It can be hard to be a sociable person when you have lots of things going on in your mind that include anxiety.
Anxiety made me not want to be around anyone outside of a close circle of people, mainly family and my fiance. I even struggled to be around some of my friends when I was really poorly, it’s difficult to show people a side of you that you wish wasn’t there.
For a long time I didn’t want to go outside for fear of seeing people and them judging me because I couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed in the first place let alone do my hair and put some nice clothes on.
I wouldn’t go shopping alone, I would only go to the houses of family members, I didn’t want to speak to people because everyone always asks if you are ok, but if you aren’t then they don’t really want to hear the answer.
The only time I went out alone was to go to therapy, my therapist became one of my inner safe circle, someone I didn’t feel much anxiety around, and I am so glad for this.
Without therapy I may never have seen an improvement in my anxiety levels and I wouldn’t be able to do all the things that I can now.
I have made massive progress and now regularly go out on my own and even go the classes at the gym by myself even though it’s full of people I don’t know.
Sometimes though it is still challenging.
This evening we went to a friend’s house, I knew everyone going so I wasn’t worried. Then I got there a said hi to people, and then I realised I didn’t know a couple of them; I wasn’t expecting that and it knocked me back a bit.
I noticed my body language change and I just picked up my phone and started trying to distract myself from the familiar feeling of discomfort caused by these situations.
They didn’t stay for long and once they had left I felt fine, but it is a reminder that I still have work to do and that things will take time to heal and for me to become, what society considers to be, normal.
I can’t ignore the progress that I have made though, just after I got poorly some friends of ours got engaged and I couldn’t attend their party. I went with my fiance’s mum to take him and I was shaking with fear at even being near such an event. Now I feel I would be able to manage it when surrounded by enough people I know in a large open space.
I think today was just difficult because it was in one room of a house and I couldn’t get away if I felt I needed to. I know I wasn’t in any danger but theat voice in your head tells you otherwise.
I am getting stronger each time I survive these situations and it will teach me that I can do it, and I will.