My social anxiety began in the aftermath of my mothers suicide. Before that harrowing emotional scaring event at the age of 13 i was a shy introvert who could be described as socially awkward. After witnessing my mother dead body the ptsd it was the genesis of my pernicious social anxiety disorder. In the months that followed her funeral i had a bout of intense terrifying panic attacks. Panic attacks where i wasn’t fully cognisant what was happening to me at first I thought it was a heart attack with the heavy breathing the tightness in my chest. Then going out going to school socialising with my friends became a torturous undertaking as i was besieged with anxiety with the fear. Throughout my adolescence my anxiety grew more acute as i kept my disorder a secret making up excuses declining night out with friends turning down dates from males admirers.
As i progressed from a precocious teenager into a young adult this disorder has metastasised into a paralysing illness that impacts every facet of my life. Its a all consuming fear of everything a fear of the fear. A fear of any rudimentary social interaction a fear of intimacy of the crowd of going to social events with friends or family. I have forced myself to attend birthdays wedding drunken nights out with my friends to not let this monster destroy me. However attending these social gatherings was pure intense unrelenting torture. Its a fear that haunts you its the fear of being perceived as boring or a cruel look from a stranger that sends my anxiety escalating. Its the fear of another panic attack around strangers the constant fear of letting the mask slip and revealing my disorder. I am able to mitigate to anaesthetise to the social anxiety my devouring copious quantities of alcohol. I use alcohol as a anti anxiety medication to temporarily alleviate the perpetual hell of my anxiety.
The anxiety is so oppressive that i have refrained from divulging my anxiety with a friends with a qualified psychiatrist or gp. The idea of being that vulnerable delineating the years of panic attacks and anxiety fills my mind with dread. Hence i am unable to take anti anxiety medication. Even going to the doctors for a habitual check up is something i have forgo because its such a laborious task. Simple everyday mundane tasks normal socially functional individuals take for granted become with my deleterious social phobia a monumental endeavour. Venturing outside with the threat of a panic attack having cold glances from strangers having to form conversations with strangers was hell. Short 20 to 30 minute traversal to my local convenience store was torture that i had to endure for my basic survival. On this journey i suffered from heavy breathing constantly scratching my hand to assuage my anxiety. Then there’s speaking with people with the paranoia the angst that pulsates in my neurotic body. Its hell and it never ends i cant go out anymore because of the fucking anxiety that follows me that strangles my soul.
Going on a date is a impossibility that beyond my abilities. I have in the past had a few dates with alluring prospective lovers but the fear was too laborious to continue the romantic relationship. Friendships due to me abstaining from the majority of social events have slowly drifted apart. Important intimate friends have lost all contact with as they lose all patience in my anti social peculiar behaviour. They for a while persisted with me but after i stopped accepting their effusive requests for nights out all contact was lost as our beautiful friendships faded away into a sad memory.
By life as this disorder has devoured me has eclipsed all the beauty inside of me is a forlorn wretched existence. Its endless anxiety that is with me all the time even as i sit alone in the comfort in the sanctuary of my home secluded away from other people. I sit twitching incessantly shacking my legs unable to reflex unable to feel a modicum of serenity. This anxiety has given me a life of severe alienation where i am all alone in my illness unable to articulate the scale of my anxiety. I cant expose myself to the horror of the real world i cant force myself to face these nightmarish protracted social interactions. Hence i stay in my tiny enclave hoping to escape hoping to palliative my anxiety.
Living with social anxiety is detrimental to my vocational prospects. As a teenager and student i had these illusions of travelling the world as a young writer seeing new cultures that are enriching and enlightening endeavours. Now though these fantastical dreams will never be realised i still write poetry and short stories that remain unpublished works of fiction. My dreams of living a exhilarating adventurous life have vanished to be replaced by far fetched dreams of becoming a published novelist. I still harbour hopes of conquering my illness of being able to have something that resembles a life filled with ebullient people. I want to fall in love to have friends that love and cherish my company. I want the pain the isolation the fear the dread the purgatory to be over. I want to finally confess my anxiety to a doctor i yearn for a hug from a fellow anxiety suffering where we cry and console each other. I want that elation that euphoric release of this pent up suppressed pain and worry and torture I incur every day as i traverse back and forth from my place of employment.
There is a bluebird living inside of me chocking on the noxious fumes of my illness. There is a bluebird that exists in my dreams where i can freely smile laugh partake in glorious human activities without the angst. There is a bluebird that is slowly dying being crushed by the weight of my disorder a bluebird that screams at night a bluebird who’s cry’s for help go on unanswered. There is a bluebird that wants to fly through time and space that wants to feel the beauty of life in its tender wings. There is a bluebird that wants to get drunk to get high to fall in love to feel the ecstasy of life flowing circulating in its fragile body in this ethereal finite world