Angell is a very pleasant young lady whom I had the pleasure of interacting with during my “residency” in Jacksonville. She has always seemed extremely well-known and very well connected and her presence at a least half of the events that I myself attended in any given week makes the information she shares below all the more intriguing.
Here is Angell’s story…
Thank you for your willingness to share a bit about yourself and your experiences with the [FriendsOfCoachD.com] audience! Please tell us about your background including your childhood.
I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I am the mother of a 20 year old daughter, Angelique. I have a degree in Networking Administration/Programming but I have focused my career path more on writing. I’ve worked at Florida Blue for 16 years where I am currently an Interim Communications Analyst and a Team Lead. I’ve lived in Jacksonville, FL for 16 years as well.
Going a little deeper, what types of challenges have you faced over the years? Please provide details of some difficult situations you personally have experienced growing up.
One thing people don’t know about me…but I’m starting to share is that I’m almost 40yrs old and dealing with Social Anxiety Disorder. I realize that finding the root cause of my anxiety is the first major step in overcoming it. My anxiety started when I was about 12 years old and started viewing myself differently. I didn’t like my smile or my voice, and I felt I was too skinny. My self-esteem became very low, and I often compared myself to others. I was in honors classes but would never like to read in class because I felt people would see all my imperfections. Whenever they called on me, I struggled through darn-near severe panic attacks–voice cracking and all! It was humiliating, and I started avoiding it any time I could. At the age of 14, my father disowned me. He was the only light in my dark low esteem world and I was always daddy’s little girl up until then. Because he didn’t want to continue paying child support for me, he actually told me, “You are not mine.” It devastated me to the core. It was the ultimate rejection that just added fuel to my already damaged esteem: I wasn’t even good enough for my father to want! He spent the next few years of his life totally ignoring me. I started writing to express myself and hid how I felt to others. About 10 yrs ago I decided it was time to address it, so I did small things to face my fears. Being a writer opened up many doors for me. I started a magazine that inspires others, but when I was asked to come speak to people about it, I declined. Surely I couldn’t let them see my struggles! I would do things to face my fears and my voice cracked a little, so it would discourage me. I hold meetings at work with no problem but something as simple as introducing myself can set off anxiety. I’ve learned that doing self-talk helps. I never wanted to get on medication so I did/do a lot of reading on the subject and the biggest way to overcome this type of anxiety is to face your fears. I have come a LONG way from where I started but I have a ways to go. Just recently I decided to start openly talking about my battle with Social Anxiety to my friends and anyone who would listen. This is actually the first time this part of my life is being published somewhere. I noticed that being able to openly address your issues allows others to understand what you’re going through, and it also gives you an opportunity to help others. I want to one day be able to talk in front of an audience about my struggles to overcome Social Anxiety. But…I can’t do that until I actually overcome it… and I’m only halfway there!
Give us an idea of where you currently are in life and how that came to be?
Currently I am in a place of peace. I have a strong relationship with God. However, I don’t consider myself “religious.” I have a full time corporate job and doors are starting to open up allowing me to do more writing. I published my first book, Removing the Painting, in 2010. It is a compilation of short stories and poetry of my journey in life. I just finished writing my second book, a fiction novel entitled, The Daisy. I have yet to have it published, but I am currently seeking publishers.