A pretty generic post about social anxiety

One of the biggest issues I suffer with is caring too much what others think of me. I know, you don’t have to say anything. I just need to let this out.

Its one of the biggest issues people with social anxiety deal with, and its one of the most easily dismissed by non-anxiety sufferers. “Who cares what other people think!” Right? We’ve heard it far too many times. People with good intentions love to tell us these things and, we get it, you mean well, but that doesn’t help. It’s not that simple.

If it were, we would absolutely love to just turn that off. It really is so exhausting to be constantly thinking about literally everything happening around you, and happening in your head, how you think you’re acting, and how you’re being perceived all while trying to just fit in and be normal.

Am I being normal?

Are they looking at me weird?

Does he think I’m lying?

Does she think I’m awkward?

Did I just say something that could have been taken as offensive?

Did I just sound like I’m trying to too hard to participate in this discussion?

Do they think I’m not intelligent?

Are they judging me?

And then commence the over-compensation in your personality to make sure you’re coming off as nice (because on the inside you’re severely in distress), which really makes you come off as having too much personality, then comes the fear of having too much personality, yadda yadda yadda downwards spiral yadda yadda.

We don’t like to talk about this, though, because non-anxiety sufferers don’t always get it. In fact, most of them don’t, and we’re afraid of that. We’re afraid of admitting and explaining what is going on in our heads because if they don’t understand it, then they can’t relate to it, which just further isolates us from them. We also fear that we won’t be taken seriously, and if we aren’t taken seriously, we fear the judgement of being considered weak or dramatic.

I don’t really know where else to go with this other than to say that it sucks thinking this way. Every waking moment of the day. It sucks that this is accepted as normal life, going around and having the mechanisms in my brain go on over-drive every time someone talks to me.

All this “we” and “us” talk is really just me being too ashamed to say “me” and “I”. Even under a mask of anonymity, I’m still incapable of it. Don’t even ask how many times I’ve read this damn thing and how much I’ve struggled over whether or not to post it.

That’s just stupid. This is my blog. Post it already. No one knows who you are and…. WHO CARES WHAT THEY THINK.

Save as draft.

Here we go…

I’m way too anxious to put myself out there because someone I know, out of an entire internet of people, will totally find this random and incredibly unpopular blog and immediately recognize me… YOU NEVER KNOW.

Here is the general stuff: I’m female, I’m in my early 30’s. I’m married without kids. I am a supervisor at my job. This is my first managing position.

Here is the why-I’m-here-stuff: I’ll keep it short and simple so I don’t lose you, if I haven’t already.

As you can see from my totally unoriginal blog title above, I have general and social anxiety disorder. I am high functioning, but my brain doesn’t stop, my thoughts are intrusive, I worry about a thousand things at once, sometimes to the point where I shut down.

My mom is my counterpart, my sage, my best friend, my go-to for everything in life. I always describe her as my twin sister that happens to be 30 years older than me. She has her own issues with anxiety, so together we share everything. We are each other’s therapists, although really she is just mine because she is experienced in life and I’m just a sprout in this big world.

She passed away suddenly a few months ago. It was unexpected.

So here I am, clinging on to the debris of a shipwreck. I wear my strength on my face as I smile and pretend like my life isn’t in chaos, but inside I’m drowning. I’m way too anxious to cry in public, let alone give off the impression that something is wrong. God forbid someone comes up to me and asks me if I’m ok.

My husband is amazing, but the last thing I want to do is cry to him every single day. I have a marriage to support, and I’d rather he be a source of positivity than a worried tear sponge.

I avoid grieving with my dad and brother because I can’t bear to see them sad. My brain takes profound photographic images of their mourning faces and later shoves them into my consciousness at any given moment to remind me how much they are sad, and how much it hurts me that they are sad.

Therefore, a lot of my grief is spent in private or behind a fake smile that is also masking overwhelming anxiety and fear of how I’m being perceived, how I’m contributing to my job, my marriage, my life, etc etc etc.

In the mean time, I’m a new manager and I’m suddenly tasked with having to delegate tasks and point out errors to people. Sometimes this involves doing this with employees that are 3 times my age, and 3 times more experienced. Those same employees have made it abundantly clear that they strongly dislike me. My work life is basically every socially anxious person’s idea of pure hell.

So! A blog seemed like a good place to put some of my thoughts out there. I’m not sure what I’m trying to get out of this… although catching the attention of like-minded people would actually be really rewarding, whether you have anxiety, are going through grief, or both. Regardless, I’m doing this for me. I could use a peaceful place to release.

Ok, blog post #1 done.