Imagine that you're flying through the skies. The skies are blue and clear with some clouds floating around. You're calm, relaxed, and in peace. However, if you imagine a dark sky full of storm clouds crashing through and rain pouring down, this is when you're at your limit.
I am not a psychologist, first off. But what I can do is provide some advice for anyone who has suffered from anxiety. Some people would say: "Oh, it's just nervousness, you can just brush it off," and people don't think that it would've been as helpful as what you think. Sometimes, it could make people feel worse. I've seen people go through anxiety before, both good and bad. It's not the same thing as nervousness.
Imagine that you're inside an empty box. The empty box represents your mind. If you dump a lot of things inside the box, it would be full. This can lead to stress and anxiety.
This is how I feel when I'm in a social environment. I would be silent when there are more than two people in my circle. My communication skills got worse because of this, and I would be isolated throughout my entire life. This is why I didn't get invited to most of the social events that were happening in my circle. But it's fine. I'd rather play video games or explore my inner world during my spare time.
Which brings up to the topic of this story: social anxiety.
Social anxiety is a person that gets nervous when interacting with other people. It's not the same thing as being shy or introverted. However, they are similar. Being shy or introverted means that you don't want to talk to people. You become isolated and you feel uncomfortable when you talk to other people. But social anxiety is way beyond those two. When it comes to social anxiety, it's the fear of interacting with other people. You suddenly panic with almost every interaction you make with another person.
I want to clarify that I'm not diagnosed with a disorder of social anxiety. However, I do have some symptoms that could relate to social anxiety.
First off, I have problems talking to people, especially random strangers and people that I barely know. I find it a hard time to socialize with other people, even with one-on-one conversations. Every time I interact with other people I barely know, I am usually silent. I barely open my mouth to random people. The only thing that I would talk about is something that is relevant to my life or a topic that I would be interested in.
Second off, I'm socially awkward. I can say outrageous things that come out of my mind and feel embarrassed about it. During elementary school, I'm not very well known around people. They tend to think of me as "stupid" or "idiot" or any other word that would describe me. I don't want to say those words because it would either be explicit or offensive. It hurts. I would cry about it all day because of all the mean things that people say about me. That's why I swore to myself that I should never talk about my elementary years again...even if it came back to me over and over again.
Third off, I hate confrontation. I don't like arguing with other people because I'm not very confident about what I would say. Sometimes, people push me around if I make a mistake. In fact, I always get scared about the landlord confronting me when I put the garbage away. I also have constant flashbacks about things that put me down and I always regret the choices I make. I always said to myself: "What could I do differently to avoid this from happening?"
Anxiety would've kill me if I don't get my life together.
Finally, I'm not an open-minded person. I don't share my ideas and thoughts to other people (which is ironic because this is one of my thoughts) unless I get to know them better. When I talk to them on a one-on-one conversation, I usually share my ideas with them. I don't mind being partnered up with another person. But I don't like being in a group that has four or more people. However, I would be comfortable if there is one person in my group that I'm close to. I don't have to feel so alone when there is a person I know. If I don't know anyone from my group, I may be in trouble.
This is why I've been alone most of the life.
When it comes to coping with anxiety, I listen to music or write stories. Sometimes it doesn't help me at all depending on how bad it is. I have been seeing a counsellor twice, one is when I have started my last year of high school, and the other time is right now. In my opinion, talk therapy is one of the best solutions for me because I get to express on how I feel.
It's not easy getting over anxiety. It'll take weeks, months, or even years to recover. But with support and coping methods, it'll be easier to control. I've learned how to handle it, but it'll take me time. I have problems about telling my family about my anxious self, thinking that I would get over it, but it's not easy getting over it. I would feel a bit better if they supported me instead of brushing it off. It's hard. I don't get along with people that easily.
But I always tell myself this: find people who will make you feel better. Maybe you can find peace again.