A part of me didn’t want to get this vulnerable, but I think it’s so important that we talk about it.

In a world full of smoke and mirrors I want to be real with my community. I want to show you we are all going through our own private struggles, fighting our own internal battles and maybe help someone who is living their darker days right now.

This is my story of anxiety – how I hit my rock bottom, and how I manage it daily.

I don’t really remember the first time I felt anxiety, like really felt it.

When I was a teenager over half of the girls I knew were on some form of anxiety medication. The Dr seemed to just write prescriptions every time one of us would go instead of actually explaining to us what anxiety is, what causes it and what we can do to manage it.

Anxiety to me is the uncontrollable. I was anxious about the past and about the future. All the things I couldn’t actually control, so it felt unmanageable.

When I was younger I hated the way I looked and I hated my body. I was always dubbed as the funny fat girl so I accepted that that was who I was and who I was always going to be. The only time I ever felt slightly confident in my own skin was when I was drinking with my friends {The more I would drink the more I would forget my insecurities}

I grew up in Christchurch which had a huge binge culture so for someone battling with who they were; it was an easy escape. However, when you drink that much you tend to make bad decisions regularly. My anxiety started to brew because I would wake up from a night out and be so worried I had done something wrong. When you internally hate yourself but put on a brave face all the time, sometimes that inner hate would ooze out while I was drunk. Unfortunately, the ones you love the most tend to get the brunt of it. After years of partying, smoking and feeling terrible about who I was I finally hit my rock bottom and decided to make the necessary changes. Otherwise it was going to get really bad.

{Side note: No one can ever make you do anything if you are not ready mentally. It doesn’t matter how many times someone tells you, you have to be ready on your own terms and everyone’s “rock bottom” is different}

I started working out to the point that it became an obsession, but I knew if I didn’t become obsessed with it I would quickly fall back into my old ways.

Naturally, the healthier you get the better you feel. I quit smoking and started to eat healthier and my whole life transformed. My expectations of the people around me increased, but most importantly so did my expectations for myself.

When you have low self-worth, you make silly decisions because you don’t value yourself. For years I carried pain from all the decisions I had made as a teenager – But the thing is, right now, I am the happiest I have ever been. I have the most amazing friends, the most supportive and loving family and I found the love of my life. Every single decision and every single mistake has led me to where I am right now, to my happy place. So how can I have any regrets?

Earlier in the year I went to an energy healer to clear the last broken parts I was holding on to and he explained it perfectly. Our hearts forgive instantly. It’s our minds that hold on and fester. Our minds can be our own worst enemy so if you are anything like me, always move forward with love. Use your heart to heal. Learn in those darker moments that your mind is not as forgiving and that sometimes you just need to close the door and shut her out.

Anxiety will always be a part of me. I feel it in my chest all the time. Sometimes it even wakes me up at night but now I have the tools to deal with it. I know it’s my mind over thinking the uncontrollable and a few deep breathes are usually enough. However, some days its debilitating and turns into a panic attack but I know why it’s here and I know what I have to do. Sometimes I just embody it and let it wash over me.

As someone who struggles to switch off, do not underestimate the healing power of solitude. If I find myself getting worked up I remove myself and take time on my own to lie down and breathe. That can also work against me in times when I desperately need solitude and are in a social situation, as I become extremely withdrawn. I’m learning now to excuse myself and lock myself in the bathroom for a minute. Sometimes that’s all I need to do to reset.

It’s ok to need time. Don’t explain or apologise for the things you need to do to calm your mind. Whatever it may be, do it and do it as often as possible.

My anxiety was created by a girl who was lost. Who hated herself. Who lived in constant fear of letting people down and who never felt good enough. Now I have to carry that with me always but I am ok with that. It reminds me of how far I have come.

There are different levels of anxiety and I understand that some may need medication. However, the majority of people just need to learn the skills to manage it. Anxiety is natural for humans. It has been with us since the very beginning {anxiety was mainly felt while hunting or during war or a famine} It is defined as the anticipation of future threat; the emotional response to real or perceived imminent threat.

Which shows us that instead of feeling it in certain times of danger, we are always feeling threatened. Stop worrying about other people. Stop worrying about their opinions. Surround yourself with people who get you and who love you unconditionally. Anxiety will start to fall away if you are surrounded by positivity.

This has just been my personal experience with anxiety, but I love when you message me and tell me your stories as they are all different in their own way, but the heart of the problem is usually the same {we don’t feel alone when we can openly talk about our struggles with one another} Seer & Wilde isn’t just about Swimwear and Resort wear. It’s about building a community of powerful women, who are becoming kinder to one another and most importantly to themselves. When you feel empowered and lifted up, that’s when you will want to help others and make a positive change in all aspects of your life. It all starts with inner love. Once we heal we will be unstoppable.

Let’s make that a priority in 2019, so once we are all feeling strong we can then work on helping others.

Ash xx