DAnielle is anxious
What is Danielle Is Anxious?
Danielle Is Anxious started as a blog where I could share my struggle with anxiety, depression, an eating disorder and finding self love. Over the course of a year and a half, it's morphed into a multifaceted initiative that includes not only my blog, but also sharing my journey on Instagram, holding events/creating spaces, and creating handmade jewellery and other items with the common goal of promoting positive mental wellness and self love.
What inspired you to start Danielle Is Anxious?
Last year I faced an extremely difficult bought of depression. I began the journey of taking medication for my illness in the late spring, and decided it was something I wanted to share with the world on my Instagram. I had been sharing my journey with mental illness for quite a few years publicly before through my work with Sarnia Speaks, but never to this extent. Through this, I realized that a lot of my struggle was centred around the relationship I had with myself. That led me to start a journey of self love. This journey has made advocacy for body positivity and self love one of my true passions in life. That's what Danielle Is Anxious allows me to do, through many different avenues.
Why do you feel this is important for our community?
I grew up always hating my body and myself. I never felt good enough. I never felt like I was thin enough, pretty enough, talented enough, or successful enough. I eventually got to a point during my journey where I began to see how incredibly ridiculous the standards we 'should' live up to as a society were and began speaking out about it and challenging the norm.
That's why I feel this is important for our community (and beyond.) We all deserve to love ourselves and not have to live our lives constantly chasing the next 'thing' that will make us happy. We deserve to be able to wear our hearts on our sleeves and not be ashamed of our mental/physical illnesses, bodies, skin tone, age, shape, race, gender expression, etc. nor have society judge us because of it.
Who is one of your female role models and why?
There are so many incredible females in my life that I call role models so it's really hard to choose just one! From the women I work with, to my mom, aunts and cousins and friends, they've all played a part in making me the person I am today.
What has been one of your favourite moments you've had since starting Danielle Is Anxious?
Being able to meet and connect with people around the world through Instagram has been absolutely amazing. There are so many unique stories and memories I have, and being able to connect on an international level with so many incredible humans has been such a privilege.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A lot of people are surprised when I tell them I sing! I was really into it when I was younger and into my late teens, but battling mental illness eventually made me believe I wasn't good at it, so I stopped for almost 10 years and didn't tell anybody.
What did you always want to be when you grew up?
When I was little I wanted to be a Broadway star! Some of the first songs I remember learning were from the musical Annie. As I got older, I realized that I wanted to help people. I didn't know what exactly that would entail, but I knew I wanted to do something that made an impact on people and helped them.
What does Girl Gang mean to you?
To me, a Girl Gang is intersectional and encompasses a system of support, encouragement, collaboration, understanding and empathy. It is a group where its members inspire one another to think outside their respective boxes, and become more inclusive throughout all aspects of life.
What are your goals for Danielle Is Anxious in the next year?
Danielle Is Anxious is planning on hosting a Curvy Beach Party this August, an inclusive celebration of body positivity and self love, especially for those with marginalized bodies. We're also planning a curvy clothing swap (with clothing sized 14 and up for women) in the Fall. That's really my goal: to continually aim to create spaces (whether they be online or in person) where folks who are marginalized by society for one reason or the other feel safe and included and like they have a voice, and to keep pushing the definition of societal norms.
What should every woman try at least once in their life?