We all have our bouts with anxiety. For some it is just when they are stressed out. For others, it is all the time. I am one who experiences anxiety all the time, especially in social situations. Down below is my story of how and when I realized something may be wrong with my head.
So when I was younger I was very quiet. Everyone used to say I was shy. I hated that word. I wasn’t shy, I just didn’t have anything to say. I was quiet. No one thought of it as social anxiety. Back then social anxiety was not much talked about. I knew I was not shy, I was something else.
I really don’t recall when I started to think that is was social anxiety. I recall a time when this girl moved across the street to me. For 6 months or so, I would only talk to her writing on a sheet of paper. This was back in 1998. Her brother I never even talked to for well over 10years. That might have been due to my crush on him also.
I remember things changing in school when I stayed back in grade 7. I hated it so I shut myself down. For the next 5 years I was the quiet one. Never saying a word unless I was called upon in class. I didn’t want to be the quiet one but after a while, I couldn’t change it. I didn’t have it in me to say anything. I would freeze up when someone bothered to talk to me. My body got used to not speaking.
When I got home, I was a different person. Loud and crazy. I would not shut up.
I got my first job right after I finished high school. I was determined not to be the quiet/shy girl again. Unfortunately with social anxiety that doesn’t happen. I was once again the one that didn’t talk and it sucked. I couldn’t change it no matter how hard I tried. When I tried, I just got too nervous. Still didn’t think of the possible social anxiety.
I have such awful phone anxiety that when it rings I will just stand there looking at the caller id panicking. Even if it’s someone important or someone I know, I won’t answer It. the only time I answer the phone is if my mom is calling. Though at times I get too nervous to even answer my mom.
In order to call someone back, I have to go in a room alone. I feel like there is the whole Yankees Stadium packed with people staring at me. It takes me near 30min to an hour just to dial the phone. And when I dial it, I hang it up before anyone could answer. I do that a few times until I can cope with calling.
Now if I go somewhere I get myself a prize if I did good. Normally I can last about 20min before I get panicky. I start thinking people are staring and judging me.The cars passing by will stalk me.
I have been going to the store around the corner and right when I get out, I panic. I want to run home but I know that will make me look like an insane person.
Online I pretend that people are mindless robots typing back to me. If I think they are actual humans then I will begin to panic. If I get into a conversation online then I will start to over think it and freak. Sometimes I don’t reply to people since I have no clue what to say.
I started Paxil back in May 2011 so far it doesn’t work as well as I want it to. It does help with my fear of planes crashing into my house. I think its more of a depression pill then anything. I want to get off it too and try Xanax.
Often I wonder what my life would be like if I got on pills or a therapist earlier. Would I be married and have kids? How would my life be different? If it would be at all.