To The Girl Who Is Hiding Her Anxiety Behind Her Smile

To The Girl Who Is Hiding Her Anxiety Behind Her Smile

You are doing yourself more harm than good keeping this to yourself.

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I feel like I have been extremely blessed in how I was raised and the love that was given out to me. I have had amazing friends, good grades, hobbies that have given me inspiration, and overall happiness and thankfulness for the life I am living. But, since the start of college, things slowly shifted into a feeling I had never felt before and funks that I was unable to get myself out of.

Instead of talking about these feelings I was having, I hid it behind a smile and being happier than I truly was. It was easy to cover up my anxiety by giving a lot of love to others and focusing my energy on others happiness instead of my own. I realized this past year that my anxiety had reached a point that was out of my control where I frequently was having panic attacks and always felt so alone and stressed.

I constantly was in my own head about issues I was going through but was too scared to talk to others about it. I worked really hard to be involved and overfill my plate so I didn't have time to think about how unbalanced I always was feeling. It finally hit me this past year when I had several anxiety attacks where I felt as far away from myself than I ever could've imagined. I felt alone and like I was in a hole I wasn't sure how to dig out of. I finally reached out to my mom and had her come up to school to listen to what I had been going through over the past couple of months.

Here is what I learned:

You will never figure anxiety out on your own.

My anxiety got out of control in 2018. I had never felt more singled out and confused about who I was. I was looking for reasons behind why I was feeling the way I was and bottled it up. I kept it to myself because I knew that there were people out there in the world with far greater issues than I.

I didn't want to draw attention to myself for something I thought I could handle, but I couldn't. The path to me finding internal happiness and strength was when I opened up and shared the issues I was having with my mom. I was able to explain and work on creating a plan to figure out how to get back on track and in control of my life. After revealing what I was going through, I had someone on my side. I was no longer alone. I had someone that daily was checking in on me to see how I was feeling and someone to send me inspiration and guide me to doing more things for myself.

You have anxiety, that doesn't mean you are seeking attention.

Like me, you probably are scared to tell others you are feeling different and having panic attacks because you don't want to infringe your problems on someone else, you can see others have issues of their own, and there are far worse things going on in the world than the little anxiety you're dealing with.

Well, you are wrong.

I thought all of those things but dealing with anxiety alone is a huge issue and can create large problems. It is always better to find the support. It is scary to be vulnerable and let others know that you have struggled or are struggling, like this article. But being upfront and honest is the way I have found happiness.

Almost everyone these days goes through something regarding their mental health.

You are not alone. I knew that too, and I was still scared. Your mental health is important to learn about. It is crucial that you know your body and understands what it needs to be happy, have less stress, and live a good life. Everyone is dealing with some sort of inner battle and some just choose to hide it. If you are upfront about what is going on to your loved ones or important people in your life, you could potentially be helping them as well.

Hiding your anxiety behind happiness can do more damage than good.

I truly thought that hiding my anxiety by focusing my love on others would fix my issues. I still deal with that today. I find myself sometimes giving people more love than I give myself and that is something that I realize and am working towards. Hiding your anxiety behind your happiness can do you more harm than good.

Being overly happy and welcoming actually made me feel worse. I always got compliments on how "nice" or "sweet" to others I was and that made me so sad inside that I couldn't feel that way about myself and what I was going through. Hiding your mental wellness can put your farther behind than you want.

My mental health will be something that I am always working on. I know that when I get overly stressed or have arguments with others my anxiety and stress levels will fluctuate. It is an ongoing battle that can easily be handled if we all stay on top of it and read our bodies.


