As you guys have seen, I recently I changed the name of my blog to Keeping Up Appearances as well as my Instagram to @KeepingUp.Appearances.
I have been struggling with a name that really means something to me as a person. I also have been thinking a lot about why I have decided to get into this whole blogging and fashion thing in the first place. I am glad to say I have finally figured it out and I am beyond excited, as well as a bit scared and nervous, to share my story with you.
I struggled with managing stress my entire life. I am the type of person who keeps things bottled up and never shares my feelings. Then there eventually comes a point where I break down and explode with emotion, causing me to become emotionaly and mentally drained in the end.
Then the viscious cycle starts all over again.
I had super low self esteem growing up. I remeber more bad times than good in grade school. I was bullied every grade I can remember. Internalizing all of the name calling I heard at the lunch tables, all of the rumors made up about me, and all of the avenues my fellow classemates used just to make themselves feel better at my expense.
It didn’t help that I had glasses by the age of 6, braces by the age of 10, and maintained a flat chest well past the age of 18. All of which had been used against me; all of which I had no control over. And to add the icing to the cake, I came out as lesbain by the age of 19. I had never felt confident in myself or comfortable in my own skin.
Once I started college, my built up stress decided to present itself in hives. Nonstop itching, buring, painful hives. I remember not being able to shave my legs for months and months because whenever I did, my legs would feel like they were on fire from the irritation of the razor. I was downing Benadryl everyday in hopes of keeping the itching under control— which only had me sleeping through my lecture halls.
After 2 years of no one knowing what was wrong with me, I finally saw a homeopathic doctor who diagnosed me with more allergies than I can count on one hand. Dairy, gluten, yellow corn; the list went on and on. He told me that many times someone will develope an allergy due to a big life event or change (i.e. thanks a lot college). So I started a new diet in hopes that my hives were due to these new found allergies. And you wouldn’t belive it, but after being on a gluten free, yeast free, and dairy free diet for 1 month (I ate a lot of dairy free mayo sandwhiches on rice bread), my hives were finally gone!
Of course it couldn’t just end there.
That’s when I developed generalized anxiety.
For those of you who do not know what an anxiety attack feels like, let me try to explain.
Imagine you are on a boat.
You notice a small hole in the bottom of the boat. The boat is filling up with water, but there is nothing you can do. As the boat fills more, past your feet, over your knees, up to your waist, you start to see land in the distance. It’s close enough to see, but much too far to swim to. That is anxiety.
I struggle in social situations, mostly when I don’t know people well, in large groups. There are days I do not go to fun events or outings because I have anxiety just imagining all the people and talking I am going to have to do.
During college, my anxiety at times left me debilitated for 5-10 minutes which ended up feeling like 1 hour. I couldn’t breath. I had tunnel vision. Sometimes I would cry and gasp for air out of nowhere, for no known reason!
I think the most stressfull part of having anxiety is not knowing why you are activly having an attack when you have one. If I knew the cause then I could stop it.
In order to manage my anxiety during college, I took these 3 steps:
- Talked about my feelings, or whatever was on my mind, with a psychologist
- Took yoga classes every morning
- Made lists (LOTS of lists)
Anxiety happens internally but shows itself externally. Therefore in order to manage it, you need to work from the inside out, which is why I talked to a psychologist. This was a huge step to helping me overcome my disorder.
I took up yoga classes at the rec center on my campus. Yoga set me up to start the day by relaxing my body as well as my mind. The type of breathing technique used in yoga is ment to help you acheive the different levels of consiousness. Breathing out the past and breathing in the future.
Making lists was a huge one for me. A lot of my anxiety came from the unknown, or not knowing what was going to happen in the future. By making a list, I was able to legistically think through my day and my responsibilities within each day.
Why I got into blogging
All that being said, I think I got into blogging because it created an outlet for me to express how I feel– huge perk is that it is much cheaper than seeing a psychologist. I also use clothes and makeup as a way to express myself physically and keep up the appearance (see what I did there?) of who I have finally become— someone who is comfortable in their own skin.
Dont be a stranger!
Not only do clothes give me confidence, but I also have gained so much confidence from all of YOU who not only read my blog posts, but comment and want to get to know me. I am not anything special but I feel like here, sharing my beauty and fashion, I can help others feel confident and beautiful too.
For anyone who resonated with my story, I would love to hear yours! Please don’t hesitate to message me via e-mail, TaylorVipham@gmail.com, or shoot me a message in my Instagram inbox, @KeepingUp.Appearances.
No one can really truly undertand anxiety like someone who has been through it.