All posts filed under: Mental health

When you think I’m being rude, here’s what’s going on inside…

You might see me on the school run, head down, face set, eyes resolutely avoiding contact. You may notice that if we cross paths in town, I will take out my phone and busy myself rather than stopping for a chat. If you do happen to engage me in conversation, you will likely pick up on the fact that I will just about answer your questions but rarely ask how you are in return. Socially, you may note that I look unapproachable and like I would really rather be anywhere else than where I am, even if it happens to be your birthday/hen party/some other celebration. You will realise that sometimes I just won’t show up if you invite me out.  I won’t always even give you advanced warning. Quite quickly, you will get the sense that I am, simply, astonishingly rude. It’s fine; you won’t be the first person to have thought this. But you, like they, will be wrong. Attitude doesn’t come into it; I’m far too busy trying to temper the anxiety …

Social Anxiety: The Struggle is Real

Social anxiety has been a huge problem for as long as I can remember; the feelings were there years before I was able to attribute a name to them.  I often feel like the name itself does not do the feelings justice.  You could be forgiven for thinking that “social” anxiety only manifests itself in the face of afternoon teas and nights out.  Sadly, that isn’t the case. In my experience, social anxiety can affect every interaction from the super benign (bumping into a friend on the school run) to the pretty huge (job interviews).  This anxiety makes me unreliable because I often just want to stay at home where it is safe rather than getting out and facing all the possible interactions that might occur in a single day.  It can make me appear unfriendly when that isn’t the case at all.  It can invoke feelings of paranoia where I am convinced people hate me even though they are probably just not speaking to me because I’ve spent the previous few days avoiding eye …

Insecurity

Insecurity. A satisfying word; ten letters, five syllables. Easily spoken and digested. Its relatively small size belies the enormity of the feeling it describes. Because insecurity distorts everything, it is an unsettling filter through which to view life. It begins existence as a minute seed sewn by something as small as a throwaway comment by a trusted someone, perhaps. It grows, however, and quickly. It spreads and changes and fills up all the empty spaces inside your head and your heart, eventually cramping out other, infinitely more rational, feelings. Insecurity makes you doubt your reactions to everything. Not always immediately. Usually you will have already reacted, and almost certainly in a negative capacity. Then comes the sensible, though often entirely too late, afterglow that tells you, maybe, that you are not hated, or hateful, that *insert relevant occurrence here* was just a misunderstanding. Insecurity, in my experience, facilities the making of truly terrible decisions. Feeling unworthy of love, attention, happiness, essentially anything good, can inevitably lead to settling for less than ideal eventualities. Relationships are, …