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Sorry I'm A Size 00

But I'm not really sorry.
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My whole life I’ve been thin—which is kind of an understatement. Every time I go to the doctor I get the same “you’re underweight” lecture that I’ve heard every year since I was able to form memories. I’ve never really felt insecure about my weight, I love being able to eat everything and not gain a single pound. Since my freshman year of high school I’ve probably only gained 8 pounds and I’m now a sophomore in college. Of course, in school, there were rumors that I was anorexic or bulimic, but everyone who knew me knew that was far from the truth. I’m now 19, 5’2, and I still have yet to break 100 pounds on the scale. It seems that there is a lot of skinny shaming going around and to me, one of the main contributors to that is the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this because skinny girls get all the praise and other body types are neglected. That’s really not true, though. While loving other body types, you are tearing down skinny girls. Why is it okay to do that to skinny girls but not to other body types? Why is it okay to say “only dogs like bones” or say “every body type is beautiful” until you see a model's abs, or ribs, or thigh gap and then tear them down because they’re “unnaturally” skinny?



The point I’m trying to make is that, as a naturally skinny girl, I have never shamed anyone for their body type, yet I go every day and get at least two comments about my weight. I’m always the skinny girl, the toothpick, but I’m not Jessica. Yeah, I’m a size 00. Get over it. If you have an issue with my body and feel like my body is disgusting to you, don’t look at it. I know that I’m healthy and I don’t need your input when my body just naturally burns calories fast. I don’t have an eating disorder and never have. I am real beauty though, and I know that because I’m comfortable in my own skin. So maybe the real issue is that we as a society have been shoving certain body types down our daughters’ throats so they begin to romanticize models that have certain standards that they have to meet, who work hard for the bodies that they have, and are making a hell of a lot more money than most of the people discussing why they look emaciated while what they’re actually looking at is the photoshopped product.

I’m not going to apologize for being skinny when that is just how my body is, I can’t help it. So please, stop tearing my body down while trying to bring your body up. You can praise your body without shaming skinny girls. Shaming me for being thin does not make you better than the man that shamed your body, just as me shaming you for being curvy does not make me better than the man that shamed my body. As women, we need to love each other because we are the only ones who truly understand each other.


Cover Image Credit: Victoria's Secret Untouched

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I'm The Person Who Always Says 'Yes' And I'm Tired Of It

I'm sorry for being blunt, but being a people pleaser is a tiring job.

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Being a people pleaser runs in my family. My mom and I talk about this weakness of ours all the time, especially when we are both worn out from saying "yes" too much.

When it comes to academics, I always go above and beyond to ensure I did everything correctly in order to please the professor or teacher. If there's ever an instance where I feel as if I can't meet or complete a task, my anxiety takes over and out comes a handy-dandy panic attack. Typically, this ends with tears rolling down my cheeks, a headache, and someone telling me to worry about myself and to not stress if it's hurting me too much (if they see me panicking, that is).

Me going to check off "handy-dandy panic attack" in my handy-dandy notebook after a long day.

As a high schooler, the game of saying "yes" was easy and somewhat manageable. In college, however, that game has changed, and it has changed drastically. There was something about non-stop work that was added in… not a fan.

I don't know why saying "yes" has always been instilled in me, but I cannot think of a time when I was not constantly saying "yes" to others. The moments you will always catch me saying "yes" are moments when it comes to helping someone. Sometimes I interject myself because I feel guilty if I don't offer the help.

Of course, there are instances when I truly mean the offer I give, but then there are other moments when I highly regret asking. There have been plenty of times where I have gotten myself into too many outings at once and my extroverted-introverted self becomes beyond angry with myself.

If I say "no" to someone, there's this sense of guilt that hangs over my head for at least a week and it doesn't go away.

While I enjoy making others happy in (almost) any way possible, I believe it is time for me to start saying "no." This does not mean I will be saying "no" to every single thing someone asks me to do, but rather, I'll take a second to think about how much time and energy will have to go into the whole situation before diving in headfirst.

My new slogan will be "Just say no… sometimes."

Instead of stressing over every detail of an assignment for class, I'll stress over the major details rather than the microscopic ones. Before I interject myself into a situation, I will take a moment and think about whether my help is even necessary or wanted. This will be no easy task, especially for this anxiety-ridden people pleaser, but I am going to do the best I can. The over-achiever in me needs to sit down, take a chill pill, and over-achieve in the category of saying "no."

For those who also say "yes" way too much: breathe. The world will be okay without our help, even if it feels like it won't.

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