Monday, July 24, 2017

What It's Like To Have Social Anxiety

I sometimes just don't think that people without anxiety quite understand how completely debilitating it is or can be. In particular, social anxiety is one of the things that I struggle with the most (general anxiety also).  I have been reading a few posts of my fellow bloggers and thought that I'd say a few words about it, because social anxiety is a complete fucker. 

So I thought I'd write about a few of the scenarios which have been or are normally aggravated by my anxiety.

Normal meetings and interviews: I will literally spend hours (and I mean hours) dissecting what I have said to people in meetings or interviews. Going over each line and then agonising over something that I said or didn't say. Like even the smallest thing or bad joke will get me to face palm and just stress about how they must think I'm a complete idiot. If it's a job interview, I will attach myself to the tiniest thing that I may have said and just go - yup, that's why I am definitely not getting this job. 

Similarly, if I have a meeting or interview coming up - particularly if it's one which might be stern or serious, I will rehearse constantly. 

If I've had an argument with someone, I will not be able to sleep for I am so anxious. A few years ago, the day that I went on a two week break over Christmas, my company had our Christmas party and I got cornered at the party by a group of women who accused me of spreading a rumour about the finance director having an affair with one of the sales guys. I definitely didn't do it intentionally, but had made a flippant sarcastic joke in the pub a few weeks earlier when they were hugging each other goodbye - innocently, but taken the wrong way. I apologised and it was all fine. Over the Christmas break, I was a fucking wreck, because I had convinced myself that I was going to get disciplinary action over the event and get fired. I wasn't. It was never spoken about again, but it ruined my Christmas. 

A few months ago, I went to my regular Sunday night yoga class and the teacher wanted us to do supported handstands in groups of two or three, which required 1) getting into groups and 2) interacting with strangers on a relatively intimate level i.e. touching each other. I freaked out and ran out of the room to go "to the bathroom". I came back and they were still working in groups, so I got my things and I left. There was NO way that I was going to actually do that - what if I smelt bad, or I was heavy? What if I did it wrong? What if they thought I was bad at yoga? What if they were better than me? Too much anxiety and I left. (This scenario has happened to me a lot - in different forms.) 

When I join a group of people for whatever reason, I freak out. Do they like me? They don't like me? They're looking at my double chin. They must think I'm so fat. They must hate my accent. WHY DID I SAY THAT? God, I must sound like such an idiot. What if they don't like me? I'm not gonna go because they don't like me. 

Sound familiar?

69.3kg today. 

Peace & Love
Xo Xo


Ruby Tuesday said...

Yes it sure does sound familiar my friend
You describe it perfectly
I live it every single day
Post conversation analysis takes up 90% of my time
Then anxiety leads to other behaviours like people pleasing and an inability to say no
Oh yes
Anxiety is a heavy burden
But at least we are not alone

Always here for ya my fellow survivor x

Plum Girl said...

I'm there as well. It's not a fun, and as hard as I work to overcome it, I still experience it in huge waves sometimes... I wrote a bit about mine today also, funny enough.