My social anxiety is one complex monster.
Before I take off on this post, I would like to take a moment to define social anxiety for the crowd: “The defining feature of social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.” (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) I hope this gives you a little better insight into the remainder of the post!
A lot of people now a days think I don’t like them, or think I am just being snobby. They think when I utter the words, “Social anxiety..” that it is just another excuse as to why I won’t talk to them for weeks. Honestly, if I don’t physically see you every day I probably won’t talk to you for days at a time. Not because I don’t like you, but because my mind has convinced me that you don’t like ME.
Trying to make myself keep plans is probably the hardest task.
I will probably make plans with you, and then 2 seconds later I have already came up with 500 different reasons why I’m already not going. The first reason is probably, “They only invited me because no one else was available.” or “They’ll probably cancel, they always cancel.” Then I wait, because they always cancel.
I’m like this with planning photography sessions too.
I could be so excited for a shoot, and then the day of I will smell rain and cancel. I then convince myself that we will reschedule one day, but we never do and a part of me is upset, but a bigger part of me is relieved, because I have missed another opportunity to disappoint them. I literally sometimes get the shakes when I have to talk to someone. Even at my own job where I am the manager!
But when I don’t get invited out, I get really sad.
Because why wouldn’t they want to hang out with me? What is wrong with me? Am I not fun to be around? And then it spirals out of control, then the next thing you know I am in a deep depression, have shut myself off from the world, and have even more social anxiety as I did before.
And then the worst possible thing happened:
My boyfriend went on night shifts at work. I find myself even more alone than ever before and it just makes me extremely sad. To fight the urge every day to just climb into bed has become nearly impossible to beat. I’m extremely tired all the time and just want to cuddle with my blanket because going out into the world means going around people and I just don’t have the energy to keep pretending.
I am sitting here right now, alone, because I decided I was going to be late so I might as well not go. I was invited. I was included. Yet here I am.
This is for anyone who feels exhausted because your heart and your brain are not getting along.
You wanna try to do things differently because you miss your friends and you want to do more with your life. Your heart is saying go for it but your mind is saying they don’t really like you.
It probably stems from a long childhood of being bullied, or not being able to make real connections with people.
At least I’m sure it does in my case.
I am trying a lot harder to keep and make plans. I invite people out a lot more, and make suggestions on what to do so I can’t get out of it. What’s crazy is that people tell me all the time that they love me. That they care about me, and that they will always be there for me. It’s not like I don’t have people who genuinely are there for me when I need them..
It’s just I don’t trust anyone fully, and my brain knows me a lot better than my heart.
And that’s the reason why I’m stuck.