THE BLOG

For Some, The Struggle Is Real

10/10/2016 14:47

I'm meeting the new person in the office kitchen. My temples are pounding. There's sweat running down my back. I feel like my eyes are about to fall out the front of my face.

I shake their hand but I can't remember their name because I'm too busy going through escape options in my head. I'm thinking about hiding behind the plant, wondering if I would survive a leap out of the second floor window, and fantasising about a zombie invasion that would break this party up.

I've got social anxiety. This happens a lot.

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Sometimes, it's not rudeness... it's social anxiety

Tonight I'm at a social gathering with my friend. I didn't want to come, normally I wouldn't, but I was feeling brave. Now I'm regretting it. That's the worst thing about social anxiety, things that are supposed to be fun are scary. I wish I could enjoy going to parties, but to me, cancelling a social plan is the most relieving feeling in the world.

Social anxiety is confusing, because even though I'm not enjoying being here, it would have been worse if I didn't get invited. Because then I'd know nobody likes me. I really do want to make friends, but I find it hard to talk to people - sometimes I find it hard to even be around other people. It's not just shyness either, it's a physical reaction. And it's hard to explain because sometimes I can come across as outgoing, like at work I can give presentations, so people don't really understand me when I say I'm anxious.

Honestly, it's exhausting.

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Sometimes, it's not flakiness... it's social anxiety

It's hard not being able to connect with other people. I'm so afraid of doing the wrong thing, being judged, or laughed at, that I isolate myself or 'act weird'. Sometimes that makes people think I'm a jerk, and that hurts. I'm not surprised that a lot of people with social anxiety suffer from depression, I can get so low.

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Sometimes, it's not laziness... it's social anxiety

I can't force myself to stop feeling this way, I wish I could, so being told to 'snap out of it' or forced into awkward situations 'for my own good' doesn't help. I really value friends who let me share my feelings with them. Even if they don't really understand, it makes me feel good that they care enough to listen.

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Sometimes, it's not shyness... it's social anxiety

For me, the struggle IS real, but I'm slowly working towards getting better. I've been seeing a therapist and it's helping. I'm learning new techniques to deal with my anxiety and manage how I feel about social situations. It's not a magic cure, but I'm starting to feel better about things. Like tonight, I actually came to a party, that's a big step for me.

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