Making a start …
I have my first therapy session on Monday and thought I would make a start on the modules I’ve been given. The first one starts off explaining what Social Anxiety actually is.
When going into situations that make me feel anxious I have often experienced the “Oh don’t be daft, there’s nothing to worry about”, “You’re worrying far too much about this” and “Just pull yourself together”. These comments to somebody living with Social Anxiety are completely pointless because they’re not simply worrying, it’s an intense horrible fear that something will go wrong or in my case I will do something and look stupid or someone will take a dislike to me and I fear I won’t be able to cope and want to escape. I have become a master at coming up with excuses not to go somewhere where I know there will be a ‘gathering’.
Obviously in certain situations it is normal to be anxious, like going for a job interview or being the centre of attention and speaking in a meeting. In my personal experience I have completely confused what is a real/normal fear and what is not, sometimes the fear can be totally way over the top and cause me to have a panic attack which is why I’ve been off work for the last two weeks.
It is very frustrating not being able to control your thoughts and fears because all I want right now is to get back to work and back in my usual routine. I have recently been promoted to a position that I’ve been hoping for for two years. I love my new job and feel I’m jeopardising my chances of ‘moving up the ladder’ because of the time I’m taking off due to illness. I did try to force myself through my fears and went into work for three consecutive days with major fear of something happening. I can’t explain the rushing thoughts I had in my head but it really wasn’t nice and I felt out of control at some points and just needed to escape. The first day I managed to get through but the second wasn’t so good. My physical symptoms are just awful and cause some very distressing situations. It can sound like I’m being over the top but I have found the whole Social Anxiety thing quite hard to talk about in the past. I’m hoping this blog will help me with my therapy.
Reading through this first module has helped me understand why my body reacts as it does in these situations and understanding what the problem is has helped massively. In the past I’ve just labelled myself as a born worrier and thought I can’t handle things the same as other people. I’ve always thought I need to try harder when doing things as I never seem to do them as good as other people and others always seem to ‘cope’ better than me. I now know that these are just the negative thoughts that have become part of my thinking pattern which needs to change and enable me to manage my anxiety more effectively.
I’m not sure I am allowed to post a link to the module I have been reading due to copyright but if you are interested in reading it contact me and I’ll email you a copy.
Thanks for reading and stay positive 🙂
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss