Depression, Social Anxiety

My Social Anxiety–My Story Pt.2

It’s storytime!

In part one of my cleverly named “My Story” (thank you; I know), I talked about my dysthymia. Now it’s social anxiety’s turn. And with it comes the story of my middle school crush.

Now I’ll start by saying that I’d always been, to a certain extent, shy. This shyness was moderate in the 6th grade, but reappeared in 7th grade with the prospect of a new school and 900 new and therefore scary people haunting its hallways.

My parents had signed me up for intramurals, which were classes for my favorite sport, at my new school. The majority of the kids there were immature, obnoxious guys. On the first day of class, there was this one guy who was in the same grade as me. We had a 10-minute conversation, with me acting all cool, girly , and uncharacteristically confident, all the while cackling hysterically. I cringe.

I suddenly started to see this kid everywhere at school. And whenever I did, he’d be staring at me with this wide-eyed look in his face, like a deer caught in headlights. Or he’d whip his head around to pretend he’d never even glanced at me in the first place. He tried to talk to me more, but it was pretty awkward, because he’d try to show off by “acting cool”. His idea of acting cool, by the way, was yelling at my back “I hate you” in front of all of his friends because I got a good score on a math test … but I digress. He and all of his friends–a whole pack of 15 of them– started staring at me whenever I walked past. It was a little more than awkward, as they all whispered amongst themselves very conspicuously. This is all with me within 10 feet of them.

After probably a week of that kid standing up in the middle of his group of friends with all of them staring straight at me, I “fell in love”.

I was aware that he thought I was pretty wearing a ponytail and cute clothes, so I kept wearing a ponytail and cute clothes/ Every day. I was aware of all of the boys staring at me, and began to act as if they always were.

So this is where the story becomes depressing.

Sometime during the 7th grade, I learned that I was ugly. I really truly thought that I was incurably ugly. I thought I looked hideous with my hair down, with my chubby cheeks’ proportions showing and my gigantic nose a prominent growth in the center of my face. I became obsessed with mirrors, turning my head in different directions, trying on different facial expressions, testing different hair up/hair down hairstyles. I used to do this for half an hour every day before and after I took showers.

While testing out facial expressions in the mirror, I found that I looked prettiest smiling. So I smiled all the time, no matter whether I was happy or not. And did that hysterical cackling thing at the most inappropriate moments. But I thought I was pretty, so that was all that counted.

Eventually the novelty of the crush wore off, but I was left with the impression that people were staring and talking about me all the time. Whenever someone near me laughed, I felt on edge. When I was the only one not talking to anyone, I felt that everyone was staring and talking about me.

I stopped listening to people when they talked and just smiled, nodded, and laughed to pretend. I couldn’t hear them because all I could think about was whether they liked me or not, or thought I was a “retard” like some other kids called me because of my quietness. I was completely silent during all of my classes, only willing to talk to a few of my friends out of a fear of rejection.

It even ruined libraries, my last sanctuaries, for me. I was so scared that people were watching me and were judging me on what the books that I borrowed that I hid in a corner between bookshelves and the walls whenever choosing a book. So I ended up reading a lot of books by authors of last name R-Z.

I started living simply for other people–to make them like me, to make them think that I was a nice person. All the while wearing a fake personality and pushing people away in an effort to protect myself from rejection. Of course, that couldn’t get me any real friends.

Now, I think I’m better, although I could actually pass for mute in some of my classes. I still have bad days or even weeks, but I don’t let that linger in my mind as often as it used to. I try hard, but not to the point where I drag myself down. And in spite of it all, I like to say that depression’s made me an optimist. Depressed optimist, haha- now that’s an oxymoron. But I truly believe that being so hopelessly sad and empty has made me more active in my search for happiness, more selective in the people I hang out with, and more empathetic to other people. I’ve discovered how truly important happiness is, and can appreciate it a lot more than the average person. I still want to make people happy, though not by bringing myself down but by lifting others up. I think about how nobody, except you, knows about how I feel when I try to be kind to others. Who knows what problems other people are going through?

