ANXIETY: How I Feel, Shown in Makeup

 

Hey everyone. So I wanted to start this new video series that will be posted on Mondays. Essentially, I love doing makeup, but I’m not a guru or anything. I wanted to do some makeup videos but I don’t just want to talk about makeup. I want to use makeup as an avenue to talk about some more serious things, particularly stuff that has a stigma such as mental health.

(By the way, if you’re only here for the makeup information it is all the way at the bottom of this page.)

So for this first video I wanted to talk about my anxiety and just some general info about anxiety while I do a makeup look that kind of brings what I’m feeling inside to the outside.

This is how I feel put artistically on my face

Anxiety for me has felt a lot like being trapped in my own head. Even when I know it’s irrational, I can’t get out of the cycle of bad thoughts and what almost feels like my mind is shaking from fear like inside of me. It’s a really strange feeling, and it’s hard to describe to you if you haven’t experienced it. So, I’m trying my best, but just bear with my awkward descriptions.

Also, for me, anxiety never really shuts up. I often refer to it as like a voice. But it’s really not. It’s not like actual words that I can hear, it’s just like one part of my brain is on a constant loop of a general feeling or essence of bad thoughts and insults directed at me.

The flip side of these feelings of anxiety is that my mind feels like it’s going at a million miles an hour all the time. It can be annoying if I am feeling that insult essence particularly badly that day. BUT, it has also been something that allows my mind to work quickly and focus on many things at once. In many ways it has made me highly productive, until one day, I just break. Then I’m not productive at all and I have a depressive episode. Those can last anywhere from a couple days to 5 or 6 months.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety for about a decade. From the time I was a really young child I was obsessive and anal retentive and really just high strung. But the real snapping point for me was when I hit puberty. Anxiety became a strong and daily struggle for me the same month that I started my first period. I started to ostracize myself from friends and family and I started to have panic attacks.

For two years I struggled in silence. And it was terrible, I lost a lot of friends and I lost out on a lot of fun opportunities. Finally at 16 and a half I went to my parents with how terrible this was for me and they signed me up for therapy. Therapy helped, I learned to look at my thoughts as kind of disembodied and decide actively which ones I wanted to interact with. This helped me a lot, but it didn’t shut that loop of bad thoughts I refer to as my “anxiety voice”.

I only stayed in therapy for a few months, but I struggled with anxiety and depression for years after that. If you’ve seen my first video on this channel then you know I had a kind of mental break recently just from being at such a low point with everything I was doing in my life. I had a very difficult time pulling out of that period of depression. I sought therapy through my university, which I then had to leave thanks to leaving the university (as you can see in my last post). I had about 6 months off of therapy before I realized I couldn’t do this alone.

I restarted therapy with a new counselor who suggested I try medication. It wasn’t the first time I had received that suggestion. In fact, I had first been given the option of a prescription 8 years ago. I had always denied taking any medication because of several reasons. One, I was afraid of the side effects, particularly the darkening or suicidal thoughts listed in commercials. Two, I was afraid of changing my brain. Two of my friends became very angry after starting medication in high school. And I was also afraid of losing that high functioning, quick, and productive edge anxiety gave to my ability to accomplish a lot at once as I mentioned earlier. Thirdly, I was afraid of the stigma. I felt as though I somehow was failing at taking care of myself if I have to rely on medication.

Let’s debunk those myths shall we? It’s important to note that a very very small number of people have any trouble with the suicidal thought style of side effects. A responsible doctor will slowly increase your dosage to the necessary amount over a longer period of time to decrease your chances for side effects. If you and your doctor and family and friends and anyone you’d like to talk to can help you monitor your moods there’s no reason to fear.

My second issue was with changing my brain. This is mostly an issue for people under the age of 24. The younger you are the more likely you are to see more alteration of mood for good or for bad. Now I’m 23, so the decision is easier for me. I definitely recommend not taking medication until you’ve tried non-pharmaceutical remedies like therapy, increasing exercise, and decreasing stress, if you are young. But you should still take medication if you and your doctor feel like it will be helpful to you.

