Hello you,

So now I feel like sharing my take on social anxiety because I feel like you may relate, and it could probably help you feeling less alone or getting through it.

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Difference between shyness and social anxiety

When I was a little girl everyone would say that I was very shy, and they were probably right. I would always hide behind my mom when I'd meet new people, I couldn't talk to a boy (literally), everything made me blush, I couldn't make the first move with anyone. Today I can say that I've "overcome" my shyness, even if it's still part of my personality and sometimes I don't control it (example : when my crush is in the room or worse, talks to me).

So being shy is annoying, when you blush you feel ridiculous etc.. But when the "shyness" ruins your life, makes you feel so badly about yourself that it hurts physically, makes you stressed out for no reason, makes you cry and feel so ashamed, then it's not shyness anymore, it's called social anxiety.

I found out i wasn't just shy last year only (yay to not being informed about that type of things). At the time I was dating a girl, it was sort of a toxic relationship but anyway I was doing research on the internet (as usual that's like my number one occupation) and I found a website that listed all of the symptoms of social anxiety, and -guess what- I matched to all of them (almost). So i told my girlfriend straight away and I felt so genuinely happy that what I suffered from had a name and was an actual issue that other people experienced. She didn't take it that seriously and it sort of hurt but whatever. The point is I'd always felt weak and almost dumb because I couldn't get over what I still believed was shyness. ¨People tell you "you should join a drama club it'll help you" like it's no big deal and when you tell them you're actually part of a drama club they look at you with a mixture of carelessness and pity that I find disgusting.

What social anxiety is

Here's a link to a website that gives a proper definition : http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/social-anxiety-disorder/symptoms-causes/dxc-20342365

To me, what really is important to remember about social anxiety is that it is a disorder, it is not normal and it is a complicated issue.

My story

Now my story, or at least the worst social anxiety experience I ever had. I was in 8th grade, and I'd joined a new gymnastics club where I didn't know anybody. On the first class, everything went great, I was super happy about it and I shared it with my mom so she didn't see anything happening. On the second class, the coach I had the last time wasn't there so I stayed in the fitting rooms waiting for her. It had been 30 minutes, she wasn't there and all of the other girls were in the gym but since I didn't know any of them I didn't talk with them. At some point one of them came and asked me why I was staying in the fitting rooms, and I didn't even give her a proper answer, I was almost shaking in fear. The other coach who was a man made fun of me because he didn't understand either why I wasn't coming, he had no bad intentions but I was so insecure it killed me. I wasn't the best at gymnastics though I loved practicing, but the coach never really coached me because I didn't want to do competitions so I like did my own thing without increasing my level which made me feel even more insecure.
I would greet the girls but didn't dare talking to them, I was too immature to take part of their conversations. The thing is I was trying hard to pretend I didn't care about socializing with them when really I couldn't sleep at night. I constantly felt like they were judging me, making fun of me, and by dint of believing that, it really happened. Often I asked my mom not to go when I could find excuses, she didn't notice how bad I felt. It was living hell, I hated myself and I hated those people, I blamed them at first and when I realized it was my fault I hated myself even more.
At the end of the year I told my mom I wasn't into gymnastics anymore and ever since I don't do sports (I'm trying 3 years later to get back to it because ugh my body).

Overcoming social anxiety

I feel better about myself today. I know I'm beautiful, smart and funny and it's important to remind yourself that. If you're not enough beautiful or enough smart or enough funny then first stop comparing yourself to others and then if really there's something you dispise about yourself CHANGE IT. I'm currently trying to lose weight (future article yay) because I don't feel comfortable in my body the way it is now. Don't change so that others like you, change so that you don't feel social anxiety. Because you can be the prettiest girl in highschool, or at work, if you are not even a little bit confident, people won't see the beauty, they'll get negative vibes from you. Some people aren't really confident but that doesn't mean they hate themselves in public.

I still feel social anxiety for example I get paranoid that my friends talk behind my back, secretely hate me and can't wait to get rid of me. Or if I'm surrounded by people that I know but aren't my friends I feel really uncomfortable.

I hope this article was helpful

I wish you the best, you can talk to me about your anxiety if you feel like none of your friends understand you. I understand that people who don't suffer from social anxiety can't get it, because it's such a terrible feeling you cannot imagine it.

You deserve to be loved, no matter what they think about you

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