January 25 17

The constant need to be busy. Being on the go is a bit like a drug to feed the anxiety beast. If I’m working several jobs, if I’m focused on my new ballet classes or 6th grade math homework or taking multiple photography classes or making lists or reading books or listening to podcasts or downloading new music or simply searching for something on my phone, it keeps my mind off of my mind. 

Being unable to say no.

Perfectionism.

Taking on too much, yet still feeling like I’m not doing enough.

Being so tired, all the time.

Being so tired, but not being able to fall asleep.

Being so tired, but not being able to stay asleep.

Nervous laughter.

Apologizing. A lot.

Telling people how comically bad I am at things because my brain tells me that it’s a safer option than the risk of someone mocking me. I am really a terrible bowler, even though I’m from Wisconsin. Just wait until you see me do karaoke. And don’t even get me started on dancing. 

Checking and re-checking. YES, I have my phone in my purse, let me just check one more time to be surely sure.

The inability to quit things — this 100 Days of Real Food diet, books I’m not enjoying, Grey’s Anatomy.

Stressing about a restaurant menu. About making a phone call. About answering a phone call. About *not* answering a phone call. About what to wear to parent-teacher conferences. {Am I overdressed? Am I underdressed? Is everyone looking at me? Is there something on my face?} About traveling. About boats. About crossing the border.

Overthinking a conversation. A text message. An email. A Facebook comment. Minutes, hours, days, sometimes even weeks later. I’m still thinking about that weird thing I said at the 7th grade spelling bee. No really.

Indigestion. Stomach aches. Nausea. Chills. Sweats. Chest pressure. Racing heart.

Panic attacks. Sometimes at my daughter’s school play. Or at a movie theater. Or a restaurant. Or at my in-laws’ house. Or on an airplane. Or on a train. Or a bus. Or in a car. {transportation is clearly a tough one for me}

Having a terrible naggy voice inside my head constantly telling me that I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not funny enough, I’m not thin enough, I’m not organized enough, I’m not a good friend, I’m not a good mom, I’m not a good daughter, I’m not good enough at my job, I’m too lazy, I’m not a good enough photographer.

Emetophobia. Germ-o-phobia.

Weird habits. During particularly panic-y moments I sing the words to We Didn’t Start The Fire in my head. And I make teeny tiny little braids in my hair.

Hitting publish even though my palms are sweaty.

Because I have anxiety, but you know what? It doesn’t have me.

Every day I find myself making tiny changes. This week alone…

Instead of not commenting on something on Facebook out of fear, I spoke my mind. 

Instead of wondering why someone didn’t hire me for their son’s bar mitzvah photos, I reminded myself that it means an extra Sunday night that I get to spend with my kids. 

I made a phone call I wouldn’t have made last week. 

I said no to something I would normally have said yes to. 

I let something BIG go. Last week, a parent emailed me to tell me that having me as the school photographer was the worst decision the school ever made. It was crushing. I cried. And I let her get under my skin. I believed her. I posted about it on social media. And then I deleted it. Because her words only had power because I let them have power. And then I let it go completely. Because she was wrong. 

And…I’m hitting publish on this post.

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We are ENDING THE STIGMA. 

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day. So, don’t be afraid to text — For every text message you send today, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives. Don’t be afraid to tweet — Each time you tweet today using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind on Facebook — Every time you watch the Bell Let’s Talk video today Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.

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  1. You are perfection, Ali xo

    [Reply]

    Comment by Louise on January 25, 2017
  2. ?
    She was most definitely wrong…and you are wonderful.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Amanda on January 25, 2017
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