Finding my own romance and creating a life – Fighting Social Anxiety

I don’t know how many of you remember, but back in March of 2011 I did a blog about tackling shyness (in connection with my book ‘A Blush of Magic’). Anyway, I’d like to revisit that subject and say that, yes, I do suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder and have for as far back as I can recall. I was one of those children who hid under my desk for the first month of kindergarten. I’d rather have understanding than pity and I am not alone in my self-imposed prison; millions of people around the world suffer from Social Anxiety, sometimes called Social Phobia, to one degree or another.

For some people it only manifests in very specific situations, for others it’s more generalized. Some of the symptoms are unnoticeable to anyone on the outside, like the negative thoughts and feelings that come from perceived scrutiny and assumed judgement by others. This can cause sufferers to be perceived as aloof or snooty, because we often find it difficult to speak up or try not to get involved in long conversations. Other symptoms can range from sweating to increased heart rate to blushing, trembling, stammering, difficulty breathing and full out panic attacks.

For me I have learned to automatically avoid situations that cause panic, which is a problem because social gatherings scare me, one on one conversation is nerve racking, and dating is terrifying. I’m not getting any younger though and I don’t want to always live like this. Yes, I love to write romance and fantasy, I love to read, but I don’t want the only romance I experience or the only friendship I see to come from what I write or what I read.

I have found help in two really great books by Leil Lowndes called ‘Goodbye to Shy‘ and ‘How to Talk to Anyone,’ but going from reading to doing is very difficult and I have done a lot of backsliding. I’ve also had a bit of help from the medical community, but therapy can be really expensive and waiting lists are long (NHS) so it’s up to me to change things.

So, I have joined some groups on meetup, a social networking site, and I’m going to a museum visit and coffee at the end of the month. I am also determined to take interesting cooking classes, learn to dance so I can go to Ceilidhs (pronounced Kay-lee) and many other things. First, though, baby steps. I’ll go out to things, use methods to try and calm my anxiety and hope I get better at social interaction. I’m determined so I will.

It can be really difficult to admit to such a thing as Social Anxiety when we live in a society that awards confidence and finding support is difficult. If you are suffering know that you are not alone and keep trying.

Rose Connelly

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mindfulnesstoolkit
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 16:56:54

    Go girl! I think blogging is such an extroverted thing for introverts to do.

    Reply

    • roseconnelly
      Sep 21, 2012 @ 23:14:10

      Thanks for the support. It’s always appreciated and I agree with you about blogging, which is one of the reasons I do it. I think the more I just get things out there, the more open I am, the easier it is to accept things and deal with them (if you know what I’m talking about). Do you blog?

      Reply

    • roseconnelly
      Sep 21, 2012 @ 23:21:00

      Found your blog and took a look at it. It’s a great thing that you are supporting your child to deal with anxiety. It’s a tough and isolating road. Hmm, a bit like being a writer actually. I wish both of you the best of luck.

      Reply

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