I’m Sick of This

Another young man wants to go to parties and other social events—indeed, he is very, very lonely—but he never goes anywhere because he’s very nervous about meeting new people. Too many people will be there and crowds only make things worse for him. The thought of meeting new people scares him—will he know what to say? Will they stare at him and make him feel even more insignificant? Will they reject him outright? Even if they seem nice, they’re sure to notice his frozen look and his inability to fully smile. They’ll sense his discomfort and tenseness and they won’t like him — there’s just no way to win — “I’m always going to be an outcast,” he predicts. And he spends the night alone, at home, watching television again. He feels comfortable at home. In fact, home is the only place he does feel completely comfortable. He hasn’t gone anywhere else in twelve years.
-taken from http://www.socialphobia.org/whatis.htm

It is very weird reading something that describes yourself. The other day Mama Bean and I were reading a book about personality types, and how ours interact with that of each other. Weird because so much of it fits perfectly. I had this moment again today when reading a pamplet on depression and social anxiety. No, I’m not depressed, but the symptoms of one suffering* from social anxiety seem to suit me quite well.
I was always scared to read anything about it because it is so easy to take symptoms upon yourself and internalize them. Humans have this way about classifying themselves, and I hate doing that.

The symptoms don’t all describe me. A number of them I’ve learned how to handle and have overcome the obstacles. But there are other times when it is just so strong… Like today. I was supposed to go over and fix a couple’s computer. They are friends of my cousin, whose computer I fixed a couple of weeks back and she highly recommended me to some of her friends. This one couple e-mailed me and we made arrangements that I would go over and fix their computer today after I was done work. As things would have it, work was cancelled, so I should have called them and arranged a time to come over. But I didn’t. What did I do? I called and left a message saying I was still at work and not able to make it over today. Why? Because the very thought of going there made me want to curl up in a little ball and hide. It made my stomach tighten up and my head swim. All the while I was thinking how dumb I was being and how I was over-reacting and it’s never as bad as I make it out to be. And after I called, I sat there feeling so awful, but not being able to just call them back. I still feel awful. Before it was at a point where I’d make plans with friends or whatever and then bail at the last minute b/c I couldn’t go through with them. Sometimes I’d specifically say I’d go do something in hopes that by making the plans myself I’d be forced to go, but oft times I’d still bail. Sometimes I’d dread it so much that I’d get physically ill. It is also affecting my professional life and I’ve had enough and need to fix it. I’m sick of living like this.


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