What you need to know about people with social anxiety

I haven’t been able to answer the question of “How are you?” with a truthful “I’m good!” in about 2 months. I’m never really okay. Sure, some days are better than others, and sometimes it might look like I’m doing just fine because I’m smiling and I still go to work. So clearly, I’m totally okay.

I’m not.

Over the past few months while tapering off my klonopin, I reached a new level of anxiety: completely debilitating social anxiety. No, socially anxious people aren’t just “socially awkward.” It’s a complete fear of other people. Fear of being judged or ignored or disliked.

Just because I don’t answer your text right away doesn’t mean I’m mad at you. I’m just afraid of saying the wrong thing.

Just because I can barely go to the grocery store without having a small panic attack doesn’t mean I’m weird.

Not being able to be around a bunch of people I don’t know doesn’t make me antisocial. It’s just not comfortable.

Dominant personalities terrify me. I go by a script to talk to customers at work and it’s really hard to deviate from that without panicking.

Just because I’m “here” doesn’t mean I’m “here.”

It’s really hard to hold a job. I stopped going to one of my jobs because it made me so anxious and I was too scared to call my boss and call out or quit. I left her a voicemail.

I’m easily irritated. It’s hardly ever personal.

I’m really bad at starting conversations with new people. That doesn’t mean I don’t like you. You’re probably pretty cool and I just can’t think of anything to say.

I’m easily startled.

I really don’t want pity. Don’t tell me I’m falling apart, I know I am.

What am I trying to say here? Society needs to be more aware of how they treat other people. If someone looks like they’re not okay, they’re probably not, so please treat them that way. Quiet people don’t need your dominant personality thrown in their face. I’m not asking for special treatment, I’m just asking for people as a whole to be more considerate of others because you don’t know what someone is going through.

Some days are better than others. Sometimes I can go out and run errands and be okay, and other days I don’t leave my apartment unless I absolutely have to. When I completely stopped taking my klonopin, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep at night. Truth is, I sleep like a baby now because I put so much energy into trying to act normal when I go out, that when I get home, I’m mentally and physically exhausted.

I know that it’s just withdrawal anxiety, and eventually it won’t be as bad. But in the mean time, I’m okay with not holding a full-time job and spending my Saturday nights alone.

Advertisements

2017: the year of applying to Hogwarts while being an adult under a stack of pillows

Well, hey there 2017. I was going to post yesterday but I got too stuck in the black hole of WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE AND IM NEVER DRINKING AGAIN. I spent most of the day in bed. And eating. And continuing to ponder my life choices. But for real, I actually did give up drinking as my New Years resolution and so far I’m about 36 hours in. I’m doing okay. Now onto bigger things.

After the 50-something jobs I’ve applied for and 15 or more interviews I’ve gone to, I’ve realized how soul sucking all of these dead-end jobs are so maybe 2017 is the year I decide to crawl out of the hole of soul sucking retail and food service jobs and be a big girl. And apply for grad school. To do something. Like, writing? Why do I have to go to school for that when it’s something I already do? Oh yeah, your name means nothing with out a Ph.D or M.S./M.A. next to it. So okay, step 1: school research. FOUND SOME AWESOME ONES….

Oh yeah. The GRE. My recurring nightmare. Continue reading “2017: the year of applying to Hogwarts while being an adult under a stack of pillows”

that time I ended my blog hiatus and stopped trusting medical doctors

Hey what’s up guys? I know I went on a bender and decided that I wasn’t going to blog anymore and never gave a reason. But let me explain. Have I lost everyone?

Long story short: I’m sick. About a month ago I started feeling unusually tired to the point that I was taking naps every day and getting 10 hours of sleep and still feeling tired. I attributed this to a medication I had recently increased the dose of so I stopped taking it. But it kept going.. and going.. I was sleeping my life away it felt like. And then other things started happening. I started getting weird slight vertigo, light headedness and overall muscle fatigue. My visual perception was off. I felt like I was in wonderland because everything looked so far away or too close or too small or too big than it should. I looked drunk most of the time because I was getting so clumsy (or more than usual). I felt so useless and started feeling depressed constantly. I was crying every day because I just felt like I couldn’t do anything anymore. I could barely keep my food down. Of course I asked Blob what it sounded like (yay for knowing nutritionists on a personal level) and he had no idea. I had no idea either. About 3 weeks into this, I finally decided to go to my doctor to get my blood tested because I figured that maybe I was anemic, or lacking some nutrient in my body. I was at the point where getting through my work shift was excruciatingly exhausting. Well here’s how the doctor visit went

Doc: what are you major symptoms?
Me: Well, I’ve been a lot more tired than usual, I can’t keep my food down and I feel weak and lightheaded. Can I get my blood tested? I think my vitamin D levels are low or I’m anemic or something.
Doc: Sounds like allergies. I’ve had a lot of patients have these kinds of symptoms for allergies. Drink more water and here’s a prescription for vertigo.
Me: Um… I don’t have allergies.
Doc: Then what do you think it is?
Me: (did you not just hear what I said?) I think I’m deficient in something. Can I please just get my blood tested????
Doc: …fine. But your insurance won’t cover it probably.

