It sucks having social anxiety.
Good Day to anyone who reads this...
My name is Nicole and I am 18, soon to be 19. Like so many of you, I have always been very quiet, shy, and
introverted. I've always considered these characteristics simply a part of my personality, the way I am, but only until
about a month ago have I realized that I suffer from social anxiety.
The other day I was doing some serious thinking trying to remember my first 'incident' I guess you would call it of a
social anxiety moment, and I traced it all the way back to my Tiny Tots class when I was only 4 years old. The class
I was in had about 20 kids aged 3 to 4, and at the back of the Tiny Tots room there was a stage that we had the
option of playing on with toys and whatnot during 'free time'. Most of the other kids thought it was so great to be on
this stage and put on little plays with eachother, and run around jumping on and off the stage and such, but I was
always nervous to go on it because I felt like I was being seen and watched by everyone. All I wanted to do at Tiny
Tots was play with Play-Doh by myself or do puzzles. I didn't like the other kids and I didn't talk to them, I hated
being there. I really believe that this may have been the start of me feeling socially anxious. Also, through grades 1
to 3 I always hated standing in front of the class for all of 4 or 5 minutes for show-and-tell, but I did it anyways
because I strived for near perfect grades, but then in 4th grade it came time to do my first ever speech. As soon as
my teacher told the class about the assignment I was terrified. For 3 weeks leading up to it I was distraught and
losing weight and sleep. A few days before I was to present I worked up the courage to tell my Mom what I was
worrying about.(She had been trying to pry it out of me for 2 and-a-half weeks.) My Mom came to the school on the
day I was supposed to present and explained the situation to my less than understanding teacher. As I stood there in
tears she said that I could present in front of only her...which in my eyes was hardly any better than in front of the
whole class, but I did it, mind you I cried through the entire 3 minute speech about my cat Tiger. After that day I had
a new hatred for school and teachers because it seems that they just don't get it. (Sorry to any teachers that may read
this, but for me thats how it is.) I didn't really care about my grades anymore...just as long as I passed. I feel that this
speech incident also may have triggered a case of post traumatic stress syndrome. But anywho, ever since then I've
always taken a zero for any project or part of a project that had a presentation component, and I've always 'been sick'
when we had to do presentations as part of group work projects and assignments. Might I add I always despised
All through my middle school years and especially in highschool I would rarely participate or raise my hand to
answer questions, ask to use the washroom, read out loud, walk past big groups of peolple in the halls, walk in to
class late, walk into the cafeteria during lunch, go to assemblies...and the list goes on and on...I'm sure most of you
can relate. I always felt fat and ugly, and like I looked gross. I had and still do have low self-seteem and am very
self-conscience. I'm going to stop blabbing about school now though because I hate it and I'm so thankful that I
actually graduated so I never have to step foot in the building ever again.
But yeah...as for things now, I don't really hang out with my friends anymore because whenever I do there is always
a lot of awkward silences that make me feel so nervous and uncomfortable. I feel like it's because of something to
do with me...I guess...I don't really know. All I do know is that they always happen, and it bothers me enough that I
pretty much do everything by myself now, and go places by myself. To me it seems silly because they're my friends
and we shouldn't have awkward silences, and I shouldn't feel weird around them, but I do.
Does this happen to anyone else?...it would be great if someone could shed some light on this for me, and let me
know I'm not the only one who's experiencing this.
Well anyway this is my rant...I've never wrote about any of the above before so I guess I'll see what happens. Time
to try to get some much needed sleep.