Surprise Guest Post: The Power of Social Anxiety

Morning EVERYONE! I have the pleasure of presenting you with a surprise guest post today! It comes from my friend Rayven who is an incredibly talented writer. She is able to paint a picture in your head with her words (something that I am not so great at). She has an amazing writing style that reaches out to the readers. Check out her blog at http://moonstruckmicrocosm.wordpress.com for more of her work. She posts everything from personal stories, advice, and poetry! She is very talented, so check her out.

Lastly, my eventual goal for this blog is make it a massive self-help/advice resource for everyone to use. I want more guest posters with unique perspectives on life. If you would like to write on my blog, I would LOVE to have you! Please contact me via Ask a Question page and I would love to hear some of your ideas.

So without further ado, I present to you her article!

Social anxiety became the friend I always needed.

Frustration lingering in the air, tastes bitter but I cannot sweeten it with my voice. The perception of reality dissolves around me, and I become trapped within myself.

For a time, writing was the only thing that made me feel heard. It was the only time I wasn’t afraid to speak. I mean really speak. I was silenced everywhere else, and the worst part about the silence was that it was predominantly caused by an internal source.

silence

I couldn’t be myself; I was trapped in a cloud of anxiety, constantly worrying.

Social anxiety (or social phobia) made me afraid to be who I was, even to people I had known for years. The crippling doubt and fear I felt when I tried to speak was enough to keep me curled up and hiding within myself.

On the outside I was smiling, but self-hatred was swimming around in my head.

Being shy meant needing a bit more time to adjust; having social anxiety meant adjusting was not an option.

Blushing, heart palpitations, tunnel vision, sweating, dry mouth, and more would be a constant reminder of how incapable I was. If I knew I had to talk about something, I would spend hours rehearsing what I was going to say. After the conversations, I would painfully replay them in my head, picking them apart and berating myself for every mistake I thought I had made.

And I always walked away from interactions thinking I looked a fool.

Luckily, social anxiety is not who I am. It’s not who anyone is. We so often attribute the flaws in ourselves to who we are as people, but that is not the case.

After struggling for years and after my doctor convinced me I had to seek help for myself, I sought a therapist through my university. I was lucky to have her as my guiding light. I set myself free in that room and it seeped into everyday life.

butterflies

Social anxiety became a challenge rather than an inherent part of who I was. By seeing it as external I could fight it without shaming myself in the process. The burning in my face when I spoke in class was a source of pride rather than humiliation, because it meant I was dealing with it rather than letting it hold me back.

I still struggle with it sometimes, but I am a much more confident person and the progress I have made keeps me fighting.

You are not your depression, or your anxiety, or anything else that seeks to suppress you. Think of them as friends who need love and care, as you do. Embrace them and accept them, help them rise above, but always allow for mistakes.

Mistakes lead to lessons. Each time you try, whether it leads to success or failure, you are laying down a new brick in your path. You are always making progress, just be sure to fight for the progress you want.