For years, I would do or say (or not do or say) things solely based upon how I thought people would perceive me. If I said or did something that wasn’t perfect, I’d spent hours (if not days) beating myself up for it. I decided people (friends, co-workers, random supermarket cashier) were judging me because what I said or did wasn’t perfect.
Friends, I did this for years. It was exhausting.
I was in a constant state of turmoil. I wasn’t able to truly be myself. I didn’t love myself and if I didn’t love me, then how could anyone love me. It was horrible. Truly horrible.
It wasn’t until January when I was watching a Married to Jonas marathon (oh, laugh it up, but reality TV is my jam) that I realized what I was feeling was anxiety. (Spoiler: Dani suffers from anxiety and somehow I was able to recognize many of my own irrational fears in her.) While I’d like to say I was able to seek help right away, I didn’t. It took me a while to put on my big girl panties and see my doctor.
As a result of talking to my doctor and examining the cause of my anxiety (there isn’t one, I have what’s known as generalized anxiety) I started a daily medication for my anxiety. I’ve been taking this for a number of months and I can’t even begin to explain the change I’ve seen in my life and in my friendships. It’s truly been remarkable.
Even my mother guessed something what up before she even saw me in person. That’s either a testament to 1) how well the meds are working or 2) how badly I was messed up before I started taking them. Either way, I’ll take it because I’m happy now.
And that fear of being judged? Isn’t there so much anymore.
I’ll admit I did have second thoughts when deciding to take part in a 30-day self-portrait challenge, but since my goal is to be unapologetically awesome, I shrugged it off and decided to go for it.
Do I think I’ll be judged for doing this? Probably. I’ll probably be judged for having a blog, talking too much about running, not talking enough about running, talking about anxiety and for being me.
I’m okay with it.
For the first time, I’m really and truly okay with it because I love who I am.