Anxiety – is a feeling inside of you that never goes away.
I never felt comfortable in social situations. I would always be thinking –
“What if they don’t like me?”
“Am I dressed the right way?”
“Are they laughing at me?”
The cycle of internal speech I had learned from myself always answered back with-
“They don’t like you!”
“You look horrible/fat/ugly!”
“They are laughing at you”
The problem is, after years of this internal self dialogue, I stopped asking the questions, I assumed the answers, and I would come up with reasons not to go out, reasons not to show up, reasons to back out. I didn’t feel worthy of doing any of it.
The tipping point for me was one date night – Steve and I had a sitter, we had a plan to go see one of his friends at their restaurant, and we got dressed up, and we went out. We pulled into the parking lot, and I had a panic attack. I couldn’t open the door, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t go inside. Steve was angry – he didn’t understand, and I was sad because I just wanted to be able to get dressed up and go out. The only person stopping me – was me.
This needed to change. I couldn’t be the wife he needed me to be, or the mom I needed to be if I couldn’t enjoy social situations. My anxiety was digging me into a hole where no one could come in and I couldn’t get out. I said stop – this needs more than I can do on my own. I talked to my doctor, and we decide to do something about it.
This was a time before LuLaRoe was in my life. This was a time when I was finishing college (as an adult) and trying to find my identity outside of mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend. I didn’t have a definition who I was. Those other definitions are amazing definitions if you feel complete. I did not. This is what needed to change. I set out a plan to be more intentional, take small steps, and change what I could.
A lot has changed since that date night. Through LuLaRoe, I have overcome many of my anxiety holds. I am constantly meeting new people, entering unfamiliar environments, and socializing with new people every day. Honestly, I cannot pinpoint the moment the change happened, but I can say – I have never felt more alive. I get to meet new women every day. Women who are looking for a dress for a date, a chance to earn free clothes, women who haven’t worn a dress for years who slip one on and their eyes light up. I realized that if I hadn’t opened my doors, my home, my heart to welcoming others in, I wouldn’t have been able to offer that dress, those clothes, or that sparkle of joy in those women’s lives. I found my reason – my completion.
This weekend, I had a conversation with a friend, and she said something to me that made me realize, I needed another change. She said, “Melendy – you are an inspiration to me.” – what a powerful statement. Then, she continued to tell me that knowing where I was in my anxiety, and where I am now, she saw the ability to find herself through her own anxiety. She thought she needed a career to feel whole, but she has realized that being a wife/mom/friend made her feel fulfilled. Her joy is in being with her children and being present.
While we were talking, a third friend joined in the conversation. She informed friend ‘A’ that she was inspired by her ability to be home with her children…a table of inspiration. None of us walked into that room and said – I want to be an inspiration. We walked into the room and all thought let’s have a fun night. The next change I need to make is I need to talk about it more. I need others to know they are not alone. What is so wrong with being an inspiration, or even a launching point for others to find themselves.
Finding yourself. That is the hardest thing to do. Are there days it is hard? Of course there are,but I have grown from where I was. There is a confidence in myself, a confidence I didn’t know was deep down inside me. The cycle of self doubt and self destructive dialogue do show up on occasion- but they don’t have a place at my table anymore. I have set a place for – love – welcome – joy – sharing – friends – and living life!
What do you set a place for at your table?
Who can you inspire?
How can I help you?
(disclaimer – I am not a doctor, and If you are struggling with feelings of Anxiety or depression – you should seek help from a medial professional – and your friends and family you can find information here)