What Social Anxiety Stole From Me

I have had a lot of time recently to think about what I have lost in the last three years to my social anxiety. It is funny, in the moment you think about the things that you have lost.

The most glaring thing is it has been well over two years since I have been in a movie theater. That is so strange, but I don’t remember the last movie that I saw in the theater. Not to mention I don’t know the last time I saw a live play. I miss these things, but I have so much anxiety. It saddens me the things that I lose to my social anxiety.

What kills me is that I want to do things. Go to the beach which is twenty minutes away. I want to go enjoy a nice cup of coffee and read a good book, but I am not great out in the world. I am so afraid of having a panic attack and losing control in front of people.

If you had read any of my anxiety blog posts you know that control is something that I struggle with in this life. It is one of my weaknesses.

I feel lost when I lose control, and it is one of the reasons that I tend to isolate especially at this time of the year. I hate that I let myself get to the point where I do all my work at home, although there are some extenuating circumstances this time, isolation is a safe place.

I have lost a lot of things in this life to my social anxiety, but it is not all bad. There are ways to improve on my social anxiety through therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. I have made conquering my social anxiety a significant goal in 2019. I will, of course, be writing my journey down as always. Sharing through experience is the best thing.

Always Keep Fighting

James

My GoFundMe Page

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog

The Bipolar Writer blog is raising the money to upgrade this site to a business blog. This will take this blog to the next level and I will be able to allow people to sell their written work here on my blog. There are also so many big things that come along with the business plan so that we can continue to share mental illness stories. 

I know it is a lot to ask. So many of us in the mental illness community struggle to meet their basic needs. Here is James asking for money. I know the struggle (it is why I can’t spend the $300 plus of my own money to take the blog to the next level.) With everything going on with my memoir and self-publishing this blog can use your help. If you can give anything, not matter how small, can be a game changer.

We have raised $135! That is amazing.

We are still short of our goal of $325, the cost of the upgrade for a year. If we raise enough, I’d like to upgrade for the next two years (which totals $435.) If you can donate it would mean the world to me, if not I understand. 100% of what is raised will stay with the blog and only used to upgrade.

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25 Replies to “What Social Anxiety Stole From Me”

  1. I have a half-finished blog post that is basically “does anyone else get weirdly panicked at the movies?” I know part of it for me is that, “phones off, be still, commit to this and only this for two hours” requirement of sitting through a movie. PTSD says, “what if you miss *that* phone call?!” The bully-in-my-brain says, “what right do you have to take this much time just for yourself?” Old school dysautonomia just adds, “hi, sorry, but you’ll have to go fo the bathroom rather urgently midway through and squeeze past everyone right at the dramatic point.” And, social anxiety caps it all off with, “oh, great, so people will stare or berate you for getting up to pee, for chewing loudly, or for just being your generic ADHD fidgety. Better preemptively respond…by panicking right as the lights go down so all those things become more pronounced *immediately.* THAT will certainly help things…”

  2. This is another relatable post and a great read. I also have lost so much thanks to anxiety and wish I could see a therapist about it. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to spend for a therapist.

  3. Feels! If we could all count everything we have let us pass us by in life because of our anxiety – it would probably be as deep as the ocean. Though, it is good that you are fully aware of the extent of your social anxiety and that you are planning to overcome it this year! I wish you the absolute best of luck! And also, do not stress so much about being able to overcome a lot of it in a short period of time. Baby steps are the way to go here – and sometimes the smallest steps lead to the biggest changes!

    1. Baby steps in this situation is what I need. I know I can get better at this anxiety thing. Thank you for sharing your own struggle. It makes it easier to deal with mine knowing I’m not alone.

  4. All the best! It’s okay if we are slow, but we are certainly improving day to day. And we will certainly still enjoy our solitude in writing from time to time. Good luck:)

  5. Hope you can find ways, one step at a time, to overcome this challenge! I too have dealt with panic attacks in crowded places. It can be hard to want to venture out. It is interesting to me that depression and anxiety have a way of isolating us from others. It is so much harder to face mental illness alone. Hope you can find safe people and safe places. I love reading your posts! You are authentic and honest and a great writer. You have a lot to offer the world!!

  6. You’re not alone! At all James! I feel also that my social anxiety continues to take/steal moments away from me. But all is not lost. I think putting myself and well being first is vital. I know and acknowledge that I don’t do well in social settings therefore don’t force and obligate my mind and body to be in one. Yes, I miss many, many things, events, etc. But I’m not all lost, I have hope that one day, all of me will recover.

    Although I do think my husband and kids feel the wrath of my anxiety/social anxiety, I do appreciate them trying to be the best support they can be.

    Thank you for this, I needed a reminder that I’m not alone. 🙏🏽

  7. Do keep fighting, as I ead your words I became anxious, I feel as you do right now, I know mine is Bipolar depression + fear as my wife is dying, I do get out, and at the same time lately I am sleeping too much.

  8. I have often thought about how my social anxiety has affected me throughout my life but it has been especially so and unexpectedly so since I moved to Boston five and half years ago. I think you just inspired tomorrow’s blog post.

  9. I think a lot of us who have anxiety can relate. I really enjoy your blog keep up the good work and never give up! 🙂

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