I came across this site two days ago and have read through 25 pages on the "Coping with Social Anxiety Board." I'm 30 yrs old and just now realized I have social anxiety. I was surprised to find so many people who deal with the same thing! I keep bookmarking certain topics, so I can show my girlfriend and go, "seeeeee, THIS
is what I'm talking about!"
Oh, and I just came to the realization that I was pretty insignificant in high school. Heh. Yeah, last night while lying in bed, my high school days played out in my head and I can pinpoint things that were evidence of my social anxiety. Three major ones which my parents never understood; I never tried out for baseball, it took me 17 yrs to find a girlfriend, and I stopped drawing and being creative. Growing up playing little league baseball I was a good player, made the all-star teams and had friends and enjoyed myself. But, as I got older I became more self conscious. The thought of trying out amongst my peers and cutting cut was too much to take. I spared myself any embarrassment by not trying. Couldn't ask a girl out because I was too afraid of rejection. I overanalyze and obsess over things. When thinking of approaching a woman, I go through a conversation in my head which always ends in rejection or I simply decide that she would want nothing to do with a loser like me. I used to draw all the time and enjoy it. In fact, I totally stopped after college, which I never finished, I'm maybe 3 classes short. Now, I can't seem to focus on anything or be creative.
Ok, so, yeah, I was the guy who lived in another school district, but I went to a school 45 mins away because my mom was a teacher in that district. She wanted me to go there because the schools were a little better. My family had never moved, so this was all new to me. I had a jacket that needed to be pulled over the head and I had to pull it off in the bathroom because I didn't want anyone to see me take it off at my locker because my hair would be all messy. My mom always worked late, so I'd sit outside the school waiting on her for an hr or two. I sat off to the side by myself and listened to mixtapes on my walkman. I never felt like I identified with anyone. My taste in clothes and music was different. I was just a face in high school. Just insignificant. I never got close to anyone or kept in contact. I started avoiding lunch in 11th grade when a buddy of mine...
I'm gonna stop it there. I feel like I'm rambling and this is just an introduction. But, I will continue to write more. It's somewhat overwhelming, but there's a sense of relief when I read through these posts. And I need to get some of this off my chest. I've only discussed my condition with my three close friends and a very supportive girlfriend. My three close friends are all, "well, yeah, i feel like that to, we all do, you just gotta..." Aaarrrrgghhhhh! I'm talking about waiting in line, aggravated because the four people in self-checkout are moving too slow, the person in front of me is talking on their cellphone loudly, thinking i should be standing more upright and poking my chest out, looking more to one side, so no one can see a blemish on my face, should my arms be crossed, should I continue holding this case of beer because it's not a feather and this is taking foreverrrrrrr, of course I'm standing in front of another isle, so I need to part the way for those coming thru, checking the way people have tied their shoe laces, starting to sweat and I can feel it drip down my side, noticing a friend and turning away hoping that they don't notice me in line. Then, I finally get to a checkout and it's the first one where the line of people can all watch what I do. Oh, god, I can't scan in this asparagus, where is the asparagus on this screen!? Ok, great, now I have to wait for assistance. I've got four things to buy and everyone is wondering why it's taking so long. Everything is fine, but I want to pay in cash and this damn machine won't take my bills! So, again, I have go to the cashier. She gives me the change and I go back and grab my stuff. I'm waiting for the receipt and another person approaches so they can check out. I get nervous and angry, throw my hands up and say forget it. And then I have to make that long walk past EVERYONE in line at all the other checkouts.
I've got OCD too.
My main interests are collecting rare hip hop records and sneakers. I do have friends and I can funtion socially, but it takes it's toll. I had no idea why I would get so grumpy and moody around others in social situations. But, many don't notice. I keep it all in. Usually, I take it out on my girlfriend. It's really my tone of voice or the way I say things that bothers her. It's not that I'm being particularly mean, but I'm just so uncomfortable that it comes out that way.
To cope, I usually have a drink in my hand. It calms the nerves. A friend even mentioned to me, "wow, you always have a cup in your hand." True. I have a park in my backyard, so people walk their dogs, there are families out there and kids running around. Well, if I'm venturing out, then I'll usually grab a drink. Someone's dog starts sniffing you and then I start thinking about a possible conversation arising with the dog's owner. I HATE small talk, especially with strangers. Walking by people makes me very nervous. People on park benches or a small group.
Ok, I'm still going, but this is it. So, many things have popped into my head these past few days and I just want to share. I want to vent and just get it off my chest. Here, I know I can do that without ridicule. And if someone reads what I write, then hopefully they realize they're not alone and there are people who understand and truly empathize. I've got some stories to tell. I'm really a mess right now.
I'm feeling a little silly because I'm thinking that others will not read this because it's too long or someone thinks I just want to talk about myself or whatever. I've done stuff like this on message boards where I write a bunch of stuff and then decide that no one cares, so I simply delete it all. I just hit preview and it's even longer than I thought.
audi 5 thou'