Sunday, March 23, 2014

Social anxiety disorder OR how I didn't really learn to stop worrying at all

OK, this is going to be another one of those personal posts, so if you don't want to read mushy boring *feelings* stuff, please feel free to skip.

I battle social anxiety every single day (on top of anxiety disorder and panic attacks generally). This is something I've dealt with my whole life. The phone is absolutely terrifying. Face to face interaction is incredibly scary (even if I know you ), and small talk is just straight up beyond me. If you take my pulse during any social interaction, you'll find it's usually about 100 bpm.

The crappy thing is, I want to interact with other people.  I love when people tell me about their lives, when they share where they've been and what they do, and what they want to do.  I revel in the exchange of ideas. But the whole time I'm holding myself from bolting (and here I'll say: bless the internet and facebook for the buffering it adds; it allows me to interact without freaking out.)

Most of my life I've dealt with this by forcing myself to go a little over the top - be a little loud, work a little harder, party a little bigger. I do have some fun at social gatherings, but they also drain me completely. I am constantly trying to think of things to say and trying to do the right thing, and I rarely manage to relax in a social situation.  I force myself to do things and go outside my comfort zone constantly -- you know, like leaving the house to go to the grocery store.

But it's really hard. So here's where I say: please help me. Understand that I'm scared. Try to get me out to do things. Talk to me even when I'm not talking to you, because I literally *can't* do small talk.

Thanks for reading, and all the *hugs*