Ever have one of those days that you just want to escape? Escape the negative feelings coursing through your body. The days life just seems harder and you don’t exactly know why. All you can fathom is sleep or curling up on the couch and watching your favorite tv shows the entire day. You just want to get through it and wake up the next day feeling better! And let’s not forget the most terrifying thought of all, interacting with the outside world…people!
I have talked about my struggles with low self esteem but today it’s going in a different direction: social anxiety. Like any one who struggles with this, you know some days are worse than others. Anyone who knows me knows I am a very quiet person in general. Part of it is due to that being my natural self but it’s also a way for me to cope in public because social situations completely stress me out! And some people with specific personalities are even worse. We all know people can be draining at times but it’s another extreme with social anxiety.
Some social situations are worse than others. It might not make sense but becoming comfortable in a building can help. For example, I am not as stressed at my work place because it’s what I have come to know and it’s my routine. While I may encounter situations that are hard with people, I create security blankets in my mind. For example, growing up my parents and my home were my security blanket, now it’s Ben (he’s my safe zone). On the opposite spectrum some people because of past memories literally cause my body to flare up in anxiety. Sometimes it’s not even about the person themselves but memories that are brought up to surface because of them.
So how do I function?
Thankfully, I grew up with parents that taught me to power through the unpleasant and the hard parts of life and they taught me the value in keeping my word. My life has been filled with moments of agreeing to do something with or for someone in the rush of the moment and almost immediately regretting saying “yes” once I thought about the way it would make me feel when the responsibility came along. I have tried to make sure that when I say yes to anything, I stick to it. Unless a severe circumstance comes along, I don’t allow myself to back out no matter how I might feel.
I have also chosen things in my life that I personally commit to so that I manage my anxiety and not the other way around. I go to work every day, even when the thought of it is so daunting I can hardly handle it. I do everything I can to not allow my feelings to control my actions. Ben and I have committed to attending our church unless we are travelling. Which leads me to, celebrating the small success of showing up.
On the days I really don’t want to, sometimes just showing up is my choice not to let the anxiety win.
To be honest I don’t think there are any of us who do not suffer from some form of anxiety in our lives. What it all comes down to is how we deal with it? Just like insecurity, I could allow my anxiety in social settings to run my life. Most days that would mean not being able to get out of bed or leaving my house. But I know that I have responsibilities, keeping my word matters and that I ultimately want to do the right thing even when it’s hard.
Remember, on the good days you can conquer the world! On the hard days, take the baby steps. Get up and show up, do what you can even if it’s not much! If you can’t engage the way you wish you could, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Like always, it’s a work in progress ♥ XO, Emmarie.