Social Anxiety

Truth be told, it has always been something I’ve struggled with. I am unsure as to how or when it started. I am unsure exactly what sets it off either. Social phobia. It doesn’t happen in all social settings. There are times that I find myself the life of the party. There are times that I am the one that starts the conversations and pump up the volume. Then there are times that I am anxiously awaiting to be alone. There are times that I want to simply be a shadow in the background and fade away. It is a lot. It is draining. And this is the first time that I am exploring and sharing my feelings about this.

I’ve always toyed with the idea of having social anxiety, but have always dismissed it for something smaller. I’ve held on to the title of being shy. I’ve accepted that I have introverted moments (although there are some people who wouldn’t agree). I’ve accepted that when I have bursts of extroverted moments how important it is for me to rest and recover as it truly alters my productivity and mood. I thought as I aged and matured things would change, but things haven’t. I can vocalize my need to be alone, but I am always stuck trying to explain why. It sometimes comes out as annoyance or even anger. It’s tough.

I know one thing that gets to me is being the center of attention. Having all eyes one me is just nerve wrecking. I’m wondering what are they thinking, what if I mess up and if I do the embarrassment I may suffer. It can be really intense for me. So intense that I’ve become light headed at times. This doesn’t just happen around “friends” or new people, I get these feelings around family as well.

Honestly, I’ve always thought it strange, especially since most members of my family are very open, social and outgoing. Where did I come from? How did I develop this? This is the only thing in my life that I’ve examined and thought, ‘why can’t I be more normal’ (whatever the hell that’s supposed to be). I mean why couldn’t I just interact with people and that just be it? In a business setting I am perfectly fine. I can openly communicate. I can grab and hold the attention of an audience. I can present and form speeches with no problem (excluding the nervousness I may feel prior to this). But to just hangout and be social? By gosh NO!

This is the first time I thought to share this as I have been working on pushing myself out of comfort zones. Feeling anxiety in social settings isn’t something I’ve ever feared judgement on, but actually sharing the details is due to those who ‘don’t know the “shy” me.’ Anywhos, this is just me coming to terms with some of my inner most feelings and dipping a toe into a new pool.

*I wanted this post to be longer and explore more feelings, but I abruptly ended it after feeling overwhelmed of sharing. I’m a work in progress.

-Viola Constance

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