I "discovered" social anxiety, just a couple of years ago. All of my life I was different/strange. I am the youngest of 7 kids (yeah 7!), and my parents noticed that I was different than any of my siblings. As a baby I was terrified when people would look at me and try to hold me. I didn't know how to be around other kids who weren't my siblings. I cried every single morning before leaving to elementary school. My family just thought I was just shy. I thought so too. As I got older, I began to feel like it was a problem, a problem that got in the way of life.
I started getting therapy and that's when I learned that I had social anxiety disorder. My family knows about it, but still doesn't quite get it. My extended family, as well as classmates and anyone else who knows me, would describe me as shy and quiet. I can't count how many times I get comments like "don't be shy!" "why are you shy?" and they try to get me out of my shell by embarrassing me. I guess they are trying to help, but little do they know that they are making me feel worse.
I feel terrible sometimes, but I feel like deep down inside, there is more to us than what we think there is. I'm not even sure what that is, but I try my hardest not to let my SA get in the way. I try to play it off (but often fail lol). What makes me lonely, is not the fact that I don't have people around me, but the fact that I can be in a room full of so many people, but feel misunderstood or out of place.