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Thursday, August 13, 2009

My daily fight

Sometimes there is more to a person then just what you see on the outside...a person that you think might be rude or a bitch might actually have something else going me....
I suffer from "social anxiety" it is a torturous emotional problem that most people do not understand. It includes intense fear, a racing heart,blushing,excessive sweating, dry throat and mouth, trembling, swallowing with difficulty, and muscle twitches, and in my case sometimes uncontrollable crying, and bad headaches. People with social anxiety disorder know that their anxiety is irrational and does not make "head" sense. Nevertheless, "knowing" something is never the same thing as "believing" and "feeling" something. People with social anxiety, thoughts and feelings of anxiety persist and show no signs of going away despite the fact that socially-anxious people "face their fears" every day of their lives. Social anxiety disorder compared to some of the other disorders can seem kind of doesnt have "strange" elements that are visible to others. A person with social anxiety disorder usually shrinks into the background and is not heard. Even professionals typically do not understand what the socially-anxious person is living with, they prescribe a few relaxation techniques, some medication, and tell the person that they are really "OK".
This is highly debilitating for people with social anxiety. It reinforces the fact that you have a horrible, life-restricting disorder that causes extreme anxiety in social situations, AND NO ONE CAN EVEN UNDERSTAND IT, let alone help you. You start feeling like you are the only one in the world that has this disease, that you are a freak, or just weird. You look around and it doesnt seem like anyone else is going thru this or at least not anyone you know. Its hard to find yourself even walking down your own street alone for the fear people might be looking at you and judging you, or even that you might run into someone and then you are forced to say hello, your voice will crack and then they will sense your weak or afraid..and you dont want anyone to know that about you. You find fear in going to the grocery store alone..even though its in the small town that you grew up in...its the fear of people staring at you or again making eye contact and being forced to talk to someone. The fear of doing or saying something to make a fool of yourself. Theres the fear of picking up the phone and making that phone call..even though they cant see you, it doesnt matter, home becomes the only place you feel comfortable. The socially anxious person can’t relax, "take it easy", and enjoy themselves in public. In fact, they rarely relax when other people are around. It always feels like others are evaluating them, being critical of them, or "judging" them in some way. The person with social anxiety knows that people don’t do this openly, of course, but they still feel the self-consciousness and the judgment while they are in the other person’s presence. It’s sometimes impossible to let go, relax, and focus on anything else except the anxiety. Because the anxiety is so very painful, it’s much easier just to stay away from social situations and avoid other people.THIS is what I live with each and every day of my friends, my family, my one understands it...sure they deal with it because this is how I have always been....but they dont understand it and probably never will. Im a good person, have a good heart, always put others first, will do anything I can to help others out, but dealing with this all my life makes it so sometimes I really hate being me.

Shaking hands and swirling thoughts

Here comes anxiety ready or not

Gasp for air and try to hide

Cant let them see me break inside

Swallow and breath I want to be free

This is my daily fight with anxiety

*found this poem online*

*even posting this has made my anxiety go thru the roof*


Meeko Fabulous said...

Dena, I hope putting this in writing has been at least somewhat cathartic for you. We're all here for you.

~Thought's By Dena~ said...

"Meeko" thank you for that sweet comment

~Tom~ said...

I know you suffer from this one kiddo. And while I know it is really bad for you, you have also over come it a few times. For example, the NASCAR race. Oh sure, you probably felt it, but you didn't let it stop you from having fun. That is a big step.

As for people staring, how could they not? You look "maaahvelous dahling" and you have a killer smile in those eyes!

Juls said...

Thanks for sharing more of yourself with us. I'm sure this would be very difficult to deal with on a daily basis... and you're right..we should all remember that there's more to someone than what we think a lot of the time.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

My thoughts go out to you, Dena. Your posts don't show you to be anything BUT social. I hope that putting it out there does step at a time.

Joyful said...

I know this can be terribly debilitating and I'm so proud of you for speaking out about it. Just know that wherever you go, you are loved!

Joyful said...

I'm so proud of you for talking about this. Just know that everywhere you go, you are loved!

Samsmama said...

Geez, color me surprised. The way your blog reads I'd have guessed you to be a social butterfly.

I'm so sorry! I can't imagine how awful that can be. Sounds like you have a firm grasp on it.

I get extremely nervous in some situations, especially when I'm about to see my ex. It's miserable, but I wouldn't trade it for social anxiety disorder.

Hang in there! You're a beautiful person on the outside and within!

Joanie M said...

I left something for you on my blog.

Sally's World said...

I wish i could say something to help, I had moments/well days/weeks of this after Aaron passed away, but to live with it all the time has to be hard, i hope writting about it will help.

Thanks for your support Dena, your words of kindness always calm me, i wish I could do the same for you xxxx

Izzy said...

Although I don't suffer to the same severity as you, I am quite the hermit. There are days I wish I didn't have to go out. My husband calls me a hermit and I'm quite content with my hermit world. So maybe you can head over this way whenever you feel yucky and we can hang out and blog in our safe little hermit world together. =) Big hug.

RileyScott said...

I know what your going through Dena. While I've overcome it, and learned to be social when necessary in my life, I still don't like it, and my wife usually has to calm me down and reassure me that everything will be ok.

I don't like social gatherings of strange people, and I don't like going to a party where I only know one person. I'd rather stay home where I have my stuff, and can be happy.

When I go out, I use to feel all of what you described, and then I started doing this one thing, and it all went away. I started saying "Fuck em". If they don't like me, then I don't care. I'm a good person, and if they don't want to know and talk to me cause of how I talk or dress or whatever, then Fuck em.

I hope that posting this has helped you, and know that you're not alone when you suffer. Many people have this condition. It can be overcome though, so there is hope.

Lisa T. said...


I hope today is a better day.

Be good to yourself and know that you are not alone, ever.


Scot said...

Wow! Like several others, would have never guessed it from your blog. Will add that to my prayer list if you don't mind.

Momza said...

Well this brought tears to my eyes...I just had no idea of your always always always leave such upbeat, kind and positive comments on my page--can I tell you that I value every word you leave for me? That your words are always compassionate...maybe it's because of your personal struggles you so fully empathize with mine.
I pray this week is more about good days than hard ones. I truly appreciate your generosity in sharing your struggle with us.

Cozyflier said...

Hi Dena, I'm thinking of you.

I know how miserable it is to suffer from a condition that does not fit the standard medical profile. You probably remember my post on FMS.

I will pray for you and know that I have been thinking about you even though I have been over whelmed and not online my normal amount of time.

Though about you driving through Nebraska at night!


~Thought's By Dena~ said...

thanks to all of you for your kind words ...I know that it shocked alot of you that I suffer from this because the only way most of you know me is thru my blog allows me to say what I want to say and not have to go thru the normal anxiety I would if it was being said out in the open to each of you face to face. I still have a heart and still have feelings....still have a brain and am able to function...I just have to deal with every day with lots of anxiety which makes day to day stuff a bit harder for me...but I survive and I always will....thanks again to all of you that left me your kind words!!