Did I mention that she didn’t even ask me about my diet (vegan), alcohol consumption, drug use, exercise, anything like that? Well I ended up getting my blood tested and guess who was right?

I don’t even need WebMD to figure these things out. My Vitamin D levels came back as low, and my white blood cell count abnormally high which “may indicate a viral infection.” BUT WHAT KIND OF VIRAL INFECTION WAY TO BE SPECIFIC. So here I still am with some kind of viral infection in my system and taking Vitamin D supplements which have helped a little, and now that the sun has decided to be a thing again I’ve at least managed to crawl out of my depression hole a little bit. Moral of the story? Don’t trust doctors. Go with your gut. But not mine because it’ll reject anything you put into it. Except bananas. I can eat an absurd amount of bananas without feeling sick. At least bananas are cheap so I can buy 5 pounds of them and not spend over $10 on my food for the week. Well thank god for that. By the way, did you know that bananas are actually a seed and not a fruit? Mind. Blown.

I don’t even really get depressed that much. Not depressed to the point where I wake up crying for no reason and shaking and throwing up almost daily. It’s been really great. Whatever this virus is, if you could kindly escort yourself out of my body… that’d be great. Depression for me usually last maybe a day and then the next day I’ll feel more than amazing. But this was persistent. Persistent, choking depression and anxiety that was taking over my life. Honestly, I blame the weather. I thought I lived in Maryland, not Seattle. ITS MAY WHY HAS IT BEEN RAINING AND COLD FOR THE PAST 3 WEEKS. But it’s sunny and WARM today. I’m enjoying my moment of just going outside and finally feeling the warmth of the sun hit my face.

I’m on my road to recovery, eventually. I’ve been able to play with my hula hoops a little more lately without tiring out within 30 minutes, some foods (besides bananas) don’t make me physically hurt and drain my energy, and that heavy depression cloud is starting to lift.

Some days are better than others. I’ll make it through with my unknown viral sickness. Thanks, Doc.

that time I prevented myself from graduating

It’s finally here. Spring! Spring means flowers and warm weather and me being FURIOUSLY HAPPY and manic because of all the sunshine and warmth. It’s ridiculous what a little sun can do for a person’s mood. Spring also means May. May also means college graduation. I submitted my application for graduation this semester and I was waiting to hear back and was so excited to FINALLY be done with school and then….

I dropped a class while having a panic attack. While in said class.

My hands are still shaking and I’m still using a paper bag so that I can breathe.

So, I’m not graduating now. That light of freedom that I saw at the end of this long tunnel called college is now actually just a train. *insert gif of a person getting hit by a train* That’s how it feels. Maybe more like a punch in the stomach, realistically because I’m not going to actually die or step in front of a moving train. Who does that anyway? I guess people who really want to die. As much as I feel like I died a little, I’m not in the hospital again and gasping for life.

Anyway, I know it was for the best. I was starting to lose my mind this semester. I was getting so stressed out that I was beginning to lose myself in the stack of books and notes and being at my computer for 10 hours at a time (not that I’m not at a computer now, this is more cathartic than studying, obviously). Ironically, the class I dropped was called “The Psychology of Motivation.” Yeah, I was motivated to graduate. Not fail 3 exams and then not be able to graduate because of that. In the end, I think I’m better off knowing that I’m not graduating instead of being faced with the disappointment of being so close and then failing a class.

It’s ok though, I’m trying to tell myself. I can take the class during the summer session and everything will be fine. I can still make it to Colorado in September. At this point, I will do almost anything just to make it to my goal: move away to my happy place. University is not my happy place. They’ve trapped me here and I don’t even feel like a person. More like a drone just doing what college kids are supposed to be doing. This is not living, this is hell. I’d rather stand in the TSA line in the Denver airport again. That was less nerve-racking than studying for exams.

All I can tell myself now is what a very wise hobbit once said..

“Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate”
-J.R.R. Tolkien