I remember I was having one of my oral exams in school. I always hated that.
When my turn came, I tried hard to focus but the moment I was standing to recite, my hands were shaking and sweating, I did everything not to think about anything. My mind making scenarios like I can hear the laughs, they are laughing at me. No shut up, stop thinking. FOCUS! Hearing the whispers, it’s me they are talking about. More panic, more sweating. Uncomfortable and losing focus. There I was caught on what I say, a trick of the mind.
And then, it all drained down, I forgot what I was doing. Words had stopped coming out. It’s happening again. And then, I have this sudden urge to run, run hard away from all this. And this wasn’t the first time it happened. It happened a thousand times and I always ended giving up. I felt that I had no power over my mind and that’s what social anxiety does to you.
Social anxiety (also known as social phobia) is often confused with shyness. It is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. This fear can affect work, school, and your other day-to-day activities. The experience may be different for everyone, but there’s always hope and ways to seek help.
I have never talked about it and this is my first time I am opening up.
My childhood was not with it’s best memories. Most of the time, I ended up fighting people and demons living inside of me, which was tough for me.
I used to avoid all social contact and as well as gatherings. People made it worse by commenting about my body or my skin tone. For them, my skin color and my weight was the most important, not my feelings. They made sure that every insecurity building in me turn to a belief. Whenever I looked in the mirror I was ashamed and embarrassed by myself. In all these things, I was never able to love myself nor accepted the way I was. I kept blaming myself and that was enough to make my life miserable.
And overcoming social anxiety was the hardest thing I ever did but I had to before it started controlling me, I had to take charge.
Remember when Dory said to Marlin
To keep swimming.
“Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”
I felt that because I had been feeling like drowning, and sometimes people need a reminder that they just need to keep swimming.
You will be challenged with insurmountable obstacles, but with faith, patience and believe you will prevail. The most significant part is to believe in yourself and to face the circumstances with courage, that life throws at you. And you can always ask for help. YOU HAVE THE POWER TO STOP IT.
As Jay-Z said, “the genius thing that we did was we didn’t give up.”