Social Anxiety


I’ve known about you for as long as I can remember, yet I often never “really” knew you. I knew that I didn’t like being alone, and when I was younger, would go to hang outs where I was accepted with no judgment. I’ve always had pets, they made the loneliness bearable. I was one of the girls who either had a friends with benefits, or a long term unhealthy relationship. Afraid to leave when things got rough and bad, just so I wouldn’t have to be alone. In some ways I’m lucky to be here. But that’s a whole other story. 

I fast forward to now, as current as this past weekend, where I had plans, for both Friday and Saturday. An evening of socializing and being with friends. To celebrating an anniversary and connecting with like minded friends. 

I started to not feel well Friday, most of the day I ached, felt generally not well. We stayed home. Saturday  I felt the same, but only worse. I now was nauseated, lower back ached, pale and tired. When I spoke to my boyfriend, he said I looked pale and tired and suggested I go lay down. We never did see our friends for that bbq or celebration on Saturday either. 

Sunday morning I woke up feeling substantially better than I had been the last two days. At some point in the day a thought crossed my mind “did I subconsciously make myself sick so that I didn’t have to go anywhere?” 

I know that I struggle with social anxiety. Its terrible, on one hand I am happier at home with my boyfriend and my pets; but having said that, I have felt strangled by the four walls of my home as well.  Sometimes, when there is no feelings of anxiety, I will go out and see people and I am happy that I did. But to wonder if my mind and body sabotaged my weekend based on being social with others, makes me feel sad inside. 

I remember moments in my childhood of shyness, I was never one to like being around large crowds or in public places for too long. I hated the crowds on the local transit system, but took them to get too and from work and social outings. As I have gotten older, I have my car and I make sure to always have it in tip top shape as I become anxious at the thought of not having transportation where I live, as there isn’t a bus that runs hourly and the mere thought of taking the bus now makes me more anxious than I already feel.

I’m fine when it comes to going grocery shopping, or to the rec center to exercise and other appointments, but I’ve also had moments where I’ve cancelled those too, sometimes it I know the moment I wake up that I won’t be leaving my house. 

I’m not sure how I will overcome this, but recognizing that there is a pattern, is eye opening for me. I feel a few emotions, namely sad. I feel sad that I’ve been afraid most of my life, of either being alone, or being in large crowds. 

I googled social anxiety and found this link really nailing what I feel http://www.helpguide.org/mental/social_anxiety_support_symptom_causes_treatment.htm.

I plan on bringing it up in therapy this week. 

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