It is a common misconception that when someone appears confident on the outside, they are also confident on the inside. While I accept that this may be the case some of the time, it isn’t the case ALL of the time.
I am someone who has become very good at putting on a mask of confidence when it’s needed: I put it on at work, on shoots, in times of crisis, at meet-ups and so on. With my mask on, I smile, joke, laugh, organise, support, and generally try to seem like a normal human being.
Underneath my mask, it’s a completely different story: I second guess every decision I make, I wonder what terrible things people are thinking about me, I obsess about how I look and sound and I convince myself that I am utterly pointless.
Over the past few months, I have been working hard to combat these huge bouts of anxiety. This is not just because it’s ruining things for me, it’s also started to impact those closest to me. I can become snappy, withdrawn, obsessive, frustrated and grouchy when I’m anxious and this is only really seen by people I feel most comfortable with. When I’ve been to events where there are lots of new people, Flo or my better half are usually there – which is hugely comforting and helps me calm down. Some might see this as me being clingy or insecure but it gives me a safe breathing space away from unfamiliar faces.
Little bit by little bit, I hope to quiet down those worrisome, negative voices – though I know they’ll never completely disappear. I know that there are lots of people out there experiencing similar issues so I know I’m not alone in my struggles.
Dressing in pin-up/vintage style is something I adore and makes me so happy, it just doesn’t cure all. How do you cope with anxiety? What has helped you?