Julia Michaels released her second EP, "Inner Monologue" on 24 January 2019, a week earlier than her original release date.

Julia wrote six songs on the EP.

i. Anxiety, featuring Selena Gomez

ii. Into You

iii. Happy

iv. Deep

v. Apple

vi. What a Time, featuring Niall Horan

It's not a shock to anyone that I have felt a connection with a song on Julia's album. I love her. She's incredibly inspiring and I love her music. I have been waiting for the EP since she announced that she was writing, and I have been waiting to see her in concert for two years. ( But, I'm seeing her on 4 March and I finally am meeting her!)

Julia's song, "Anxiety", impacted me the most out of the six songs. Of course, I cried when I heard Niall's voice on "What a Time", however when I heard "Anxiety" for the first time, I started crying in the middle of the lecture hall.

It's one of those songs that hits you. I'm sure you know what I mean. It's that song that makes you feel something. It's that song that makes you feel understood. It's that song that makes you feel like you're normal.

Julia's first stanza says,

My friends, they wanna take me to the movies
I tell 'em to f*ck off, I'm holding hands with my depression
And right when I think I've overcome it
Anxiety starts kicking in to teach that sh*t a lesson
Oh, I try my best just to be social
I make all these plans with friends and hope they call and cancel
Then I overthink about the things I'm missing
Now I'm wishing I was with 'em

It's so hard to explain what anxiety feels like. It's like your chest is outrageously heavy and your brain aches whenever you have to make a decision, and when you have to make a choice to go out with a friend or two? Don't even try to talk to me for at least an hour because I need at least that long to understand and decide on the positives and negatives of going.

It doesn't end there though. Once you make a decision, you are questioning that decision. Should I have gone? Should I have stayed home? Are they talking about me? Am I annoying them? Should I try to leave early?

It's not an easy answer.

It's not something that everyone can understand, either. Julia, though, Julia understands, and she wrote a song to tell us that she understands.

Feel like I'm always apologizing for feeling
Like I'm out of my mind when I'm doing just fine
And my exes all say that I'm hard to deal with
And I admit it, yeah

But all my friends, they don't know what it's like, what it's like
They don't understand why I can't sleep through the night
I've been told that I could take something to fix it
Damn, I wish it, I wish it was that simple, ah
All my friends they don't know what it's like, what it's like

"...they don't know what it's like."

I can't explain to you what those lyrics meant to me.

In Classroom Building II of the University of Central Florida campus, I began crying.

It's not something that many people understand. Believe me, I have tried so hard to have my friends understand what's wrong, yet, every time I have to cancel or cannot make an event, someone is mad or upset with me.

She understands, though. She gets it. She knows what it's like.

It's not an easy concept - anxiety. I understand that. It's not something you can really understand if you don't have it.

I don't expect anyone to understand. I don't expect anyone to try and pretend that they have the anxiety to know what it's like.

It's not what I want, because I don't want anyone to feel this way.

I'm so grateful that Julia has written a song about a mental health disorder that not many understand or misuse. I'm so grateful that Julia wrote a song about her struggle to help me with mine.

Julia, thank you for helping me - thank you so much for helping me. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for being a reason that my anxiety isn't debilitating every day.

I cannot wait to hug you.

I'll see you soon.

Love,

A Gem