Anxiety as an extrovert…

What makes you say you’re an extrovert? 

I am outgoing and sociable. I enjoy conversations with peers and I’m not afraid to speak my mind. I enjoy meeting new people and I often put myself out of my comfort zone. 

I guess you could say I started suffering with anxiety before I was fully aware of it. It started off with feeling nervous meeting friends that I saw all the time, to gradually escalating to avoiding people in general.

There are likely to be roots to my anxiety that I’m unaware of, however, what I am aware of, is that anxiety played a part during a time of my life where I was suffering with depression. You could say that they come hand in hand. 

A little background: 

To be able to explain how far I’ve come and how I got here, I need to share a little bit of my background. During a period of time where I felt depressed, I gained a lot of unnecessary weight, became self-deprecating and felt as though I didn’t know or like myself. I was angry and passive aggressive at times. My relationships had deteriorated. I felt completely lost… but at that point, I didn’t let myself acknowledge it. I was drinking often, and my main objective in life was to hang out with my friends and have fun. I didn’t take others peoples’ feelings much into consideration, nor did I have much of a care about what my future would look like. 

After years of reckless behaviour, we suffered a death in our family of someone very close to our hearts. This made me see that my family needed me and more importantly, that my loved ones were suffering and that I wasn’t making things better or easier by being the way I was.

Enough was enough. I knew I could do better. So one day, I started researching into university courses, weighed up my options, filled out the application and successfully landed a placement. Shortly after, I started attending university. I started on the path of making something of myself. 

This wasn’t an easy change. Even whilst attending university, I made it difficult for myself to succeed. I made toxic decisions and acted juvenile. Sticking to some of my old ways with just wanting to have fun. With that being said, I did start to gradually gain back my self-pride and focus. I managed to do this through determination and living up to my own expectations to succeed, despite the bumps along the way. My graduation was one of my proudest moments of my life, as it was for my family too. 

What happened after? 

I progressed after university through jobs, meeting new people and gaining independence. I knew I wanted to help people succeed in their lives and be the best versions of themselves. I am now a full time worker for a training provider in which I help our younger generation to be motivated, think positively and reach their potential. 

I am a confident, driven individual with anxiety. It’s a catch 22. I am also healthy, happy and trying to become a better version of myself every day. I often struggle to explain why I get anxiety or to even fully understand it myself.

However I do find it a lot easier now to openly tell people that I suffer with anxiety, whether this be at work, to my partner or a friend. Most importantly of all, I find it easier to address it with myself. I tell myself that it’s ok that I’m having some anxiety. I control my breathing, share my thoughts and re-evaluate the situation in its entirety. 

I hope my story in a nutshell can give you some peace today and support you with knowing that you are not alone. 

Take good care x