Who are you?
Think really hard about this question before you answer.
I’m not asking about your name or where you are from. I don’t want to know what you do for a living, or where you went to college. And the answer isn’t how many kids you have, or whether or not you’re a vegan or bacon fanatic.
No, I want to know who you are.
Are you a dreamer? A realist? A traveler? A hopeless romantic?
Who are you?
Anxiety, depression and phobias have a funny way of entering our lives and then stripping us of who we are meant to be. They take away our passion, our adventure, our drive. We get so caught up in our internal struggle that we neglect the sides of us that make us truly unique, and what is life if we cannot live to our fullest potential?
During the first few months of my CBT therapy, I struggled with a sense of purpose. I didn’t know who I was because the anxiety, panic and fear had stripped me of what made me, me. I’d ramble on and on about, “If I didn’t have this phobia…” or “I can’t because of this phobia…”
All I had ever known was Chelsie with Emetophobia. I knew only a life encompassed by rituals set by this paralyzing panic; this constant, unwavering worry that if I took one wrong step I’d be brought down by forces greater than my understanding; that I’d be somehow punished for my attempts to live a carefree, happy life.
Worst of all I worried about my sense of self, my identity.
Without emetophobia who would I be, what would I become?
You know, something amazing happens when you begin to rid yourself of the things that hold us back: we wake up who we are meant to be.
Turns out I am traveler, a foodie, a passionate philanthropist. I want to stand out, be unique, be true to myself despite what society deems normal. I like to push the boundaries of what scares me, and I love the outdoors and all it has to offer.
But here’s the part we tend to forget: that part of me, of us, was never lost. It was always there, laying dormant and it’s up to us to let it out. Our fears, anxieties and worries cage it up, but we cannot deny who we are supposed to be and what our passions are.
Discover who you are meant to be this week. Ask yourself: what do I want to do? And answer honestly. Don’t add “but only if this phobia would stop” or “my anxieties won’t let me.”
Don’t lose yourself in your fears.
Our fears, anxieties, doubts… They are only as strong as we allow them to become. Fight everyday to keep that passionate, carefree part of you alive, because you are special. You are unique. You are undeniably you. And you are worth it.
So I ask again: who are you?
Until next time, Internet.
If you would like to email me, you can send any questions, concerns, comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to respond to you within 48 hours, but if for some reason I cannot get back to you in that time frame, I promise I will always respond as soon as possible. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!
Lastly, I run an Emetophobia Support Group on Facebook. Emetophobia is the intense and irrational fear of throwing up, and it is one struggle I am passionately engaged in. The group is a closed, by request only group to help facilitate sharing and support by all members. It is also private, meaning that the posts you and others make will not show up publicly in your newsfeed.