Social Anxiety & Goals ☺
First, I'd like to say I haven't been on in so long. (Welcome back, me!! ^-^) I notice this forum is very active so I want to use it with my best ability and I'm deciding I'll be online more often now.
-Social Anxiety History-
I've had Social Anxiety pretty much since I was born. My social anxiety was so bad when I was younger, I wasn't even able to talk to anybody. I was very shy and didn't know what anxiety was at the time. I would mainly get bullied at such a young age, it was so bad to the point I stepped into depression(Depression: Welcome, my saddest friend!). As a kid, I wasn't able to defend or even speak up for myself. I would just cry and feel sad/bad about myself all the time. Thinking, maybe something was wrong with me? Maybe everyone is normal and I was the only abnormal person in the entire class. While I was a kid, I kinda almost felt like I was a monster to everyone else, how they would always tease me and bully me. I let my hair grow really long, and it's dark. So the group of kids in class would call me the grudge, or it, or call me the girl that never talks and thinks I'm going to hurt all of them. But my only problem was that, I wasn't able to even speak. Whenever I actually tried talking as a kid, my voice would be really low, or it would crack. Always scared of being judged by others even if I do speak in class. Fear. I hardly spoke to anyone, (of course, anxiety!) the only type of people I ever made friends with were the ones who were only using me to get something, or I would only have one friend that I ended up being friends with for the long/short term(Friends, of course, come and go~). I was never able to ask any type of question even if I had to go to the bathroom, instead I just pissed myself(everyone laughed at me, ha). Even if the teacher was very nice and sweet I still wasn't able to ask for, to go anywhere, this goes for any type of question really. My anxiety would become so bad to the point that I remember, I was panicking so much on the inside of my mind. Feeling the heat rise slowly up my body, my heart began to race so fast, that I might actually faint right there and then. Worried and not wanting anyone to look and nor speak to me. Or else, I will definitely faint on the spot.
During middle school I was able to open up a little bit from my anxiety. Though, while I spoke, my voice would still be low or it would crack. I had so much trouble bringing my voice out there more and being asked to speak louder was a lot of trouble for myself. I still had similar occurrences from when I was younger, I at least had enough ability to ask to use the bathroom. I did get bullied from groups of kids who would tease me and call me names in middle school, I would only sit with a couple of good friends I had in middle school. Ones who made me feel a bit better and made me not feel as sad as I used to be or currently was at the time. I still wasn't able to talk to many but only a few I felt really comfortable around, so I was able to be myself around them. Presentations were hell for me, I couldn't get one word out of my own mouth so the group did most of the talking for me. I felt so upset and bad when I just couldn't do it because of my anxiety.... I sort of was able to speak with my teachers, I had to repeat myself during lunch picking out what I wanted. I was able to talk more, I just had to repeat myself many times for people to hear what I had to say. Sometimes I wonder how they make it look so easy to talk, but it was never easy for me. My panic attacks never made it any better because I would burst out crying from all the pressure built up inside me, I wasn't able to handle so many crowds around me. Even today, I feel like running away whenever I am crowded by people.
I believe in high school I felt a lot better about my anxiety, I made more than just a few friends and I knew a lot more people whom I previously socialized with back in high school. It was pretty open being in a public school with a diversity of people I chose to hang out with. I truly enjoyed my high school overall, the school experience I had dealing socially at a younger age wouldn't compare. Most of my teachers were great and very nice and sweet, I was able to talk to the teachers I favor. I was actually more open in high school despite I still had anxiety I would mention my friends about. I learned to know about a lot of people I spent time with and listened to. At the time of high school of my senior year, I took Zoloft for anxiety and depression, it felt only temporary for 25mg which lasted about 3-4 months. I met a lot more people and made more friends during the time, I felt no insecurities, shyness, anxiety at all, I just felt so laid back and relaxed all the time and happy. But it wasn't how I actually felt on the inside, so I eventually quit taking it, then all my anxiety and worries came back. I figured because of the medicine, Senior year was the only year I did my best in. I almost had all straight A's and I kept myself up-to-date on all my assignments and what I needed to study for. I find that having medicine that actually works for someone temporarily is a great advantage for what you need to do, and it helps for being productive in ones life.
I know I still have Anxiety, every time I order something or go up and talk to someone I tend to hesitate for a moment then start talking. I also notice I tend to look down and still look at the side, away from their eyes to not keep eye contact. I used to have terrible eye contact, but I think it somehow calmed down. I'm able to talk loud enough so the person can hear me, I also have a habit of repeating myself sometimes. I still am able to keep eye contact on people I know well enough, and not with people I hardly know. I'll question myself if I should go up and ask someone I want to ask them, which sounds ridiculous because it's better to have a shot than to not try at all.
My goals for my anxiety are to hang out friends I've known for a while and start socializing from there. Start working sometime this year and possibly make a few friends from work, it would also help if I take place as a cashier or waitress where I must talk to people. Another goal is to go to places time to time and meet people from bars or clubs, (I'm working on getting my license this year) any other place where I can meet other adults my age (18-20+).