If I can sum up in one word what it’s like to live with social anxiety disorder, I would say… draining. I never knew what social anxiety disorder was or that it was even an actual disorder until I went to rehab. Once I was told they believed I had this type of anxiety disorder everything all started to make a little more sense. I felt relieved that these feelings I’ve felt my whole life was something that other people have dealt with as well. Although I had some more insight to what I had been suffering from it still doesn’t get any easier living with social anxiety. I’m sure it’s the main reason my husband and I decided to get married with just two friends as witnesses. I couldn’t ever imagine everyone’s attention all on me for a day. It’s literally one of my nightmares! So, here’s what it’s like living with social anxiety and yes, I experience more then one of these at least a couple times a day…
You get nervous during any type of social settings.
If I know that I have a social event coming up or even just during the holidays I will stress all week leading up to the day. It’s like I must mentally prepare myself for any situation that could happen that day. Which is so unrealistic and usually everything goes perfectly fine. I always wonder afterwards why I worked myself up so much for no reason.
You fear you’re being judge by everyone all the time.
I know deep down in all reality that isn’t the case but it’s what my mind makes me believe. It makes me become embarrassed easily over small things. I hate attention being brought on me in public and I like to just keep to myself.
My heart will race and sometimes I’ll break out in a rash.
When I get nervous especially because of my social anxiety I’ll break out in a red splotchy rash. It is VERY embarrassing when it happens because you can see it on my neck area. It’s only been extremely bad a couple of times but it’s not fun to have to deal with. On top of that I’ll get sweaty at times with a racing heart. All this because my mind wants me to believe in ridiculous situations.
I tend to isolate a lot.
I’m a homebody. If I don’t have to go anywhere that is fine by me! There are also times where I do step out of my comfort zone to go do things. I usually end up having a great time but it’s the leading up to those things that’s the hardest.
When I do go somewhere, I feel more comfortable with another person.
Trust me I know how ridiculous that sounds but it’s just how I feel. Maybe I find it a bit of a distraction because at least then I have someone else. I know that’s not always possible to go somewhere with someone else. I do go places on my own but if it’s something that can wait, I usually do.
I always say I’m socially awkward
I’ll be the first to admit it and it’s often a joke with my husband and me. When I’m around a lot of people I’m shy and quiet. Especially around people that I don’t know that well. On the other hand, when I’m around family and close friends I can be quite talkative. I guess it all depends on the mood I’m in that day as well. I’ve always been a shy child growing up. A lot of the time people that just meet me might take it the wrong way. Usually once I warm up to people, I make friends with just about everyone.
I know for a fact that this issue I’m dealing with in life needs to be looked at a little harder. At times I feel like I’m slowly letting it take over my life more then I should allow it to. I need to find some ways to become more self aware and be able to handle it better than I currently can. I do know deep down all these thoughts I let take over are completely ridiculous. I always wished to be one of those outgoing people, but I know the reality is that’s just not me. That’s ok and I need to be ok with the fact that not everyone will like me. I know that if someone wants to judge me based off a first impression or not knowing me then that isn’t someone I even want in my life. Life is a continuous learning process and all I can do is strive at taking steps forward!
I would always love to hear from you below. Do any of you experience social anxiety as well and what helps you?
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Until next time,