For as long as I can remember, I felt uncomfortable and scared. As a little girl, I never knew why I felt this way. I just knew that it made me feel different and alone. I stayed busy and excelled in school and sports. I learned to smile through it, and focus on other people and their needs and wants to help me avoid mine. This led me to people pleasing and doing what I was supposed to be doing. As everything looked great from the outside, I was struggling internally. I kept it up for a long time as I pushed it deeper and deeper within me. But as I grew older, it was difficult to keep up appearances.
The anxiety was getting worse and I could feel it bubbling up higher and higher within me. I began to be chronically anxious and found myself looking for anything to help ease it. This included co-dependent relationships, alcohol use, extreme people pleasing, etc. which led me down a destructive path. To make matters worse, there were many family issues and experiences that added to the anxiety, and later to what I found out was deep-rooted trauma. I got to the point where I couldn’t live. I was barely surviving and doing it with little to no support.
I didn’t understand what was happening and I didn’t allow many people in as I didn’t think they would understand. This was an invisible illness that took over my life to the point where I didn’t leave my house for over 6 months. I was so scared and alone, and many didn’t even realize it was a problem. Ans some of the closest people to me who did realize, did nothing about it. I was lost, but deep down I knew it was up to me to get better. The only problem was that I never knew me without being defined by someone else. I didn’t learn to trust and accept myself. How was I supposed to climb out of this hole?
I did research after research and it made me even more anxious. There were so many opinions and everyone had one. I knew that I was going to have to give the little I had left to myself and believe in me. So, I took it day by day, and eventually got to the point where I could start living. It has and will always be a challenge as well as a journey. But it is worth it to me. Along the way, I learned a lot about self-acceptance, mental health, and finding my purpose. And part of that purpose was helping others to find themselves, especially women. I vowed to continue my journey and share my story.
I wanted other women to hear my experiences and know that they are not alone. I wanted women to know that they have everything they need within themselves, and that they are always enough, capable, and worthy, even when they don’t feel like they are, and even when others have been telling them differently. I needed women to know that they didn’t need to remain small; their voices and their opinions mattered. They matter; YOU matter. This is the essence of Lady B Collective.