How Social Anxiety Almost Ruined My Life, But Didn’t

social anxiety
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When I was a little girl, maybe five or so, I dreamed of being a ballerina; well, this involved many social encounters like dance practices, meetings, concerts and so on. I slowly convinced my mother that I didn’t want to be involved in any of this because I had to deal with being seen in front of everyone and having to speak to others around me.

Being as young as I was and so afraid to confront life, I struggled immensely with trying to fit in with all of the other kids. During recess, my classmates would team up and play tag, meanwhile I would sit quietly on the bench and simply watch them. The fact that I had an issue with my weight was also a factor of anxiety; being 140 pounds at ten years old caused me to have a trauma with how I looked. Not only was it difficult enough for me to communicate and play with the other children, but being a “bigger” kid seriously stopped me from doing so much more.

I was so nervous of what the other kids thought of me that I did not want to be involved with anyone or anything. The fear of being criticized by everyone else stopped me from doing many things that I could have been capable of doing. Socializing and making new friends was completely off the list for me because I was so scared of what they would think. When it came to class presentations, I would go into a pre-panic, causing me to shake uncontrollably and feel the need to want to throw up – sometimes even making any type of excuse to get away from these presentations. I was so afraid that those around me would laugh and make fun of me for anything at all.

Back then, I didn’t have the self-esteem or confidence to interact with others the way I do now; I love to meet new people and know about their stories. I have come to terms with myself when it comes to social interactions like parties and get-togethers. Although this was a positive change, I still struggle with being the center of attention. Oral presentations continue to make me incredibly nervous, but I try my absolute best to face the fear of judgement. The fact that I began to feel more confident about myself helped me a lot, and I continue to want to improve and better myself. Living a life in fear of what others will think will not stop me from doing anything!

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