That’s why I decided to start a blog. I was absolutely terrified at the idea, because my inner voice told me that I’d fail and that it would make me feel even worse. But I decided to anyway, because even if I can’t make myself happier, it would be amazing if I make someone else a little more thoughtful or happy. (Ok, this post isn’t exactly happy, but well…) Successful or not, I love the idea that this blog allows me to share my thoughts and have my voice be heard. Your likes on my last post were so encouraging because I’d had an awful day. I never thought that people would even look at my posts at all, much less like something that I wrote. Thank you so much for reading. It means a lot to me.

So fellow mentals…mentos! come on, let’s keep fighting. We’re in this together. ♥♥

XOXO, c.

p.s. I am really, really hoping that the mentals thing doesn’t seem insulting, because I am stressing over it. lol

p.p.s. You know when you type lol and you’re never actually laughing?aHAha

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21 thoughts on “My Social Anxiety–My Story Pt.2”

  1. I just read this and I wanted to let you know that you’re definitely not alone. And it’s so amazing that despite that a part of you doubts yourself, you saw beyond that and saw the potential in yourself. And overthinking is something I still struggle with. It’s like… How aren’t people thinking about ten thousand things about this one thing? I wonder how it feels to not stress yourself out over nothing, lol x,x! And you’re such a great writer; I really enjoyed reading this. I’m rooting for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness thank you so much! Your comment means a lot to me ❤ I agree. overthinking is the worst. Thankfully, I don’t overthink as much now; I’ve just got to get over my fears that people won’t like me or I have nothing to say. Yes! I want to know how a “normal” person feels! 😂 I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts, so best of luck with your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t stop writing. Write for YOU, abd you find others relate and you are not alone. I’m a 45 year old man. Been wrestling with this for over 25 years. We FEEL isolated and aline, but, in fact, we are not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I will keep writing, for as long as I possibly can. I’ve found blogging and reading other’s blogs to be very helpful in making me feel connected with other people. Thank you for your comment!

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  3. I just finished reading your My Story post as well as this one and I am very glad you chose to start this blog. As someone who struggled through high school, eating lunch in a dark classroom alone everyday and would be extremely uncomfortable if I heard a group of kids laughing behind me as I walked to class immediately thinking there was something wrong with me or maybe something on my pants or shirt I find your blog to be extremely relatable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds awful. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m very glad that I started blogging because of the community it has to offer. Blogging helps me realize that none of us are ever really alone, and that there are so many people who have gone through similar experiences- it’s amazing and I’m not going to stop anytime soon. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so crazy…I can relate to a ton you wrote here (just like with part 1 of your story!). I used to test out in the mirror for the longesttt time each day how I thought I’d look best…and I became obsessed with looking good and setting up this particular image for others to see. Even up until about last year, I struggled with still doing this, but for 2017, I’ve surprisingly felt free to just be me, and its honestly a hundred times more amazing than trying to please others constantly with a certain image (something I never thought I would say & here I am saying it…).
    Anyways, I’m sorry about the ultra long comment! But your story seriously resonates SO MUCH with my past experiences, its so crazy. I’m so happy you’re doing better now and I hope you realize you’re inspiring & beautiful girl xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much!! I’m so happy that we can relate! It makes me feel so much better about everything. I’m so happy that you’ve become more comfortable with yourself- go you! 😁 Have a wonderful day:) ❤❤ c.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!! ❤ ❤ Yes, it makes me happy to know there are others who truly understand 🙂 Haha thanks xD You have an amazing day too girly! (Btw I'm sorry…I've just been like spamming you with comments today…lol)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad that you wrote this, overcoming the fear of failure and rejection is so hard but the fear is the worst part! This has made me feel less alone and I hope its done the same for you too! P.s. The mentals thing isn’t insulting dw! 😂
    Good vibes always! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! That’s so kind of you:) I definitely agree- fear is something that never really goes away, so it is hard to fight. I’m so happy that you can relate!! Hope you have a fantastic day/night! ❤ C

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate to your story. My social anxiety started in the seventh grade after I was bullied pretty bad in the sixth grade. By high school I thought I was hideous and whenever I saw people laughing I thought it was about me. From 18yrs old to now 27yrs old, I’ve pretty much conquered my social anxiety. It still affects me in certain settings, but not in everyday life. I think with the effort you’re putting in to overcome it, things will continue to get better for you too!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! It means a lot to me that you can relate to my own story. I’m very happy to hear that you’ve conquered social anxiety! Go you:) and thank you for the encouragement, that’s very kind of you 😊 I hope you have a fantastic day! XO c ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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