Social Anxiety

So I Tried Too Hard

Since I have social anxiety, I thought that it would be a *fantastic* idea to join the Model UN club at my school. MUN is a program in which simulations of actual United Nations conferences are conducted, and the whole point of it is to talk, giving speeches and cooperating with other “countries”, or students. So my helpful brain told me that it would help with my social anxiety and speaking skills.

As you probably can tell by now, it did not exactly work out.

During the whole conference, (which lasted three days and fifteen hours) I was absolutely miserable. I didn’t talk the whole time- I just nodded, smiled, and offered various affirmations for whatever my partner said. Throughout those horrible hours, a nauseous feeling in my stomach persisted in giving me extreme dread.  I was terrified that someone would talk to me, but I didn’t want anyone to ignore me and just talk to my partner, as they so often did. I stayed in my cushioned chair and scrolled through my phone, or admired the way other students talked so fluidly and with so much self-confidence. Boredom and a fierce headache from a lack of sleep (we arrived home at 11:00 PM) didn’t help.

Maybe the conference wouldn’t have been as boring to me if I’d talked but again, I have social anxiety. I was just about as ready to give a speech as a fish was ready to turn into lightbulb and fly.

Even an average person would be nervous in front of TWO HUNDRED immaculately dressed, intensely competitive, serious students.

But I didn’t talk when I could’ve, either- there were many times I could’ve tried to talk, when we weren’t giving actual speeches, but I couldn’t bring myself to get past the lump in my throat or the rock in my stomach.

Afterwards, guilt settled in, thanks to my perceived failures at the conference. It was, to sum it up, completely awful. My attempt to make myself “better” backfired, because my faults became all too clear to me.

Right now, I’m OK, though. “Happy” once again:) No, really actually genuinely happy, not just smiling. It’s funny (not so funny) how bouts of depression can just strike and disappear, like lightning, but am I glad that it vanished quickly.

And while feeling better about myself, I’ve come to an agreement with myself. No matter how boring, how awful I found this conference, I’m going to try again next year. I know that I overreached this year and expected too much for my first conference, so I’m going to give MUN a chance to work its miracles on me again. I’m sure that MUN, or activities like it, will help me learn how to talk.

My lesson learned: I’ll try hard, but not too hard- and don’t I won’t be too hard on myself when I fall. You can’t conquer a mountain in one day, and if you leap too high, don’t be surprised when you fall down hard.

xoxo, c.,โค

 

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27 thoughts on “So I Tried Too Hard”

  1. That is so true. I had an epic fail at a guitar recital with my whole family there. That was 5 years ago, and it still haunts me. I’m in the process after many starts and stops of taking guitar to get back into it. Depression and anxiety suck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I can imagine how embarrassing that must be with depression and anxiety. It does really suck- it makes everything seem worse than it actually is. It’s great that you’re trying to start playing the guitar again, though! I wish you the best of luck.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am actually very happy that I decide to go, as now I have something to build up on for next year. Thanks for the reminder! It is really hard to give yourself some slack with anxiety, but we all should try:) thank you for the encouragement!

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  2. I’m so proud of you for not giving up. This year was hard for you, but that doesn’t mean ALL years will be. It’s okay to realise you can’t do something because of your anxiety but don’t let that stop you. Know your limits but don’t be afraid to know that one day, you can surpass them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ˜Š I am actually very glad that I participated this year, because now next year should be easier and more fun for me. Although I overshot, this experience was a good first step for me, and I am looking forward to beating my social anxiety in the future:)
      best wishes, c.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Afterwards, guilt settled in, thanks to my perceived failures at the conference. It was, to sum it up, completely awful.”

    Ah jesus. I do this. It’s brutal. The feeling of inwardly punishing myself for not doing the thing is almost worse than not doing the thing. Or maybe it is worse. It’s such a horrible, stomach-twisting feeling, and it just feeds into itself. You don’t do the thing, which doesn’t feel great, and then you feel crap and angry with yourself for not doing the thing, and then you feel crap and angry with yourself because you KNOW you could have done the thing but didn’t, and then you feel crap and angry with yourself for feeling crap and angry with yourself about not doing the thing and OH MY GOD why can’t I just feel normal? Why is everything such a death spiral of destruction??

    ….At least that’s how it goes for me.

    I hope next year is easier!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES!! Oh my gosh you just described the entire cycle of pain for practically everyone with anxiety! I’ve been feeling that way this past weekend- I might write about that later. Wow… I can relate so much to what you said!! Thank you so much for sharing! โค c.

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  4. Practice makes perfect. You’ll see that it’ll become easier after a couple MUNs. (It also helps to imagine that you’re not talking to people but a litter of puppies. Seemed to do the trick for me โ˜บ๏ธ)

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  5. You’ve basically described my first Toastmaster’s experience right here! Sitting there listening to perfect speech feeling more and more desperate like every cell of your body wants to get out of that room.
    And yet, you stayed. I stayed. We’ll get through this.
    Try approaching a select few beforehand with a topic you can discuss like books/movies. Its easier to talk about a common love for something like books/movies/tv series. Best of luck for your next MUN ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh that does sound a lot like how I felt! Thank you so much for your advice, I’ll make sure to use it. Also, I’m very happy that we’re both staying! Best of luck with Toastmasters, by the way๐Ÿ˜Š XO c โค

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  6. Ughhh public speaking is one of my biggest fears! No matter what I tell myself to take away the nervousness beforehand, I always screw up and stutter, its awful! I’m trying to overcome it, but it really does take time for even the best of us. I’m so sorry that happened to you! I really know what it feels like. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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