I'm a 19 year old female and I live in California. To be honest with you I'm really embarassed about writing all this. I'm really not a share-your-emotions kind of person but I think that maybe if I stop holding back and have someone to talk to it would really help me and I'm going to do something extremely uncharacteristic and lay it all out here. So get ready for this block of text I'm about to slap you guys with and sorry in advance.
I've had social anxiety my entire life. When I was a kid I was mostly just really shy and I was able to do normal things like have friends and go outside. But as I've gotten older the anxiety has gotten worse and worse and it's gotten way past the point that I need to do something about it. When it first started getting really bad, I was in middle school. I was bullied alot, and even though I didn't get it as bad as some kids I wasn't able to deal with the rejection well because of my already existing SAD. I was harassed emotionally, physically, verbally, and any other way you could imagine. The last friend I've ever had outside family was in 7th grade. That was 6 or 7 years ago, and after that I pretty much cut out any sort of communication with people outside family that wasn't necessary or on internet forums like this. I couldn't talk to anyone or even make eye contact with people. Middle school is also where I started becoming very depressed.
In high school things got even worse. I never had one friend in high school and the only talking I did was to my teachers, who were usually only talking to me because they were concerned about me. I started having anxiety attacks all the time, and it became normal for me to skip classes to sit in the bathroom.
After I graduated, I had to fly back out here to Cali with my sisters and it triggered the worst anxiety attack I've ever had. I had to stop and sit on the floor in the middle of the airport several times and I came close to blacking out in the car driving there. Now I can't even leave the house at all because I'm so afraid of it happening again. Ironically, my fear of having a massive anxiety attack is causing me to have massive anxiety attacks every time I think of going anywhere.
Right now, my SAD is at the worst it's ever been. It's effecting anything and everything in my life. I can't have friends, get a job, learn to drive, or leave my house. Any sort of touching even as simple as a handshake has become unbearable. I have a bunch of weird hang ups about everything, like eating in public or walking with someone behind me.
The main reason I decided to join this site is because last year, when I graduated, I had the most horrible realization. It was my last day of school when everyone was talking about going to college and their futures and I realized something that I always just sort of believed in the back of my mind. I'm ashamed to say it but I never actually believed I was going to survive past high school. I've been suffering with depression since middle school, and even though it's not as bad as it used to be it can still become very bad once in a while. When I was in school I thought for sure that it would have become to much for me to handle. The good news is I was wrong. The bad news is that because I never thought of life past high school I don't really know how to do anything. My depression caused me to live in a fog. My body is there but I live in my mind and shut everything else out. I can't live like that forever and now I feel overwhelmed by everything. It's like waking up to something you're completely unprepared to deal with. I have a paralyzing fear of getting a job or living on my own and I honestly don't know how I'm ever going to be able to get over this and support myself.
I know I'm only 19 and it's not that horrible that I'm not fully supporting myself yet, but I can't help but be terrified that I'll never be able to do it. I feel like a horrible burden on my parents because I can't work or drive or anything. I've had this problem for so long I wouldn't even know how to function without it. Obviously my SAD has gone way past being healthy and I really don't like the path that my life is headed right now.
I'm hoping that joining this forum is going to help me. I really appreciate anyone who took the time to read this post and I hope to make some friends on here.