The hell that is social anxiety | Personal post | #MentalHealth

I've been thinking about writing a post like this for a while because I know that there are people out there that know the hell that is 'Social anxiety, social phobia, whatever you want to call it'. 

I'm one of those people who has anxiety so I try to take care of myself as much as I can but sometimes life gets in the way, throws on a couple of stressful situations and my anxiety can spring up. Sometimes I can manage it, sometimes I can't and it often shows itself in the form of 'Social anxiety'

I want to talk about a couple of incidences to give you some idea of what it's like for me when this happens, it might be different from what you experience (if you have this) or it could be similar. 

I've had a few stressful things going on lately and I thought that I had things under control. I haven't been sleeping properly either so that adds to the anxiety. 

I had an appointment today to get my eyebrows waxed and my anxiety was sky high before I went, I was dreading going there, I was dreading making conversation with people. My heart was going crazy and I was pacing the floor. 

Instead of cancelling the appointment I forced myself to go (something inside me didn't want to give up and would see it as a failure if I didn't go) and as I walked along the road (the beauty spa is only 2 minutes from my house) I felt self conscious, like people driving past in their cars were looking at me. I didn't feel comfortable and I felt short of breath and my heart was still going crazy.

As I got to the steps of the beauty spa, I could feel my heart continue to thump in my chest and my anxiety was off the scale but I had to pretend that I was ok  because I didn't want to make a scene in front of these people. This is what it can be like for me when I go through this, I'm like a swan, I look perfectly fine, talking away to people in certain social situations but underneath I'm freaking out.

I managed to get through the brow appointment (which must sound ridiculous to some people) and as soon as I got in my house I started to calm down but I was bloody exhausted! Anyone who goes through this knows how it can be exhausting. 

The beauty spa that I go to isn't exactly a relaxing atmosphere (it's a bit bitchy and not very welcoming) and I think that might be another factor. When I'm there I always have to make the conversation (ever tried to make conversation but you only get one word answers back?, that's what it's like there) 

People think that I'm so full of confidence without a care in the world but I'm like a lot of people, I have my good days and bad days, I'm one of those people that has to make sure that I take care of myself otherwise I freak out and the anxiety can strike.

The strange thing is that there's been times in my life where I've had to stand up in front of lots of people and talk, I'm always the first to chat away to someone, always the first on karaoke (and that's without a drink lol) but when I'm going through this, the idea of talking to a bunch of strangers freaks me out.

Last year I had one of these 'funny' moments when I went to the cinema. I felt strange and out of place on the way there and even more spaced out when I was stood in the queue waiting to go in, I was paranoid that people were looking at me, I felt uncomfortable and my heart started racing. I tried to look as normal as I could.

When we got into the cinema we had to sit in the middle section (I always sit at the back row) which for me was a nightmare. As soon as all the seats were packed and the lights went down, I felt trapped like I couldn't escape, the noise from the screen was making me jump and I kept thinking people were looking at me. I felt that I couldn't breathe and I had to shake my leg all the way through the film to try and keep myself calm (it sounds crazy but shaking my leg took my mind of my racing heart).

As soon as I got home I was exhausted and all I did was watch a film. Even writing this now (or typing rather) I think that people are going to think that I'm crazy. 

I try to think back to when this all started and I remember having issues in public when I was about 7 years old, school was always a particular nightmare for me. I think it's something that has been part of my life for years and springs up when the anxiety pops up. If you were to tell people who knew me that I had moments like this they wouldn't believe you cause I've always either put a mask on infront of them or I have felt confident and completely fine in the social moments that I've been with them. 

I don't know if you've ever experienced it but the feeling of your heart racing in these situations is horrible and then you try and force yourself to calm down but that just makes it worse, it's like a vicious cycle. Both men and women go through this, people of all ages and you could be the most confident and social person ever (like I was at points in my life) but then something could happen where you have a lot of stress and anxiety and these things can flare up, suddenly your normal everyday things become difficult. 

I've included some useful videos and information below for those of you who understand what I'm talking about (sometimes it's hard to explain to people who've never been through it) and for those who would like to know more about it.

Hopefully you'll find some useful information from the above links. If you ever fancy a chat about this, feel free to tweet or email me (I'll include my links below). I think it's important to keep talking about Mental Health and being honest about it. Everyone goes through up and down times in life and just because you might go through a bit of a meltdown or you have anxiety it doesn't mean that you're not a strong person or any less of a person, you're a warrior and it takes a lot of strength to get through hard days to the point where you're left feeling exhausted. I take my hat off to anyone who's gone through this or is currently going through this because it isn't easy and please know that you're not alone. 

Stay strong & I'll see you in the next post x

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  1. I can totally relate to this post .You should feel proud that you go out even when you are feeling anxious. When I feel social anxiety coming on I stay home. Nothing good can come of me going out in public when I'm feeling that way. I can't speak to people like you can when I'm feeling really anxious. Wish I was more brave like you. Thanks for the links to extra tips! I will check them out

    1. Thank you Melissa, your comments mean a lot. It's so hard isn't it? I hope you find the links helpful. There's quite a few things online to do with Social anxiety and there's also bloggers who talk a lot about mental health so at least there is some support and advice out there x

  2. I defiantly relate to this, its awful and I know what you mean about the cinema I barely go because I can't deal with that many people around me I also feel like I can't escape like I'm glued to my seat its horrible. Well done for being so brave and getting through these things, some of these I could never do especially standing up and talking to a bunch of people. ♥ xx

    1. Thank you Jo for reading my post, I really appreciate it! It took me ages to have the confidence to stand up and talk in a room full of people but at that time I was not going through the anxiety. I'm strange like that, sometimes I can be sociable in certain situations and others I'm very antisocial. Btw, the best time to go to the cinema is during the week at daytimes or the evenings, it's less busy and not full of schoolkids lol x

  3. It's definitely something we all struggle from at our age and I honestly believe it has something to do with all the chemicals in our food + society perceiving us as what's popular and "what people think of us, how rich we are" + the school system...

    But without feeding into what conspiracies I believe in (lol)... we definitely have to keep in mind that we are all human and we all have flaws and need to stay strong in times of anxiety. We can do it! It's really not as bad as our minds likes to play tricks on us. It's a dark area but we can overcome it if we be true to ourselves and remember we're all very much similar and laugh at the same memes and aren't as different as we worry about. Hope I made sense lol.


    1. Thanks for the comment, Much appreciated! I understand what you mean about chemicals in food, I've done a lot of reading on that and the conspiracy theories so feel free free to talk away to me about that lol. You totally make sense, the brain itself is quite a mystery and how thoughts can seem so real to us, it's scary x