Social anxiety is a major part of my life. I am always working towards resolving my issues especially this year where I have so many big plans. You can find my series of blogs on social anxiety here.
10 Things About My Social Anxiety Life
I have written a lot on The Bipolar Writer blog about my social anxiety life. It’s my major life goal of 2018 to finally conquer my social anxiety. I recently wrote an article about the ”Nine Things I Wish I People Knew About My Bipolar Depression.” Its publication will be in an online psychology magazine (will link it when it gets published.) It gave me the idea to write this blog.
I will share what I wish people knew about my own struggles. This should be fun.
1. Social anxiety is not fun or cool. Having social anxiety sucks. There is no getting around it, and it annoys me when people glamorize it. I am not talking about those of us who are struggling every day with crippling anxiety and are struggling. If asked If I could choose to have anxiety or not, 10/10 I would go without it. So many days I wish that I could be without my social anxiety.
2. Panic attacks can be an out-of-body experience. It is the worst thing when, in my social anxiety life, I lose control of who I am with a panic attack. The feeling you get when a panic attack strikes can take you outside your body.
3. Medication isn’t always the answer. I have had positive an negative experiences with anxiety medication. What I have learned is anti-anxiety medication can be really good, but alone it is not enough. I have had to learn the hard way that you have to find outlets to channel your anxiety.
4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is very useful. I can’t imagine I would have gotten through the major parts of my social anxiety without CBT. I think my social anxiety would be 100 times worse. I have found it effective to learn CBT alongside my therapist. There are plenty of CBT workbooks out there for those who prefer work alone.
5. In my social anxiety life I have my safe places. These are perhaps the best things and the worst things. I can be productive in my safe places— my favorite coffee shops or at my desk at home. It can also be counterproductive. I tend to only go to my safe places during the months when my social anxiety is out of control.
6. It takes me a while to get used to new people. My thoughts are often about the worst case scenarios when faced with social situations. I tend to be really shy in life. I don’t do well with people I don’t know. Once I get comfortable you will see a different side of me.
7. Driving anxiety is a real thing. I know its something in my life. Driving used to be one of my safe places but the last two year have been a struggle. I have no idea the triggers because I love driving. My social anxiety has become a major “on my mind thing” while driving and the fear of having a panic attack while driving is real. It has happened a few times just in the last six months.
8. My social anxiety can be more crippling than depression. It’s hard to say but I have made this realization recently. I can, at some level, work on my depression. That comes from years of experience. While anxiety has been a part of my life over the last ten years, it got worse over the three or four years. It’s been prominent in my therapy since I started.
9. Group Therapy doesn’t work for my social anxiety life. I have had bad experiences with group therapy. I had trouble just opening up to my therapist and it is impossible for me to focus or share in a group setting.
10. Writing about my social anxiety life has saved me. I would be nowhere with my social anxiety without my blog. I am able to write and share which in itself has been great. The support from the mental illness community has been absolutely unreal, and it has helped me grow into my social anxiety.
So that is it. Ten things I wish people knew about my social anxiety. It is a pleasure as always to share my life with my fellow bloggers.
Always Keep Fighting.
James Edgar Skye