Anxiety is a topic that is mentioned on social media quite a lot, especially in the blogging/vlogging community. It has now become such a common thing to talk about and I feel like it is my turn to explain my story of living with anxiety.
From a very young age I have always been that shy, quiet and timid girl who would pretty much go into a cocoon when around a large group of people. I thought this was pretty much down to the fact of being bullied in school, that I became isolated within myself. From the age of 19 I discovered in fact I had ‘Social Anxiety’. This anxiety disorder is described as “the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.” It wasn’t till university I realised how bad it really was. My anxiety has stopped me going to friends birthdays, doing things on my own and being able to socialise in big groups.
Socialising is a key thing to have whilst at university and when it came to big groups of people I found myself wanting the ground to swallow me up and take me away from the fear of being judged. Although my job requires face to face contact with complete strangers I find it easier to communicate with them as I know what to talk about as it is my job.
Overthinking is a MAJOR issue with those who suffer with anxiety. I know that overthinking is completely normal. However it affects me in two ways. Firstly I am constantly worrying what people think of me, how I approach certain situations, the way I carry myself, the way I talk and just the general actions I make. Secondly, my overthinking can ruin my relationships with people. My family and friends now have some understanding of what I go through so it makes it easier to tell them when I am having a highly anxious day. But when it comes to meeting new people, firstly I find it hard to come face to face with someone new for the first time. But it also effects the prospect of future relationships. As I always need to be reassured, to know it is not a waste of my time.
Those people who don’t have anxiety always fail to understand what goes on in the brain of someone who does suffer. Anxiety has no warning signs neither is it always there. There are days or weeks where I can go without feeling anxious and then one day I won’t want to leave my house. I can go about my usual routine, with the same faces but somewhat feel anxious sometimes.
Finally, the one thing I have learnt since discovering I suffer with Social Anxiety is that there is others out there who feel the same. Those who care will understand and appreciate the fact you suffer with a disorder. I am trying new things everyday to ensure I don’t let the anxiety take over me. It’s baby steps but I have only had a few attacks this month as opposed to 2-3 times a week or sometimes an anxious week.