The reality of social anxiety

A while back I shared “Life with social anxiety”. In the post I go into great detail about what it’s like, from my perspective, to deal with social anxiety.

The reason why I mention that post today is because I want to, again, talk about social anxiety.

For people that don’t suffer from social anxiety, it’s hard to understand it. For people that do, it’s hard to explain it. This can lead to confusion, misunderstanding, misrepresentation of how conversations are carried out. It’s a tangled web.

See, I’m not very good with people. I’m not the type of person who will start a conversation. In fact, if you don’t start the conversation, we might not even have one. I don’t find silence to be awkward. I actually find silence to be calming. People often, though, mistake my silence for attitude.

If there’s one thing that this pandemic has done for me the past year-and-a-half, I haven’t had to explain myself as much. I haven’t had to come up with excuses for why I couldn’t go somewhere or do something. The pandemic did that for me. Now that I’m fully vaccinated and the majority of people in this province are also vaccinated, or getting vaccinated, it’s much safer to go out and do things. Events are starting again. People are meeting for coffees, or dinner and drinks, or just to sit around the table and talk.

All of those things are good. Believe me, ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE GOOD. They’re just hard for me.

I’m awkward.

I don’t love hugs.

Most days I don’t even appreciate handshakes.

In social settings, I won’t deny someone a hug or a handshake if they gesture for it, but I’m definitely not going to initiate it. Sometimes I get the sense that people think I’m cold-hearted because of that.

It’s been nice to not have to force myself into situations that make me uncomfortable for a year and a half. I know, I know, I know all about how we’re supposed to do things in life that make us uncomfortable to ensure that we grow, but, when it comes to social anxiety, it isn’t a situation in which if I do it more, I become more comfortable with it.

I’ve come to the realization that I will always be awkward.

I’ve always been that person that smiles and nods at a stranger if they ask me a question or give me a compliment. Actually, when it comes to compliments, I don’t take them well at all.

Being vaccinated has given me a lot of freedom back. For that, I’m grateful. Wandering the aisles of the grocery story without worry is a really good feeling. It will take me some time to adjust, though, to being around people again. Conversations in passing, meeting for coffee, going to birthday parties (haven’t really started here yet but I know they will), getting my haircut… these things will take me time. I am that girl who will sit in the stylist’s chair for several hours (I have long hair) and maybe say two or three words the entire time. Over the course of those several hours getting my hair cut, I will worry about what the stylist is thinking of me. But, I won’t open my mouth to talk. That is social anxiety guiding me.

For those that know me, they know that I struggle with social interactions. For those that don’t, I’m all too sure they think I’m rude. I think about that a lot, actually. I think about what everyone thinks about me. All the time. They don’t dictate who I am, or who I get to be, but I still do worry I’m leaving the wrong impression.

I guess, as the world opens up again, it’s important to be patient with people.

I am who I am. My social anxiety guides a lot of what I do. If I say no to an invitation, that’s not a reflection of the invitee, that’s me. If I integrate back into the world slowly, there’s a reason for that.

Social anxiety is complicated.

Vaccination Gratitude

Now that I’ve had my first shot, I cannot stress enough how grateful I am. I’m grateful to the scientists who made the vaccine, I’m grateful I live in a country where it’s accessible to me. I’m grateful to the people working tirelessly for sixteen hours a day trying to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

I feel like such a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I feel so much less anxious. I feel so thankful. It is such a blessing to be able to be vaccinated.

I’m so thankful to have the added protection.

I’m so thankful that vaccines have been made more accessible in my province this week.

I’m so thankful that so many people appear to be getting them.

Vaccinations are a good thing. For everyone in society. If you have the chance, and it’s something that I highly recommend everyone take the opportunity to do (if you’re able, that’s of course, as I know it’s not medically possible for some people). If you have questions, please talk to your doctor. Or a doctor. Basically, ask a medical professional.

My anxiety has gone waaaaaaaaaaaay down since getting the shot. I’m still distancing and wearing a mask, of course. It’s just peace of mind to know that I have an added layer of protection. It feels so good to know that.

Some days

Some days I wander around this earth waiting for the rug to be pulled from beneath my feet. Some days all I do is wait for the other shoe to drop. Some days, I say. Some days.

There are days when I am confident, when not a thing in this world can touch me. There are days when the smile on my face is genuine. There are days when I don’t have to worry. There are days.

These days I worry a lot. These days I’m sad a lot. These days I’m very lonely. These days I don’t know what to do. These days I’m afraid to be honest with people because everyone always says ‘Oh but you have so much’. It’s true, I do have a lot in my life. Things don’t always equal fulfillment, though. Things are just things. Fulfillment comes from within. These days…

One day I’ll figure out what exactly it is that I am chasing. One day I’ll feel as though I finally fit in this world, somewhere. One day I’ll have all of the answers. One day.

Until then, I don’t have the answers… just a lot of questions.

Culmination of scattered thoughts

I laid awake most of last night.

I’ve been doing that a lot lately, actually.

I try to sleep. I’ve tried things that could help me sleep and they never do. So I just… lay there. I lay there and I think. Usually I think about my life choices.

