Mental Health Monday ( Thursday this week! ) is a weekly post from bloggers, authors and everyday people who wish to share their mental health stories and struggles. Check out here for more information.
This week I’m excited to welcome April Nichole to the blog with her post about social anxiety. April has an amazing blog where she discusses all things books, And you can check out the books she has written on there as well! She is also on Twitter and if you’re not following her, you should be! I’ll post them down below so you can pop over and say hello. Now, onto the post!
I take a deep breath, wipe my hands on my jeans, try again to calm my heart and sit staring at the screen. I wonder what can be said both by me and those that read this. I wonder if I can say something wrong. If I can say something offensive without meaning to. Should I just not do it? Someone else could probably do better. Say the correct words. Say them in a way that would be more helpful to someone else.
My name is April and I have social anxiety. Honestly, variations of the above go through my head all the time, every day, for varying reasons. Sometimes once I think things through it can seem like silly reasons for having anxiety.
How do I deal with it? That is hard to answer. It is one of those cases where it can be different every time of how I deal with it. There are times that each one feels new and unique from the last time. Ultimately it isn’t any different. My head just wants/needs to see it that way.
It can get to where large groups and by that a “large” group could be 10 people or more but if I know ahead of time that the “large” group is a possibility then I have time to prepare my mind. It can be an anxious moment but it can mean running scenarios in my head. Of course most if not all that goes through my head aren’t actually going to happen but it helps to not have the moments once I arrive that mean that I can’t think straight or have anyone too close to my personal bubble at all because I wasn’t able to prepare my mind.
I have never been a shopper. I want to get in and get out. If I am going grocery shopping then my lists are detailed so I can start on one end and go the other without going back and forth and get done. Of course, the shopping feeling changes if I get to go and shop for books or movies because that is something I can get lost in and feel comfortable although grocery shopping is like that too sometimes. I have times that if I am going to go shopping by myself then I will be sure to bring music and headphones. With a list in hand of what to buy, I can block out everything else. Breathe easy and jam out. I will get so into the music that I’m doing the head bob and sways and because I am so caught up in the music I don’t care if the other shoppers notice and if they do how they react.
I don’t remember the date that I learned about an organization called To Write Love on Her Arms but I do know that when this happened I started trying to embrace who I am a learn and grow from that. It will forever be a work in progress but hearing the stories they share it helps to know that I am not the only one to feel the way I do sometimes. Or to think the way I do sometimes.
It does me more harm than good when I let myself get consumed in the negativity of the world. I have to practice every day to see the silver lining in everything and to know that the dark times can only last for so long. The light will shine again. When I strive for finding the silver linings is when I can hang onto some kind of hope in the world around me.