Doubt Fueled My Fire

By Erin Goldman

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
I’m Erin and I’m an introverted, hypersensitive person who struggles with anxiety and depression. I’m also an intuitive and empathetic person who struggles with issues of self-worth. I use my love of fashion and beauty to cope with these issues. Regardless of my struggles, I’m a strong, powerful and radiant person who loves inspiring and helping others. I’m also a bit of a goof who loves to laugh and smile!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received is that I’m worthy and good enough simply for existing. Each one of us has such a unique combination of both physical and personality traits that there is no one else out there in the entire Universe that is exactly the same. That, in and of itself, is something to marvel at. We are so much more special and miraculous than we give ourselves credit for.

What would you say to 16 year old you?
I think I would definitely need to let 16 year old me know that I shouldn’t ever get too discouraged and that it does get better. I would tell her to meditate! I would also sit her down and gently explain to her that she has anxiety and depression and that she’s not crazy and a freak. I would let her know how common mental illness is and how she shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I would also let her know that there is no shame for being able to feel so deeply because it’s such a huge strength. I would probably also tell her to live a little and take more risks!

Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
Throughout my life, I have had lots of people doubt me. Performing arts teachers, people who I thought were loyal friends, and ex-boyfriends who couldn’t see my worth. It really tested me because of my own issues with self-worth and it really made me question if I was good enough. I ultimately used this doubt as fuel to my fire. It inspired me to be strong in myself, do internal work and be absolutely certain of what I bring to the table. It also propelled a pretty incredible journey of self-love and self-discovery.

What do you love most about yourself?
The thing I love most about myself is oddly also what I have trouble with a lot of the time. I love my emotional intelligence. As a hyper-sensitive person with empathy I have higher peaks and lower valleys than most people. The highs are so wonderful because I can feel them so strongly, but the double edged sword to this is that I also feel negative emotions to the same magnitude. I still wouldn’t trade this trait in for anything in the world. I’d feel so dull and incomplete without my emotions!

Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
Recently I went through some pretty intense heartbreak. I put 100% of myself into every single thing that I do and that includes my relationships with people as well. When it ended, my sadness got so bad that it triggered my depression and that was one of the most debilitating things I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime. I’d never experienced depression before to the extent of having episodes. My negative emotions were so prominent and so wild that I felt out of control. I was not able to get through a full work day or do the things that I love like keeping up my blog or singing. I felt like I lost myself entirely. Luckily, as cheesy as it sounds, there was a fire in me that was dim, but still shining. I fought for myself and for the happiness I know I deserve and got the help that I needed. I’m now on a medication that is really helping me.

What motivates you most?
Fortunately and unfortunately, the state of the world motivates me the most. I feel like there’s so much to be motivated by politically and socially right now in terms of wanting to make big changes in loud ways for the good of humanity and our planet. I’m also motived by narrow beauty standards and by the stigma associated with mental illness.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
I am so grateful to be able to say that I have done many things in my life thus far that I’m very proud of. One was being able to create my own t-shirt line with empowering affirmations on them. However, I think one of the most impactful achievements I’ve made personally, was the day I decided to show my true self on social media. We live in a world where we are encouraged to share ourselves only at our best and I just couldn’t keep that up. I posted a photo of myself mid panic attack and I ended up getting such powerful responses from people who go through the same thing. I was given so much love and support. It is so liberating for me to show who I truly am and what I go through and I realized that I might be able to use my platform to help other people feel less alone. I’ve continued to post photos of myself at my most dark and vulnerable moments and I feel like I’ve achieved something great by starting conversations about mental health and by connecting with a beautiful and loving community that has become such a huge support system for me.

What is something on your bucket list?
I would love to start my own charity or a clothing line in relation to mental health. I would also love to start a program to implement meditation in schools. If children can grow up with meditation as a tool, it can really help keep mental illness at bay and amplify their mental health.

What are your biggest passions?
I have a huge passion for fashion, beauty and the arts but I think my biggest passion to date is wanting to change the world in a positive way through helping people. In addition, I’m passionate about changing the way social media is used and encouraging  others to use social media in a more authentic way.


Erin Goldman is a fashion blogger, inner demon slayer, and spirit warrior. She uses her personal battles with anxiety and depression to help break the stigma on mental illness. 

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