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Sweatpants & Sanity | Beautiful Voyager: the Social Network of Overthinkers

Hi, I’m Meredith. I’m the creator of Beautiful Voyager, the social network of overthinkers.

I created the site in the months following my surprise diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder at age 39. I wasn’t finding anything online that spoke to my experience of the physical pain (migraines, nausea, neck pain) of perfectionism. I decided to do something about it so that those who followed wouldn’t face the same whirling confusion I did.

In the beginning, I wrote about the disconnect between how people talk about anxiety and what anxiety actually feels like. The response was astonishing! I even put together a post of everyone’s comments, thoughts and advice to my initial article so that readers could see how common these struggles really were, and how many successful people had cobbled together their own solutions to them.

How Perfectionism Works

In perfectionists, the cycle goes something like this:

  1. The mind whispers to itself “I can’t live up to my own expectations.”
  2. Inherent in the contradiction of perfectionism is the inability to accept this statement as true.
  3. The mind deflects the contradiction and literally pushes the tension into the body.

This is why overthinkers and perfectionists often experience physical pain like migraines, neck and back pain, dizziness, tingling, chest pain, and nausea. My neighbor, Shawn, is a great example. He recently mentioned he takes 4 ibuprofen with a glass of bourbon every night to help him sleep. The fear of losing control had caused adrenalin and cortisol to rush into his body all day. To dull the pain, he’s self-medicating with whatever he can find without even realizing it.

Why Social Network?

Beautiful Voyager was never about me. It was always about all of us out there who are trying to figure out what the hell is going on when we get suddenly reactive, strangely confused, or just plan sick to our stomachs.

I’ve been told by fellow BVs in the Beautiful Voyager Slack channel that the Lighthouse Map was the first thing they were drawn to in the community. “I love the lighthouses and the messages in a bottle,” said Martin, a father in his 30s who lives in Israel. “It’s amazing to see people all over the world.” Another said, “I sometimes click on the messages in a bottle when I just need a pick me up. It’s amazing to see what people think of.”

What draws the community together across all platforms — from Slack to Facebook to the Lighthouse Map to the new Bevoya Forums — is that we all share the same goal.

The shirt.

I knew I wanted to help the community kick 2017 off with positive vibes. That’s why it was time to plunge into the first-ever, limited edition Beautiful Voyager shirt. And it does just that.

All proceeds go to the incredible nonprofit Girls Write Now.

Let’s help middle and high school girls find their voices.

The shirt’s only on sale until January 17. My dream is to sell 100 shirts and raise $800 for the girls writing program. Please join in. Buy a shirt. Spread the word. Or just nose around Beautiful Voyager. We’re here for you.

Meredith Arthur is the founder of Beautiful Voyager.

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