50 Shades Of Red

I am painfully shy. That’s why I’ve always been so drawn to writing, because I can say what I really feel. It gives me confidence.

I’m also big on blushing which then starts this cycle of getting even more embarrassed and blushing more. That’s when I start wishing that I could just be invisible.

What I usually don’t tell people is that I actually have social anxiety. It goes way beyond just being shy. For me it can get me so anxious in social situations that I’m paralyzed with fear.

About 10 years ago I had my first episode with depression which made my social anxiety worse, again starting a cycle. The more depressed I was, the less I wanted to leave the house.

Not because I didn’t want to go out but because I felt so exposed. Like all of my insecurities, emotions, and vulnerabilities were a flashing sign to the world.

The depression and anxiety became so bad, it took all I had to even leave the house to check the mail. I would cringe when the phone rang, fearing the person from the outside world.

It took time to find the right medical support and treatment for it. The worst part was just picking up the phone to reach out.

The very first doctor I told my irrational fears to replied with “So, what? You don’t like people?”

That’s not what social anxiety is about. Okay, I do prefer animals to people, heh, but social anxiety for me is about thinking of all the dumb things I might say in a social situation, or doing something that embarrasses me. It just feels 1,000 times more intense than just some shyness here and there.

I finally found an understanding doctor and while I may not be the life of the party, I’m pushing myself more to simmer down all of my irrational thoughts I have in social situations.

There are still days even now when I have to give myself a pep talk just so I can do something as simple as go to the grocery store. The thing is, when you have social anxiety, doing those everyday things aren’t simple at all.

I know I’ll most likely be dealing with social anxiety for the rest of my life but I’m going to do my best to slowly crawl out of my shell. Writing about it is a good start.

Do you get nervous in social situations?

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7 Responses to 50 Shades Of Red

  1. Potentially crap blogger July 13, 2012 at 13:21 #

    I get the blush too! Worst thing ever!!!!

  2. Notmyyearoff July 13, 2012 at 13:30 #

    Yes, but I tend to babble when I’m nervous. A lot!! I also used to throw up a lot the night before I had to give a work presentation. I’ve got better but I still tend to repeat the same words and umm and ahh a lot!
    Notmyyearoff recently posted..Things I’ve Learnt about One and a Half Year OldsMy Profile

  3. Courtney July 13, 2012 at 14:18 #

    I freak out afterward and worry that I said the wrong thing and offended someone. I hate public places. Call it minor agoraphobia, maybe? I’m always worried people are judging me. And when I talk to someone I get nervous and tell them waaaaay too much. I call myself awkward, but I wonder if there’s not more to it.

  4. monica July 13, 2012 at 18:41 #

    i’ve gotten a little better, but i used to fear judgment constantly. i wouldn’t go to certain stores, or talk to certain people, etc., etc. because i was so afraid of what they would think of me. now i realize people are usually way too concerned about themselves to worry about me! i’ve overcome some of my feelings of awkwardness and embarrassment and just done stuff i wouldn’t have done in the past. you are such a great writer i cannot imagine you having social anxiety. i am happy writing helps because it’s great for all of us, too. :o)
    monica recently posted..I don’t know much, but I do know the Chupacabra (and he’s not the largest rodent in the world).My Profile

  5. Sarah K. July 14, 2012 at 06:17 #

    I wish you lived closer so I could give you a hug! You are so sweet and incredibly talented. Be patient with yourself, time will heal all wounds.

  6. Jen July 14, 2012 at 20:57 #

    There are a few things that happen to me, depending on the situation. If I have to speak in front of people, I can easily get sick beforehand. Several times. But in general social settings when it’s around people I don’t know well, I usually end up scratching the bottom of my neck and top of my chest the entire time. I won’t notice it at all, which can be bad since, if the social situation lasts long enough, I’ve practically clawed my entire chest. One of my best friends used to very quietly say one word, either “scratching” or “neck” or something to make me notice and stop.

    And of course, afterward, I worry incessantly about what I did or didn’t say and how this or that might have sounded wrong.

    Reading that, it’s no wonder social settings seem so exhausting.
    Jen recently posted..Moving day, and why we’re not very adept at being The Beverly HillbilliesMy Profile

  7. Lisa July 18, 2012 at 10:58 #

    I once dropped my daughter off at kindergarten then headed to the grocery store to shop while she was in school. I sat in the parking lot for 3 hours and couldn’t get the nerve up to go in. This was just one of many times this happened to me. I finally decided to get help when my daughter, who was about 4 at time time) fell outside in the front yard. She was crying for me to come pick her up. I could not walk past the threshold. I had to yell for her to come to me.

    I’ve been on meds for 10 years now. I actually go to functions and work full time. Couldn’t do it without my little white pill each day.

    Get yourself help. It’s out there.

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