It is hard to know where to start with this post, as my anxiety has so many different facets and layers, and has been a part of my life in some form or another since I can remember.

Hence, this is part one. Because I reckon I could write a novel on this topic.

I was always a shy child. I remember hiding behind my mum when meeting people for the first time. Although I was (and still am in some circumstances) shy, I always made friends easily and have no problem connecting with people and forming close bonds. But only with those that I choose. I am VERY selective as to who I let into my little world. Only a few will ever know the real me, and I am only now very happy and satisfied with that fact.

Because I was quiet, I was a target at school. I always seemed to be the one that was picked on… I guess because I wasn’t confident and loud like the “bullies” were. So instead of sticking up for myself, I would crawl into a ball and cry. I remember crying to my teacher when I was in year 5, during lunch breaks, because people were teasing me, and I had no real friends. I actually ended up leaving school prematurely (half-way through year 11), because I was teased so much – even though I was doing well with my grades, and on the path to going to university to become a Nutritionist, I just couldn’t take the bullying anymore. So I left school at 16, became “day crew” at McDonalds, and enrolled into Beauty School at Ella Bache. Beauty School drop-out.

I think this developed social anxiety for me. Although I would now call myself a “confident introvert”, I still have that scared little girl inside, terrified of being teased and worried about what people will think of me. As I write this, tears are welling up in my eyes… obviously still a sore point (even though I have seen numerous counsellor’s on the topic!)

I think this is enough for part one of my anxiety journey.

In part two, I will talk about how anxiety has affected me in my adult life. And part three, I will talk about how I effectively manage it, and have learned to really love it and appreciate it (most of the time!). Most importantly, I will talk about how I have come to REALLY love myself, and value myself, and not give a shit about dickhead “bullies” anymore!

Who knows if there will be any more “parts” after that…

The purpose of me sharing this, is an attempt to get rid of the stigma that is associated with anxiety, and mental illness in general. I am not ashamed of it, and my hope is to reach out and help others learn to manage their anxiety, and not be afraid of it anymore.

I won’t let my anxiety stop me from anything!!!

Love Erin xoxo