Sunday, April 23, 2017

My experience with social anxiety.

Let me tell you something about social anxiety. Social anxiety is the feeling of anxious when you are trying to socialize, to cut it short; it is when you can’t bring yourself to face the crowds because this odious and evil little voice inside your head keeps whispering to you that when you’re facing the crowds – you won’t be able to be yourself, you won’t be able to breathe properly, you can’t bring yourself to calm down because you know that they are going to judge you, no matter what happened. You know that you won’t survive because you keep hearing them taunting, mocking, scoffing and laughing at you. That’s the horrible part of it. 
Take it from my experience, I was experiencing the most social anxiety in my life when I was 14. It was terrifying, I couldn’t even look at those times without wincing. My only problem is that I kept those feelings all to myself, I didn’t tell anyone. If only I could open up to people just as easy as I fake a smile at them, I would’ve not experienced that. You can’t describe how you felt when the anxiety comes flooding into yourself. It’s like battling with your own voices in the head but keep denying at the same time. Your heartbeat will increase irregularly, you’ll be sweating profusely. All you want to do is crawl into the ground until everyone leaves. 
It had come to the point where I didn’t feel like school was important to me anymore. That was the place that terrified me. My brain, creating a defensive mechanism, told myself that I didn’t have to go to school. So I did that. I missed school almost every week, but that was the thing that calmed me. School hours were akin to the hell on earth. Every step I took was followed by the taunt of groups of boys in my head, scoffing and insulting me. I didn’t know how to make it stop, not being in school was the only clear solution back in that time. 
I remembered being scolded by my parents because I missed too much of school sessions, my parents beat me and I still can feel the pain of it. It’s been 6 years but it still haunts me. I remembered praying to God when I took the beating–I prayed for Him to take my life, so that I didn’t have to feel that kind of pain anymore–that kind of pain that makes you remember how awful your life was, the chest pain that keeps expanding every time you think of it–I didn’t want to experience that anymore. 
But I survived. I didn’t know how, but somehow, I made it. I survived the hellish period at school, started as a new person when I entered Form 3. I aced every examination I could until I left school. Now, I am kind of living the type of university life that I always imagined. I used to imagine that I am going to be flying one day, and I achieved that dream. Somehow, I could finally say that I kicked social anxiety ass and proved that I am stronger than the feeling inside me. Nonetheless, I am still battling with the remnants of it. And I will survive because that’s who I am. A survivor.

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