What did I do wrong? How do I dig myself out of this? Why do I lack so much confidence? Why am I never good enough for those dreams which I aspire to? Is it all in my head, or am I actually as bad as I think I am?

As with everything in life, I really don’t have the answers… just a lot of questions.

Why does it seem like no matter how many strides forward I take, I am still lost? Will I ever truly feel as though I’ve found my way?

Lately my anxiety has been spiking at absolutely random moments. Today I was watching a video of a puppy who’d just finished eating dinner and he picked up his bowl and walked it around the house. That made me so anxious that I crawled into bed and laid there in the dark to calm down. What is it about the dog that made me anxious? I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you why anything is making me anxious lately. I can tell you that it sucks big time. I wish I knew how to fix my anxiety. Actually, I wish I knew how to not get anxious in the first place.

A girl can dream. Except I won’t because I’ll likely lay awake all night again…

Feelings and whatnot

I don’t think that I’ve ever felt lower of myself then I have in the past couple of months.

It really doesn’t matter how much of a pep talk I try to give myself. It really doesn’t matter how many times I try to tell myself that I need to not be so hard on myself. I see myself in the mirror and I feel depressed.

I’m pretty certain that almost everyone deals with self confidence issues from time to time and that what I feel is not unique to me. That being said, that doesn’t make it suck less. My confidence is at what feel like an all time low.

Hey, it’s Tuesday

Have I made it back to the doctor yet? No.

But, I’m not beating myself up for that fact. I will get there. In the mean time I have taken steps to help minimize my stressors/triggers. I spoke with my boss and am working-from-home for the remainder of the week. Thankfully, I am blessed to be working a company that both allows, and makes it possible, for employees to work from home.

Being around people was making me anxious. My boss was very understanding. When I really stopped to think about it, 100% of my productivity working from home beats 50% of my productivity working from the office because I cannot function because I am so anxious about everyone around.

It’s not a permanent solution. But, for now, I’m taking things day-by-day.

I also took the advice of multiple people who sent me notes both here and on Instagram and I tried meditation last night. While I cannot say that it did anything for me last night, it was my first time ever trying meditation on my own, so I am going to give it more attempts.

I also have not watched the news in two days. I am hoping that helps me not get so stressed about the events of the world. While I do believe it’s important to be informed, it just feels as though the constant influx of ‘holy shitballs’ stories night after night has definitely been getting to me.

Tonight I’m working on another site. I’m also trying to build a store that’s not really a store (it needs to look, appear and feel like an online store without actually using a platform such as shopify as I don’t need the payment platform). I’m considering making some new #MillennialLifeCrisis shirts for my birthday, and I probably should eat dinner and sleep somewhere in there.

What’s everyone else up to these days? I’d love to hear some good news, if there is any out there to be heard. If you’re Canadian, how are you safely taking part in the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday?

Anxious still

After about a month of absolutely debilitating anxiety that has kept me from, well… everything…. I finally worked up the courage today to go to the doctor and seek some help.

This wasn’t an easy step for me to take for many reasons, one of which being that, even with doctor’s offices being very careful with respect to COVID, the idea of being in a small waiting room with someone who was potentially ill made me very anxious. Nevertheless, I did it.

When I got to the doctor I learned that maximum capacity had already been met for the day and they could not take any more patients because they would not be able to see any more patients before closing. Their waiting room was full and with the amount of people who were in there already, they were likely going to be there late.

While I completely understand the situation, I left feeling really defeated. It’d taken me so long to work up the courage to go and admit to my anxiety and when I got there, I was turned away.

The woman whom I spoke with at the clinic told me that I could come back during the week. I just, I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to work up the nerve to go for a second time.

I know that I have to do something. I was just hoping that everything would’ve worked out the way I wanted it to. Being anxious is not important enough means for me to be in the emergency room. So, I think I just need to muster the strength to get back there at some point this week.

The last time that I saw a doctor about my anxiety, they provided me a referral for a therapist. Attending those appointments actually helped me considerably at the time. I wasn’t able to continue because the referral that I was given was only for a certain number of appointments. While that therapist is in another province, I still somehow wish I could just go back and see her. She understood me.

Right now my anxiety is so bad that hypotheticals of hypotheticals of hypotheticals are keeping me from sleeping. Ex: My landlord works for a company that was talked about on the news this past week because they announced massive COVID related layoffs. Immediately I was hit with a fear that he’s getting laid off and because he’s getting laid off he’s going to sell his house because he needs they money and when he sells his house then I’ll be without residence and needing a place to land, in the middle of the winter.

Why is my mind trailing so far down these rabbit holes and why can’t I stop it?

I have to stop watching the news.

I have to do something.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I think I can do this. I think I can get back to the Doctor this week.

I hope I can.

Overheard on discord: The CEO dropping wisdom

Today’s a real zinger. A short, simple and relevant quote left by the CEO.

“If you don’t make time for your wellness you will be forced to make time for your illness.”

Let that sink in.


From time to time I have been sharing stories of things seen on my company discord.

If you missed the first posts, you should check them out!

Story time: The office frat-boy

Story time: Overheard on Discord