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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suffered SA and major depression all through HS and some college. I had nothing to say to anyone. I could probably count on two hands the number of people I had a full conversation w/ during HS. I used to feel like there was this invisible wall between me and everyone else, and there was nothing I could say that would break down that wall. I kinda felt like I was trapped in a straight-jacket. I'd thought of myself as an emotional paralytic.

Starting my last year of college, things started to get better. I started seeing a therapist, tried some medication that helped ease some of the anxiety, and started doing stand-up comedy - which had been my dream since I was a kid. I never admitted it to anyone, though, because admitting you have a dream gives people a chance to say you can't achieve it. I'm 23 years old now, doing comedy, and feel better than I've ever felt, socially and just day-to-day, more motivated, less stuck. I understand it's gonna be a constant process, though, and I can't take my foot off the gas and stop doing the things that have made me feel better. Anyway, just wanted to reach out as someone who can relate to anyone w/ SA and, though I feel okay at the moment, I know it's something in me that I'll always be fighting off.
 

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Welcome, DJP15! :)
 

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Welcome. I'm like you in that I didn't have much social interaction in HS. But it's so cool that you've managed to live your dream now. I myself am seeing a therapist and, being a musician, he suggested that I go to an open mic night and preform in front of people. If you don't mind me asking, how did you get passed all the anxiety of preforming in front of a crowd? I mean I'm determined to do it and after hearing your story I'm even more driven but I'd appreciate any tips you could give.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I myself am seeing a therapist and, being a musician, he suggested that I go to an open mic night and preform in front of people. If you don't mind me asking, how did you get passed all the anxiety of preforming in front of a crowd? I mean I'm determined to do it and after hearing your story I'm even more driven but I'd appreciate any tips you could give.
That's cool to hear. You should go to an open mic night. When I first, first started doing comedy, I did a lot of open mics and listening back to those first sets a couple years ago, I was terrified. I just blankly stared straight ahead and raced through the material, w/o stopping for laughs or anything. One thing that helped, on stage and in person, was talking about my anxiety. Some material I did in my first year was talking about my previous shyness and SA. Talking about it helped me own it.

I did as many open mics as I could, multiple times/night every night, just to numb myself to it. That was really important. I didn't want it to be a scary thing anymore so I just went up there as much as I could and still do, to improve, try new things, fail, try again, get better. It might seem strange, but a random crowd wasn't what was scary to me, it was small group conversations, like being in a group of four people where I only knew one of them, for instance, that would make me very uncomfortable. I'd say that getting in front of crowds and getting more comfortable in that context has helped me in these smaller settings also. Often, starting in comedy, you have very small crowds, even just a few people, so that forces you to be more present, to be more conversational, etc.

I don't know much about the music open mic scene, but I know that a lot of the mixed open mics that I have done (where it's open to comedy, poetry, music, etc.) are pretty supportive crowds, so there are good environments out there to find and feel comfortable starting.
 
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