For as long as I can remember, I have found that I struggle in social situations. A lot of people would find this hard to believe; I come across as chatty, outgoing and confident. But the majority of the time this is a mask.
As you are aware, I have anxiety and depression. But until today, it never really occurred to me how anxious social situations make me. In other words, I suffer with social anxiety. Before today, I hadn’t really thought about my anxiety in this way.
It was only during my CBT session this morning that I realised how high my anxiety is in regards to social situations. I brought up the issues I discussed in my last post about friends. I always worry before any social situation. Given the choice, I would actively avoid socialising altogether. The anxiety surrounding social situations has such a negative impact on my emotional wellbeing. My anxiety will tell me that I will make a fool of myself, that people don’t like me and will make fun of me/talk about me. I also get anxious in shops or talking on the phone. In my head, I am constantly telling myself what to say in these situations. I will then tell myself off if I feel that something has gone ‘wrong’ in a social situation.
I was shown a similar quote to this during my CBT session this morning:
I think this is true about me. I endeavour to make sure everyone else is happy and well. As a result, I end up feeling lonely. The mask I wear makes me appear guarded to my family and friends. It is so ingrained for me to appear on the outside that all is well with me. So is it any wonder that others don’t always check how I am or assume that I am doing ok?
My mood has still been low. I would go as far as to say that it is probably even lower now. I worry that I am coming across as overly happy to compensate for my low mood. It’s just one worry after another…