I've had my social anxiety all my life but it's always been ok to live with. But in my 17 it became so big that I couldn't live like normal people do - I couldn't go to the college because I was getting panic attacks there or even near my college. My parents didn't understand me back then, so I decided to quit college and escape from parents' house and live on my own.
I had a MacBook and watch that my mom presented me for Christmas, so when I escaped from the house I went to live at my friend's house and at the time when I lived there - I sold my laptop and watch and bought with that money a one-way ticket to New York and applied for the visa. I know it sounds cool for a 17 year old girl, but I wouldn't be able to do that if I hadn't drunk alcohol to cope with the anxiety.
So, I came to America and started to live at my friends' house (I had a few friends there) and work as a waitress, but everyday I drank exact amount of alcohol that I knew would help me to work with people.
The biggest mistake here is that I didn't try to cure my anxiety but I started to mask it using alcohol. When I was drunk - I could talk to people and do whatever I want. But the more I drank - the worse did it get. One day my anxiety became so bad that I couldn't walk out of the house because I was afraid of even one person on the street. I moved again to Russia (my motherland) and I've lived like that for 4 years! 4 years I drank alcohol almost everyday to just contact with people, even my friends.
But one very lucky day for me (1st of January 201
I got a neuralgia. I didn't know about that back then and I literally thought I was dying because my heart hurt so much! And when ambulance came they said that it's not that serious but I should stop smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. So on that day I stopped drinking alcohol at all. As I said I thought that I was going to die and that's why I started to care about my health very much. I started to do sport everyday in the morning, drink much water, eat fruits and vegetables mostly, meditate, sleep at least 8 hours a day. And all those things really affected my anxiety in a good way. I was getting better and better. I spent all this year on healing myself with all that healthy stuff and now is the end of the year and I almost cured my anxiety.
Some tips that helped me and I think that will help everybody:
1. Healthy lifestyle really helps people who have anxiety! I've tested it myself and it made me feel really better. I would also recommend to stop drinking alcohol until you get better mentally.
2. The more you escape things that you are afraid of - the bigger you fear would get. So I'd recommend to do something little everyday and never stop. You can do even something really little - like call someone, text an article somewhere, go for a walk. Just the things that you can do but a little afraid of.
3. Read books about your problem. I know one book - it helped me really a lot. It helped me to understand all my mental problems and only after reading that book I understood exactly why didn't I have friends and so on. It calls "The subtle art of not giving a *****" by Mark Manson. I tell everybody about this book. It became sort of a Bible for me.
4. Try to think much of WHY do you feel that way. This also helped me a lot. When I'm feeling embarrassed about anything or when I feel stressed or scared - I take some time for me and thing much about that feeling where it came from and so. If I don't understand anything - I read some articles about it and then also think. It's all about understanding.
5. It's totally ok to have ups and downs! If you were doing great and some day you got panic attack again - you should know that it's ok. Continue believe in yourself and do what you were doing. To stay motivated watch some TED talks or something else.
I have much more to say because this is my favourite object to talk about but wrote too much already
Thanks for reading this and sorry if I made mistakes - English is not my mother language.
If anybody wants to talk about your anxiety - you can text me. I would like to talk.