From Fear to Love - Anxiety Free Community

From fear to love: student combats mental illness with writing

By Jake Kivanc

To some, anxiety is a taboo term. To one student, it was seven letters that defined her life.

At the age of 12, second-year Ryerson journalism student Emily Aubé was diagnosed with panic and generalized anxiety disorder. Both conditions put her through great stress and pressure growing up.

“In high school, there were no resources that helped me and I felt very much ashamed of my disorder in fear of being labeled as ‘mental’ or ‘crazy,’” Aubé said.

She now runs Anxiety Free Community (AFC), a website to give those whose voices tremble a chance to speak.

While Aube said she still struggles with mental illness, she said that her drive to be creative has liberated her from being dominated by it.

“Since our minds are very analytical, we can either use our creativity for painting the worst picture, or the best one,” she said.

Along with Anxiety Free Community, Aubé has written a book entitled Love Before Fear and opened a coaching program to help those struggling with similar issues.

The response has been grander than she imagined.