Social Anxiety

I have always been a shy person. As a child I would hide whenever I could, usually in my room; with school I could be in a crowd at a dance and stand quietly against the wall. I didn’t have many friends because I struggle with interacting. I didn’t do sleepovers because I was so scared to be away from home.

The adult now STILL struggles with anxiety. Its rough. My spouse will encourage me to contact friends, make plans for tea or coffee. I try and I always have the best of intentions, but when the day arrives, I panic, fear takes over, my negative thoughts kick in as does guilt. I’ve talked to my therapist about this and I’ve tried using some of the suggestion she gave me.

Ask myself out loud “What am I afraid of” and if I can say out loud what it is. I often feel guilty about doing anything social, anything that takes me away from my dogs, my home, my spouse. My therapist said that guilt is usually for when we have done something wrong and doing something social isn’t wrong.  So I tried telling myself that and said it out loud “Guilt is when you have done something wrong, doing something social isn’t wrong.”

Today I was to meet a friend and spend the night. All day long I have fretted about going, forget about having an enjoyable evening, social relaxation, laughter etc.; all my brain did was go into negative self talk. Then the guilt kicked in – “how could I leave my dogs/cats, how could I leave my spouse for the night. He works hard and I usually have hot chocolate and his meal waiting for him”. My spouse is completely for my going out and enjoying myself, yet *I* become paralyzed with fear.

The weather where we are hasn’t been great. Then the weather network said that my area where I live and out east is under freezing drizzle advisory. Well then, that just threw me even more into a freak out. So now we have the Social Anxiety of going out for the night combined with the weather conditions. Just lovely!