10 years later, since my first post here....
You guys... Its been 10 years since I joined SAS forum. I was 16 when I first joined, and now I'm 26
At 16, social anxiety had crippled every part of my life. I used to wonder back then what was wrong to me, I was so depressed and I used to wonder if I would change and if things would get better in the future.
In those 10 years, my father died, I did A levels, Finished university, Became the sole breadwinner and caretaker of my home when my mom got sick and siblings moved out, started a small business, got into what is now a 5-year relationship with my partner and even managed to get a master's degree.
and you know what? Social anxiety is still here.
I am literally an adult who can't answer a new phone call from new potential clients without taking a deep breath and forcing myself to do it (and mind you, there have been times that I don't answer the phone, because I'm too scared.
I could barely send a WhatsApp message to my current clients for cancellations without having a panic attack beforehand.
I almost quit my master's degree programme because I was too terrified to present my thesis.
Job interviews kill me because I can't find the words or thoughts.
and my boyfriend used to watch in amusement as I struggle to make an order of food.
To a normal person. Things like this seem silly and irrational, but for people like me, the struggle is real.
I've honestly come to the realization and acceptance that social anxiety is always going to be a part of my life. I stopped trying to "talk more" or push myself to be normal. I used to have people tell me I would grow out of this. And for somethings and in some ways, things do get better. But social anxiety is a shadow that is always with me.
It's a daily battle, and you have to keep challenging your thoughts and your fears every day. Somedays you win and some days you lose, but you have to keep going and you can't give up. I've had my own fair share of depression and you have to make it another day, because you deserve another day and another chance.
I want to tell everyone in this community how special and awesome you are. Coming back to this forum feels like home and back when I was a teenager, this forum saved me. There was always someone who knew and understood what I was feeling. so thank you.