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Hardware Girl
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, my name is Stephanie. I'm just short of 23, and I just found this forum today after finally deciding to try to put a name to my anxiety issues I've had since... forever.

I've never seen a health professional about my anxiety issues, because I've been always told that I'm shy shy shy shy and I'll grow out of it.

I started working at a small local hardware store a little more than four years ago. I had interviewed for a position at the local library (I worked there one summer in high school and quite enjoyed it because it wasn't ever that busy and it was comfortable), but I was way too nervous at the interview (it was me on one end of the table with five board members staring at me from the other end), and didn't get it. The interview for the hardware store was one-on-one which was a bit more comfortable.

My job at the hardware store is basically an all around clerk. It's a small enough store that I help people find things, cut keys, make chainsaw chains, stock shelves, ring customers through the till, etc. Over the last four years my anxiety has improved a lot. I'm still a bit nervous around individual people, but I've become more comfortable.

The problem I still have is when the store is busy and I'm on till and there's a lineup of people waiting and watching me. I start shaking, becoming light-headed, and basically have an attack. It's gotten a bit worse as of late, which is why I've decided to look around for some answers.

There were issues with a coworker on and off for the last year or so (it's a long long story in which she's basically psychotic and should be fired, but she's still working there because it's a small town and she's friends with people and they feel sorry for her for a bunch of reasons) and I was called into the office to have a closed door conversation with my boss, the branch manager, and the general manager. Three sets of eyes staring at me. I started sweating, stuttering, couldn't look them in the eye.

I'm not good when it comes to groups of people with their eyes on me. I'm not good at parties. The last Christmas party we had for work I spent the whole time sitting at the table stabbing holes into my foam plate.

Though, it's a little weird. I could be in the mall or a large store with my sister and dance around and make a fool out of myself without a care. But as soon as it gets into a smaller setting I get really nervous.

Over the last couple years, this anxiety has tipped a bit into self-harm. It started off about two years ago as me accidentally cutting my hand when unwrapping merchandise, and got a bit out of hand. I realized I was getting dependent on it, and stopped. But recently it has resurfaced. Minor cuts, some bruises. Though I think I've dealt with self-harm issues most of my life with hitting bruises and that.

Aside from being a hardware clerk with social anxiety and self harm issues, I also take accounting college courses via distance education. It's very convenient doing it by myself, online, and at my own pace. I love it.

Anyways, I think I'm just babbling now. Thought I would introduce myself and all. It's so much easier talking to people via typing on a computer than it is actually talking to people in real life.
 

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This sounds like the same situation as mine, except I am a male. I have also worked at a local hardware store with many of the same duties for maybe 5 years or so, and still have difficulties maintaining eye contact and social affability at times, even with the most familiar of customers. The one thing that enables me to continue is the fact that most people still seem to trust that I can help them, and that's how I have tried to get over my anxiety at times. I have never quite had attacks, but there are times where I have felt very anxious due to the boss lingering around or not knowing how to help someone.

Anyhow, welcome to this forum.
 

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Welcome, Steffie! :)
 

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Hey Stephanie, welcome to :sas
 

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Hardware Girl
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This sounds like the same situation as mine, except I am a male. I have also worked at a local hardware store with many of the same duties for maybe 5 years or so, and still have difficulties maintaining eye contact and social affability at times, even with the most familiar of customers. The one thing that enables me to continue is the fact that most people still seem to trust that I can help them, and that's how I have tried to get over my anxiety at times. I have never quite had attacks, but there are times where I have felt very anxious due to the boss lingering around or not knowing how to help someone.

Anyhow, welcome to this forum.
Holy, you do sound like me only male! ;)

I've always had trouble maintaining eye contact. Sometimes even with my parents I can't help but look everywhere but at their face. Then I get the feeling that they don't think that I'm paying attention to them, which makes me feel bad. Argh, I hate it. I try to look people in the eye and just... can't.

In general I just hate when people watch me. Coworkers waiting for me to finish something up (as soon as they show up I get obviously anxious), writing a test and the teacher passes by (I can't focus and hide my test until they've moved along), coworker sitting across from me at lunch... I have been getting used to people (other than family) being close by while I'm eating. I like to joke to myself that I know I'm getting comfortable around someone when I can eat a salad around them (I'm such a messy salad eater!).

Anyways, I don't think you care to know about my eating habits so I'll stop! :p
 

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Glad to have you with us, Steffie! :wels
 
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