Have you ever felt being left out?
Do you always think of what others will say?
You are not alone.
Let me share with you my journey. A journey that has shaped me to be the woman that I am today.
I was born like normal kids and just as beautiful as the others.
During my early childhood days, I was friendly and loved to go out with friends in the park or play in the playground.
I was once a cheerful girl who liked to talk with others in school until my teachers would catch me.
Everything was normal.
Childhood days are, no doubt, the best in the world. You feel excited to wake up in the morning just to play with a bunch of kids and get soaked with immeasurable joy.
Those kinds of days are the most unforgettable moments for us all. Living without fear nor worry is still fresh in my mind until another haunting experience happened to me.
It changed my whole life and the way I used to be.
I was in primary school and just because of a mistake I made, everything in me changed.
I know children don’t think of the possible outcomes of their actions but not me.
“Just one simple mistake” others might say but for me, it is that serious that I couldn’t let it just go. And for a child who’s supposed to live with a healthy and innocent mind, social anxiety has already taken over mine.
And this simple mistake has made half of my whole existence hard to deal with.
My Life with Social Anxiety
“Why are you not talking?”
“Why do you feel nervous to have a small talk?”
“Don’t you feel alone?”
These are the questions majority of the people I meet would ask me.
I used to believe that shyness is just a part of my personality.
For 14 years, I have heard these hundreds of times. It is exhausting and it makes me feel worried for those who also have social anxiety. I know few people will relate to this. It just suddenly happened and it has affected the way you live your life.
What is Social Anxiety?
- Social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) is one of the most common mental disorders. It can be triggered by talking to strangers, public speaking, making eye contact and anything that has something to do with other people.
When you have social anxiety, you always think negatively.
“What if something happens?”
“What if others judge me?”
“What if I get humiliated, embarrassed or made fun of?”
“What if I accidentally offend someone?”
“What if I become the center of attention?”
I wanted to be someone else. This is not what I have envisioned for myself.
During these years, my life felt hopeless.
Overthinking and over worrying were the constant activities in my head every time I needed to take part in situations that would involve other people.
I didn’t even know that I was being so hard on myself.
One occasion during a college internship abroad made me realize that it is indeed a problem that required psychiatric help. I mustered all the guts I could to speak to my father. I was more than willing to find the real reason why I became like this. And for career purposes, I wanted to bring my best version out.
Though this seeking professional help thing didn’t happen, I am happy that I was still able to find the real reasons behind this behavior. I was able to move past my traumatic experiences by reading lifestyle blogs.
I found the importance of focusing on the PRESENT and making specific goals for the future.
What I’ve Learned:
Never neglect yourself again
Sometimes having this kind of mental illness leaves great impacts which turn to severe state of hopelessness. Find hobbies that will help you feel good, grow confidence and make you love yourself again. A hobby that can also create a better version of yourself for your future.
Related Post: How Journaling Cured my Depression
No matter what you do, don’t forget you are not alone. Open yourself up for opportunities.
Seeking help doesn’t make you a damsel in distress. It is normal for a person to feel vulnerable, have negative emotions, feel scared and this is why we have family and friends as our strong support system.
Find your tribe. People who get you and people who will not judge but understand what you are going through. If all else fails, it’s okay to seek professional help. Do this for you. You matter.
(Browse through our People and Untold Stories Section for more inspiring stories from women all over the world.)
Find yourself again with a purpose
Related Post: 11 Things that Changed Since I Found Myself
Mental health is indeed one of the biggest issues nowadays and don’t feel hopeless if you are experiencing one.
Related Post: How to Reduce the Stigma Around Mental Health Concerns
There is a reason why you are alive. Find that reason. Just being yourself and accepting yourself, your quirks, your special and unique gifts is more than enough reasons to go on and face the beauty of NOW and promise of tomorrow.
If anything, I feel so grateful for finding my voice in the blogging world. It’s just a hobby that helped me in a lot of ways and changed my life into something I have never imagined.
Related Post: 100 Little Things That Make Me Happy
You are stronger than yesterday
Our past shapes our present that will help us to have a better future. You are strong enough to cope with anxiety. As you learn about yourself, you will understand that your most painful and confusing traumatic experiences are meant to equip you with all the profound lessons that you will find useful for the days that are yet to come.
Let this be your motivation to better deal with life and to enjoy its bumpy and magical ride.
Related Post: Things to Remember When You are About to Give Up
About the Guest Contributor
Mikhaela Alyssa Adarve is a content creator that focuses on travel, fashion & lifestyle. She is also a freelance model and a hobbyist photographer. She captures moments through her camera and shares it on her blog.
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(Photo Credit: Pexels.com)