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Project Love by thorns Project Love by thorns
My arm and my husband's arm. He did the writing / drawing.

For TWLOHA Day and Project Love


My mother calls me painfully shy.

In fourth grade, I had no friends because I couldn't work up the courage to talk to other kids.

In high school, I was so shy I couldn't attend half my classes freshman year.

In college I paid more than a thousand dollar for classes. I attended the first day and went home feeling sick and trembling. For the rest of the semester I stayed in bed every day the classes were scheduled. I never went back.

Online classes were hit or miss. The last class I took, I completed the 'introduce yourself' assignment posted to a message board. I never logged back in.

I couldn't communicate with people, not even online. I couldn't function no matter how hard I tried. My mind blanked. My heart felt like it was going to explode. My face turned so red people laughed. My ears burned. I felt sick and couldn't focus for days at a time. If I stuck around long enough, I was sure to cry, even if nothing bad happened.

I couldn't go to school. I couldn't make friends. I couldn't work. I felt like I couldn't do anything.

My family thinks I'm snubbing them when I don't answer the phone.

My husband had no idea I wanted to pursue writing until we were married more than a year.

My sister thinks it's funny that my face turns beet red when someone talks to me.

I was reluctant share any personal aspirations. I was careful not to share my opinions. I felt guilty about wasted money and wasted opportunities because I couldn't communicate with people. I felt humiliated when I couldn't function with another person in the same room.

I didn't know what was wrong with me.

I wish I could say someone helped me out and gave me all the answers. It was google that shed light on social anxiety for me. Once I understood the problem, it was no longer undefinable or insurmountable.

I toy with the idea of seeking 'professional help' but the thought gives me anxiety still.

Now that I know what's wrong with me, and that I'm not alone, it is easier. I was able to discuss my anxiety with my husband (who didn't laugh). After taking about a million baby steps over the last few years, I've made serious progress. Today, I can participate on DeviantArt and share about my anxiety.

I can tell my husband when I'm having a bad anxiety day and not try to hide it. I can discuss my writing with my husband, which I hadn't even dreamed of five years ago.

I struggle with social anxiety, but now I feel like I have a future. All it took was a little awareness and a lot of baby steps.

Maybe it's not a great triumph story, but it's a vast improvement from where I've been. That means something to me.
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:iconspookendyke:
Spookendyke Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hm, I'm the same way. It got particularly bad in grade 12 for me, where I eventually stopped going to school and dropped out. It was over a year before I met a girl who was still in high school, and she convinced me to go back. But it was only towards the end of the first semester when it happened again, and I just couldn't go, and that's where I am now. I haven't been to school since the week before Christmas break. I feel like I'll never graduate high school and it will hinder me forever, just because of this anxiety. But there is a new anxiety group starting here soon that lasts a few weeks, and I'm going to try to go to all the meetings, and maybe I can start to make some progress. I'm so glad it's gotten better for you, and I hope you keep improving still!
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:iconthorns:
thorns Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012   Writer
:tighthug: It breaks my heart to hear your story. I know what's that's like and I know what you're going through. It's incredibly hard.

It can get better, and that is an incredibly hard journey too. I can tell you that the end results are worth it, and you can do it. All the hours worrying and sweating will be worth it. Please do go to the meetings. Talk about the issue. Share. Try to be social and live your life even though it's terrifying. The more you do it, the easier it will eventually become. (I know it may not seem like that, but it will. I promise.)

What helped me was to make a plan with little goals I wanted to meet. I started creating projects (by myself at first) that would force me into controlled social situations. The Chat Tour that I run started as part of my plan. It really helped me even though the first five or six stops I felt like I was going to vomit the whole time.

My rambling point is you can do it. It does get better with hard work. :huggle:

I wish you all the best and if you ever need someone to talk to, please note me. I'm friendly and I know what it's like. I won't judge and I'm always willing to nudge people.
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:iconzololuveru23:
zololuveru23 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012
I used to have major social anxiety like you've described before I met my boyfriend. He helped me make some major progress to help dispel it, and now you'd never know >.>
Great that you're working to try and overcome social anxiety. It sucks, I know, but best of luck!! :heart:
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:iconthorns:
thorns Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012   Writer
That makes me happy to hear your story! :glomp: I'm glad you're doing so well. :heart:
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:iconsupernataria:
SuperNataria Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012
Oh my gosh Im like that NOW! I can cry even when nothing bad happens it is probably the pressure of everyone watching you!
My face burns even when I'm trying to talk to a friend!
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:iconthorns:
thorns Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012   Writer
:tighthug: I'm so sorry to hear that. I want you to know that it can get better though. It's hard, and takes a long time, but it can get better.
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:iconbeautifylnightmare:
BeautifylNightmare Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm probably the exact opposite. I never think about what I say, and I'm brutally honest, all the time. Its gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years -.-
I'm glad that you were able to make progress!
Best wishes,
.....Kat
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:iconthorns:
thorns Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012   Writer
That's my husband too. He's loud and has no filter, but that works for me because I can hide behind him and not be noticed. :dummy: He's okay with whatever trouble it gets him in though. I hope yours isn't too terrible for you. :hug:

Thank you!
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:iconsplee568:
splee568 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I used to have that in elementry school. so I can say I knew how feel. all of that has dissappeared. but I would'nt laugh. :)
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:iconthorns:
thorns Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012   Writer
I'm glad it vanished for you. :hug: Thank you for not laughing.
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