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baby; breath.

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

Name: Sofia Bragagnolo Age: 25 years old Occupation: Skin Care Consultant & Inspiring Blues Singer Location: Toronto, Ontario

Everyone I know tells me I come across as so confident when really I’m not [she laughs]. What they think is confidence I think is loud or obnoxious. When I am around a lot of people I get really anxious and insecure about what I said or did and how other people perceive me. I go from being so happy and so high to so low. I love being around people but when I’m alone [really alone] I’m left to reflect on my own thoughts and sometimes they can be overwhelming. In my head, it becomes the worst possible scenario and I start to doubt myself. Then that doubt turns into anxiety and it’s just a downward spiral from there. I started to see a therapist last year, I do cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and journal a lot. It helps me make sense of my thoughts that a lot of times can become so negative and twisted from over thinking too much.

I recently started to get anxious again. It was weird because I hadn't had anxiety in so long, but just like that - it was back. I knew something in my life was causing it but I didn't quite know what. After a few weeks I came to the realization that it was my relationship that was causing this anxious feeling in my chest, stomach and head. Don't get me wrong, my partner was supportive and I felt I was quite honest with these feelings but something was off and I knew I couldn't continue to feel this way.

When we broke up - although we hadn't dated that long - I felt lost. It was as if I had just invested so much of myself into this relationship and then poof, just like that, I was alone to deal with not only my [rising] anxiety but also the inevitable heartbreak. Perhaps thats why I took it so hard, because prior to this I was this active, mindful and independent woman and at the end I [definitely] didn't feel like myself.

I want to read you something from my journal! “I think a lot of my anxiety stems from doubting myself - come to think of it a lot if not all of my anxiety comes from not believing in myself and I have to remember I am loved, I’m funny, I’m smart, I’m pretty, I’m outgoing, I’m nurturing, I’m a go getter, I’m kind, I’m loving, I’m charismatic - I think a lot of the time when my anxiety hits I forget what I’m doing I think I loose myself in that path. I spend so much time worrying about pleasing other people, or what other people think that I forget to take care of myself and what makes me happy. I invest so much of myself in certain things and I get so wrapped up in them that when its over I'm completely scrambled.”

I need to remember to put myself first, to focus on loving myself because at the end of the day no one will do that for you. There will always be ups and downs - not only in relationships but in all aspects of life - and all you can really do is be patient, love yourself and keep pushing through. No matter what time will heal and eventually you will be okay.

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