I’ve suffered from social anxiety all my life. Through the years I’ve gotten much better as I have slowly moved away from my comfort zone in the last 7 years, but it’s still there, in the hiding and it comes out when I least need it or expect it to.
I had forgotten all about it, until now, when it’s crept up again with a vengeance. My migraines are back and for me, that’s the most telling symptom. I’m very aware today why it’s crept back, I’ve had to do all the things I always feared the most in just a few months. I’ve bared my soul in many situations and for me, that’s like walking naked.
Jokingly I told an acquaintance; “Now that I’ve found my home, I won’t leave the house!” Well, it turns out that that’s just what I’m basically doing. Trying to hide from the world these days. Trying to find my peace from all the noise. But, while it’s all good and I get to relax, I know that I can push this too far and isolate too much, which will make me go back to avoiding social situations altogether.
It’s a miracle I have so many good friends, whom I must say are very forgiving and patient with me because I rarely reach out. I do enjoy their company a lot and miss them, but I find it extremely hard to get out there and make plans.
My social anxiety can control my life. We are all different but some of us share the same debilitating symptoms:
- It’s very hard for me to be vulnerable and when I am, eventually a wall comes in between me and the other person. It’s like feezing, and I emotionally shut down.
- The idea of a party is scary as hell! Who will be there? Will I have to engage in small talk? Will there be too many people I don’t know? Will they find me out?
- I avoid eye contact with people I don’t know, so I seem extremely stuck up or rude.
- I find gatherings of any kind which involve people I don’t know well, extremely emotionally trying.
- Dating, I’ve realized is not something I can do naturally. The wall is always there, between us. Chances of connecting in person are almost null.
- Phoning is not an option, except these past weeks when I’ve been forced to call to sign up to all sorts of services for my new home and car.
Luckily at work, I have no problem and it’s never been. I remember telling someone: “I want to be the person who goes to work,” not the one outside which is afraid of connecting with the world.
Hopefully, now that my migraines are back and I fully understand what’s up, I will face all my demons and go back the ten steps I already took forward 7 years ago when became more socially active and part of humanity.