Friday, May 22, 2015

Social Anxiety..

Nobody truly understands just what I accomplished or rather what God accomplished last night at my preschoolers graduation party...

No one with out social anxiety that is.

Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. You could say social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people.  It is a pervasive disorder and causes anxiety and fear in most all areas of a person's life.  It is chronic because it does not go away on its own.  Only direct cognitive-behavioral therapy can change the brain, and help people overcome social anxiety.

Triggering Symptoms

People with social anxiety usually experience significant distress in the following situations:
  • Being introduced to other people
  • Being teased or criticized
  • Being the center of attention
  • Being watched or observed while doing something
  • Having to say something in a formal, public situation
  • Meeting people in authority ("important people/authority figures")
  • Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations ("I don’t know what to say.")
  • Embarrassing easily (e.g., blushing, shaking)
  • Meeting other peoples’ eyes
  • Swallowing, writing, talking, making phone calls if in public
This list is not a complete list of symptoms -- other symptoms may be associated with social anxiety as well.

 Here is my list the things that make me shake, and short of breath and anxious, have panic attacks, cry, flush, feel sick...or be annoying to my friends and family...granted some of these make most people uncomfortable but does it render them useless or just make them uneasy??

* People waiting in line behind me, at a bank if it's not a quick in and out, at a grocery store , (I'm the one that if the isle is blocked I turn around and go around or somewhere else rather then say excuse me.) at an event if people are waiting to eat that I know need to get going(like at graduation last night.) Being in the restroom and knowing someone is waiting to use the it....Normal everyday activities, and situations that you can not avoid...if someone is standing behind me waiting I would rather say "don't worry about it I'll do it later and leave" than finish up and make people wait who might be in a hurry or getting annoyed with me. Even if i have a right to do what I'm doing and it's really not talking that long at all...

*Sending food back at a restaurant..I just don't do it, I just can't.

*Ordering over the phone

*Crowds in general

*If I know anyone is upset with me or don't like me for ANY reason. (makes my job rough sometimes when it comes to parents and teacher relationships...)

*When I mess something up (like CD's with pictures for my parents...)

*Public restrooms

*Standing up at a conference/church/staff meeting/movie... to go to the restroom in a room full of people sitting (hence I'm real good at holding it). Even when you are told at the start of the conference that you can go at anytime...(I've put garbage in my purse rather than stand up and find a trash can before).

*Asking for help at a store finding something

*Asking for the price of something at a yard sale (haggling for me is out of the question).

*Going to an event and not knowing where exactly I'm going/parking/what door to use....

*Small talk

*Addressing a crowed (Drama was okay I had lines) Being in front of people doesn't seem to bother me as much as being the only one talking to a group of people.

*Parties where I don't know everyone really really well.

*Parties I'm in charge of much larger then 6 people even if I do know them well.

*Phone someone I don't know really really well or at all. Nor can I talk on the phone if anyone is in the room with me. the fear of dialing the wrong number...Voice mail...nope.

*Working on projects in a small group where if i mess up i mess up everyone's grade/job/whatever/ committees its not that I don't want to do be on them or help....its just that I can't.

*Getting somewhere too early, or too late.

*Hosting anything more than a couple friends over to hang out...ever.

*Ice Breaking activities with strangers, small or large group.

*Being called on or singled out in class/ staff meeting.

*Resort vacations (lots of people) hence most of our vacations are camping/hiking.

* A host of other things I haven't connected yet that I do almost everyday.

As for my symptoms that's easy I just never knew so many of them were connected to such different situations...

panic/ panic attacks
short breath/dizzy
red face/ skin
obsessing (for example I found out people don't like the way I dance and I can't seem to get over it and honestly dancing has not been as much fun in months because of it) its irrational and I know that but it's where I'm at.
An over whelming desire to hide...or leave...or not go. (these often win if I have a choice)
(I would not be surprised if my insomnia has something to do with this as well)

Sometimes at the end of a party like last weekend (actually last weekend went pretty okay...) or an event like last night's I'm so physically and emotionally drained from trying to hold myself together I'm basically broken.  God always get's me through...I don't know what I would have done last night without him...

I normally end up feeling like a bad friend because I say no to parties wither it be baby showers/31/Mary Kay or just a party...

I normally end up saying no when invited out to bars, or events...

I normally end up saying no..or I say yes when I'm invited on a good day but by the time the actually day comes around it's a bad one and I back out.

I normally ALWAYS feel like a bad friend to everyone.

Believe me I've been trying...I've gotten better at dealing with the feelings (they are not gone or at all better, I'm just better at dealing with them) Hence the party last weekend wasn't bad and that is an encouraging thought,  and in other cases like dancing it's gotten worse.

I think it's this that holds me back with my co-workers as well...I'm so socially's painful both physically and mentally.

At cowboy up I'm good if it's not Sat but it took me darn near 5 years to even TRY to really get to know the regulars out there...6+ years... I missed out on 6+ years of some pretty wonderful people because well...because I'm me.

I found a thing on facebook that really got me paying attention to my triggers and why I react the way I do. I really liked it though the pictures were a little much. Yet these things are what I wish i could get my friends to least some of these things. It's not that i don't like you or want to spend time with you...its not even your fault it's painful.

I'm usually the one who sees anything buzzfeed and goes this is going to be awful/judgmental/or offensive. this one was okay. I click on any buzzfeed article with a critical eye and more often then not learn more from the comments then the article...

I always knew I had social problems that I was at least awkward...but as time goes on I would not be surprised if I were diagnosed with moderate social anxiety disorder. In my research they say it can be diagnosed normally in adolescence but major symptoms show themselves in the early 20's right around the age I had my first panic attack. That it will more then likely progress and get worse...I also read that exposing yourself to the situations that make you anxious really doesn't help...

I'm not a big doctor person but if we ever get life figured out I may try behavioral therapy...until then I'll continue to learn my triggers prepare myself for the situation and trust in God to get me through when I fall apart just like he did last night when I almost started crying. I'm just really tired of feeling like a bad friend, an outsider at my job, and uncomfortable line dancing which is one of my favorite things.

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