My third issue was the stigma. This one is just dumb. It’s not dumb to notice the stigma, society has taught you it exists and that is your, and my, reality now. But the fact that the stigma exists is stupid. No one would question you for taking antibiotics to remove infection, or antihistamines to stop you from sneezing in the spring. But taking medicine that helps you hold onto seratonin, etc.? Well call the presses, we have a crazy person who needs a crutch to get through the day! (Sarcasm…obviously.) Recognizing that you need assistance and seeking that assistance is considered strong in leadership, and it is strong in your daily life and health care as well. At the end of the day, it is most important that you do what is right for you and what allows you to function in the world the way you want to function.

Needless to say, I made the decision to start an SSRI (more info here), Zoloft. I’m just now finishing my second week and I’m only on the lowest adult dose. But I feel the benefits. I’m sure I’ll update you in future posts, as well.

The point I want to make here is: talking about these things de-stigmatizes them. I struggled. And getting therapy and medication have been some of the best and wisest decisions I made. Don’t let some archaic idea that therapy and medication are for the weak stop you from making a decision that could save your life, or at the very least save your quality of life. You do what you need to do to feel like a person, and that is the end of that discussion. Ignore stigmas. Fight bullies. Seek help. Be happy.

And always feel you can reach out to someone. If you don’t have anyone in your life consider these resources as an alternative:

(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, psychologist, or any sort of mental health professional. I am only a girl who struggled and is sharing her story to help others find the courageous part of them to seek help from a mental health professional. My advice and statements are anecdotal and may not apply to you, but I hope they will help you go find a doctor who can help design a mental health plan that works for you.)

Okay, now let’s talk about the makeup look.

My base is my normal foundation. But when I brought in the contour and highlight I attempted to make my face look sharper. To me, anxiety feels sharp. It feels like I’m hard for other to get close to. It feels like something cold and angular is trying to bust out of my mind. I did my best to represent this sharpness with a sharp and over-exaggerated contour and highlight. I admit I still need a great deal of improvement on this particular makeup skill.

For blush and eyeshadow I had the same general concept in mind. I wanted my cheeks and temples to be flushed with a dark red. This represents embarrassment as well as the redness and heat I feel during the heart-racing of a panic attack. My eyes were also caked in red. Generally no one wants red around the eyes, but anxiety is also something no one wants. The redness around the eye is like sleep deprivation, crying, and just makes the eyes look generally more sunken and evil like the anxiety monster they are trying to contain.

I brought in the inhuman factor of your feelings when you get trapped in your head by anxiety with my eyes as well. To do this I inverted what you would expect by applying white winged eyeliner and white on my eyelashes too.

And finally, I seal it all together with an ombre lip made with a dark red and black. Anxiety is often silenced, and I believed the darkness of the lips represented them being ignored and angry.

If you want to get this look, order the products below by clicking the links, or post your own look in the comments here or on the YouTube video for an Instagram shout out:

FACE:

COVERGIRL Smoothers Lightweight BB Cream Light to Medium 810, 1.35 oz

Maybelline New York Age Rewind Brightener

Maybelline Dream Brightening Concealer

L’Oréal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation

Essence Matte Setting Powder

Hoola Bronzer

E.L.F. Blush Dark

-Essence eyeshadow: Snowflake

EYES:

Maybelline concealer stick: white

-Wet n Wild eyeshadow

NYX Perfect Filter: Rustic Antique

Makeup Revolution: Mermaids Forever

Essence eyeliner: white

NYX liquid eyeliner: white

Wet N Wild lash primer

Milani Length in Seconds Lash Fiber

L’Oréal Lash Paradise

 

And that’s all folks! Hope I helped and I hope you enjoyed this! See you Wednesday for travel!