more than useless

social anxiety.

it kills.

as I've previously stated many a time, I am very much an introvert. I have friends, and I like to hang out with them, but I also have days when I don't want anyone to touch/talk to me EVER AGAIN and when I'm just tired of human interaction as it is. Introversion isn't bad--I actually quite enjoy being an introvert--but the social anxiety that comes with it is terrible.

'are they staring at me?'

'am I being too weird?'

'he thinks I'm annoying.'

'she hates me.'

'I don't know what to do with myself.'

'this conversation is boring, but I don't know how to leave without being rude....'


these are thoughts that have literally crossed my mind hundreds of times. When I'm in extreme-introvert mode (or even when I'm not), I feel uncomfortable in my skin, and often times I want to go find a dark corner and hide until people forget I'm there. Often times at social events,  you'll see me constantly holding onto my phone as if its my lifeline. It's not that I'm rude--honestly, I wish I could get rid of this habit because I know it looks unbelievably rude at times--but it's become a crutch for my social anxiety. Feel awkward? Start using the phone, look busy. No one will pay attention to you then.

the other day I joined a conversation (which I am very awkward at, BTW) and one of the girls laughed, saying, "Sorry we didn't include you at first--when we walked by you looked too serious to have fun." To which I replied: "That's just my face."  She just looked confused. My face instantly goes into a worried/serious expression when I don't have anything to do, probably because I'm worrying about how I seem to those around me. The fact that people don't realize this frustrates me. Just because someone has a serious expression does not mean they don't want to be included or have fun. Sometimes, it really means that they want to be a part of something, and they just don't know how to go about joining. It is true that some people are in a bad mood, but how will you know until you ask? Dwell on that for a little while.

My social anxiety has been VERY strong these past 2 months. I was getting better (as if that statement makes any sense...) but I had a relapse somehow, and it came back even stronger than ever. But I'm still pushing myself. Yesterday, I purposefully turned my phone off for an hour  and a half while attending a graduation party, just so that I wouldn't be able to use it as a crutch. It was hard (I debated turning it on about 5 times) but it felt good in the end.

Social anxiety, at least in my case, has a way of inserting the thoughts 'I'm useless,' 'I'm worthless,' and 'No one wants me around' in your head. These are complete lies, but they come across as genuine some days. Having those thoughts floating around in your mind doesn't do good things, and I've discovered that a lot recently. Positive thoughts have become scarcer. But yesterday, on my lengthy trek to and from Kansas City, one song came up 3 times while I listened to my iPod. It was a song that was very close to my heart as a young preteen, but as my music tastes changed, I moved on and kind of forgot about it. It became one of those "instant skip" songs on my playlist.

However, yesterday, I was too lazy to push the skip button.


And the message that this song gave me was what I needed.

this song doesn't entirely apply to social anxiety (at least, in my humble opinion) but a good part of it is. It made my heart ache a little, and it really helped remind me that I am more than useless. I have worth. In the long run, I will improve, and things will get better.

I'm a little more than useless
And when I think that I can't do this
You promise me that I'll get through this
And do something right
Do something right for once

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Ely. This was a really good post, and I think more people than anyone lets on, feels this way too.
    I, for instance, hate being in a crowd of teenagers. Adults, any day!! Teenagers, they instantly make me want to turn into an immediate snub. And I am not like that.

    I think that it all comes with finally realizing how awesome you are.
    When you're confident in your own skin, and you just simply KNOW you are fabulous, you don't need worry about what anyone thinks. You Ely girl, should know you are amazing, and as soon as you embrace that as a confidence you take around with you, it becomes more of a, "do I like who I'm hanging around with?" instead of "do they like ME?"
    Love you, girl.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I understand all too well what you just said. In fact, I blogged about introversion as well. It seems we've been having the same problems with anxiety lately.
    I have those same thoughts you mentioned and I could relate to everything you said. I overthink everything. If I even say hi to someone I'll think about it for a while afterwards. "My voice got way too high pitched when I said that." "I should have asked how they were." "Did they even hear me?"
    It's so hard to deal with. Especially when no one else around you gets the voices in your head.
    Also, I LOOOVE that Relient K song! Its been the same for me for a long time; on the skip list. But a little while back I decided to really listen to it again. And I am SO glad I did.
    One more thing, I'm SO proud of you for shutting your phone off for an hour at that party. I understand how big of an accomplishment that is. So I applaud you! I should try to do that at the next social event I attend...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I counted turning it off for even just a little more than an hour a HUGE accomplishment...I did it again yesterday when I was spending time with family, and it was harder then, but I still made it a whole hour without turning it on! So thankful that I can quit this habit with just a little bit of hard (lol) work!

      Delete

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