Anxiety and Over-Sharing.

I’ve been getting pretty in my head recently about over-sharing.

Do people really want to know? Am I being weird here? Did I just ruin a potential friendship by opening up too soon? Is this person going to think I’m weak? Did I talk to them about this before? I don’t want to sound like this is all I talk about. I want to mention my blog because there is a lot of good content there — but will this person think I just want more followers? What if they don’t find my story relevant? What if they read my blog and avoid me because now they know too much? 

I get really hung up on these things. Last week I was asked to write a short blurb about myself for the women’s newsletter at my church. My family moved to a new city a few months ago, so this newsletter is a great way for me to help other women get to know me! In church, we’ve had some really lovely lessons on fear, growth, and unity… and in those lessons I have shared bits about my story with anxiety and depression and medical conditions. I’ve kept it vague enough, despite trying to be authentic, because I didn’t want to be too forward in a new setting. But what I shared was really well received and some women have expressed gratitude for my willingness to be open.

So, when I sat down to write my snippet, the words just flowed out of me. I allowed myself to be real and sent it off to the woman who will get it in the newsletter.

Hello! I’ll try to keep this short, but y’all know I love to talk. We moved into the ward a few months ago. My husband (AJ) and I have twins. I am a life-long learner and am always looking for a good book to read. I am a singer and am currently learning the ukulele, guitar, and piano… and hopefully adding another instrument later this year. Music is one of the joys of my life! And french-fries (really any potato-based dish) are my love language. I am a pretty passionate person, and I guess I’ve always been that way.
For the past few years I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression. It has really affected that passion and vibrancy that I give to the world. But gratefully with modern medicine and therapy, along with the power of Christ’s Atonement, I’ve been able to make great strides in finding myself again. I’m a pretty open book when it comes to my story– especially the hard parts. I truly feel that vulnerability is how we will change the world. The adversary works so hard to divide us and make us feel alone. But we don’t have to give in to that lie. We can lift one another up by sharing our truth and investing in others.
I think this is why I started blogging. I have a medical conditions called Vulvodynia and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome that have severely impacted my life and marriage. In my process of recovery, I’ve decided to open up and be a beacon for other women who may be similarly suffering. (If you want to read my blog you can find it at www.sandpaperandglass.com )
I’m an extreme extrovert who struggles with anxiety… so that’s a fun combination. If you want to get together, text me! I am a homemaker, and tend to have my daytime hours free! But I can also make evenings and weekends work depending on your availability. I just love new friends.
After a few days… I started to have massive anxiety about this blurb.
Did I over-share? Do I sound desperate? Was I supposed to do it differently?
So much so that I actually sent 3 (yes, THREE) follow-up emails to her.
1 —
I’ve been thinking about my response. Even though it is very authentic and vulnerable (two things I strive to be) I’m worried that it’s too much information? What do you think? I don’t want to make the wrong impression.

Maybe this is just my anxiety talking… But I’d love your advice.
About 10 minutes later:
2 —
Hello! I’ll try to keep this short, but y’all know I love to talk. We moved into the ward a few months ago. My husband (AJ) and I have twins. I am a life-long learner and am always looking for a good book to read. I am a singer and am currently learning the ukulele, guitar, and piano… and hopefully adding another instrument later this year. Music is one of the joys of my life! And french-fries (really any potato-based dish) are my love language.
I graduated from BYU in 2013 with a BA in Special Education. Though AJ and I met when we were teenagers, we didn’t date until our time at BYU. I knew on our first date that I wanted to marry him. It took a few months to convince him to marry me! Some things we like to do as a family are: have kitchen dance parties, play outside, try new restaurants, and watch movies.
I’m an extreme extrovert who struggles with anxiety… so that’s a fun combination. If you want to get together, text me! I am a homemaker, and tend to have my daytime hours free! But I can also make evenings and weekends work depending on your availability. I just love new friends.
About 4 minutes later:
3 —
Sorry for sending so many emails this morning- I just wanted to send another option for the newsletter just in case. Feel free to use one or the other, or combine them… I don’t really mind. All of the things I said are me: the first one is a little more my emotions/heart and the second one is more of our life story.

Let me know what you think. I just want to make a good impression!
So there you have it. A real-life example of my anxiety. Is the whole situation a bit embarrassing? Yes. Did I re-read my emails 10x each prior to sending them? Yes. Do I still feel like I made a mistake by anxiety-emailing her? Yes.
But that’s okay. They haven’t put out the newsletter yet, so I don’t know which version they will use. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it a lot. She emailed me back this morning and said she loved reading my story and learning more about me. So maybe I don’t need to get so worked up about this.
Just breathe. In and out. In and out.
Despite my anxiety, I keep thinking of my mantra, “If my story helps one woman, it will be worth it.” And so I think about just one woman from my church reading my blog and finding grace and space here… and it makes my anxiety melt away. I think of one woman feeling less alone after I share in class about how I feel depressed and anxious at times (okay, a lot of the time). And that makes me happy.
I can live with that.