps me most with my anxiety is to surround myself with people I love and who push me to get out of my comfort zone. Even if I am afraid, I still want more…besides LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. So, get out there and do what you want to do, even if you’re anxious, because we only live once!