I want to share some hope...
I have struggled with SEVERE social anxiety that I admit I should get professional help for but I’ve taken it on naturally and alone. Here are some triumphs I’ve had in the last 5 years of working on it-
I got my drivers license and ged. Yes I did not finish high school or learn how to drive because of how terrified I was. I did these things as an adult and I was horribly ashamed but I pushed through them. Learning how to drive alone in a car with a strange man was just awful. I was in another world and I felt like such a freak. I made it though, I felt like a freak and I got that license.
I walked into a job interview and was told “right off the bat, you are not outgoing enough for this job” I felt like dying, this person had no idea what I felt like inside and how much this sentence could hurt someone with social anxiety. I had to keep pushing myself to find a job, I got one as a cashier and I totally, totally froze. I had to quit because of how bad it was. I couldn’t even speak to the customers and I was shaking. It felt so depressing. I ended up finding a job working on a sales floor with less face to face contact. I highly recommend doing that if you are forced into working retail like I was. Find a job that eases you into it. Eventually I was answering multiple phone lines and having to do lots of talking to customers and dealing with negative complaining situations. It helped my social skills but killed my soul to be there. I ended up quitting(another fear) and I am now enrolled in a career training course which is for a career I always dreamed of. Something I always avoided because it involves being close to people but I’m ready to face it now. I’m actually answering the teachers questions out loud in class now. I have never ever done that in my entire life.
I got 2 tattoos, I walked into 2 different tattoo shops terrified as hell but I got it done. Something I wanted to do forever and I got to do it twice. I was scared both times but I still went it and did it. I was more scared for the 2nd one as well. The anxiety comes and goes in different sized waves.
This could go on and on, I want to give whoever reads this a spark of hope. If I can do this then so can you! Let your hands shake and let your heart get warm with fear, face it and face it until it stops scaring you. That’s the only way out of this hell. It might take years but so what, keep going and celebrate every little success. Push yourself past the fear and allow yourself to be imperfect. Embarrass yourself and see that it’s all okay. You will discover you are just as human as the people you fear so badly, then you are free once you truly, truly realize that