Am I a horrible person?

 I’m really ready to go back to university now after the 4 summer month break. I have some great friends at home but… and it sounds really harsh… I’m ready to go back to university and not have to… I feel horrible saying it. 

Maybe it’s more of an introvert thing than a social anxiety thing but I feel like I’ve had more than enough socialising time back here. And I almost want to be a recluse for a while. But it’s not quite that because I also miss my uni friends a lot and I can’t wait to see them. 

A few very minor personality clashes have happened this summer but nothing serious. Just niggling things that always come up now and again. So it might be that as well. Also I felt like I let a friend down a bit today when I agreed to something and then backed out because I realised that might be a decision that would be bad for my anxiety. I think she was really disappointed. If I could be a recluse and have my very own straw hut in the Alps that might not have been a thing.

Anyway, disclaimer, I love my friends and I wouldn’t trade them. I hope I’m not an awful human being ūüĎć

Advertisements

Overthinking Facebook

I should really make it a rule to not add anyone on Facebook, even if I {think I} know them well enough to be Facebook friends. I’m already a reluctant friend-adder. Definitely too much of an over-thinker for this.

Once I spent a year avoiding someone and feeling generally awkward over this same situation…. it’s kind of daft… And now I get to try and not repeat the same cycle all over. -.-

I'm usually too socially anxious to even do that. But when I do, I panic and think of cancelling it.:

Finding Routine and Settling in

If Fresher’s week went slowly, my second week at university has flown by. Nothing much happened this week, except for settling into the new routine. I don’t have any morning lectures or seminars, which means I now get the dream life of lie-ins all week long. This may change when I start to get coursework and essays however.

Things took a dive on Wednesday when everything seemed to go wrong; for one thing I took some clothes down to the launderette and accidentally put the washer on without any detergent in. That was a waste of money. I also managed to fail at online shopping one day so the next day traipsed into town on the bus and back to go to the supermarket, carrying 5 heavy bags all the way back to the bus in torrential rain.

All in all, however, things were good. I can’t say I’ve made any friends on my degree courses yet, but then I don’t have that many lectures and seminars to go to a week. A couple of the girls in my flat who have much fuller timetables were inviting new friends back to the flat or going to their friends’ flats and I was baffled by how anyone can reach that stage of friendship so fast.

I feel very much at home with my flatmates though and that gives me a huge sense of contentment. I had a conversation with one of Continue reading “Finding Routine and Settling in”

College Days (Part 2)

Apologies, I’m back a day later than promised to carry on describing my two years of college and social anxiety.

At college I became an expert at avoiding people- not out of dislike for them¬†at all, but because I was afraid of being at a loss for words in conversation or of getting tongue-tied. And I do get tongue-twisted regularly; I stutter and string hopelessly incoherent sentences together when nerves overcome me. Fear of this became more and more intense, especially in 2nd year. There were several ways in which I would avoid people. I would mentally map my routes walking through college to avoid any potentially awkward encounters. I’d strategically determine whether to walk slow or fast, would stall for time in the bogs¬†at Breaks sometimes, all sorts… Avoidance skill level = genius, Social confidence level = rock bottom

In first year I’d meet my friendship group most break times in the hall, and I was pretty good at coming to sit with them at Lunch. Some lunches I’d come out of my shell and talk more than usual. On a Thursday everyone else was attending societies or subject support sessions and I had no one to sit with. I tried just sitting in the main hall by myself to eat lunch, but I became hyper-aware of those around me who might think I was anti-soc Continue reading “College Days (Part 2)”

College Days (Part 1)

Ok, so I think now is a good time to make some sense of how social anxiety affected me at 6th form college. Hopefully in times to come I’ll be able to look back and think “I’ve come a long way since then!”

As I wrote before, I left college 3 months ago and I’m starting university shortly. If you’re not familiar with the English education system, college (sixth form) is a bridge between school and uni, usually attended from 16-18 (in my case 17-19 though) There’s a few different qualifications you can study after leaving school, and it’s your choice if you study any at all; in my case I chose the academic option of A Levels, where you choose 4 subjects in the first year and drop 1, continue 3 for the second year.

Two years ago I left my tiny independent Christian school of 20 and set out for college. I knew it would be very different from the s Continue reading “College Days (Part 1)”

To Be Open or not to be Open?

Recently I’m turning over in my mind the question of being open about my social anxiety with other people. Telling anecdotes about “that awkward moment when” seems to be a new craze and naturally I’ve got plenty of them up my sleeve. But admitting to¬†people that what you’ve got isn’t just shyness but an actual condition is a whole other ball game. I keep imagining possible situations and what people might say if I was open about it. The idea of it is strangely appealing, yet not quite appealing enough just yet. I imagine many would be very understanding about it, others might get kind of preachy, some sceptical, and others might think I’m attention-seeking.

Is it worth it? Does opening up bring relief or is it best not to tell the whole world? Should you just save it for trusted friends? Or would it be good to raise more awareness for issues like this that not everyone knows exist? I saw some stats somewhere that S.A.D is the third most common mental health problem after depression and alcoholism. If so, we could have all met someone that has this and never known.

If somebody could give me a witty or insightful reply to the question, “So are you usually quite a shy person then?” that’d be great. Saying, “Oh I have social anxiety and I¬†always get tongue-tied when I¬†meet new people,” seems rather a severe bomb to drop on someone you’ve only just met. What do you say?? I usually end up apologetically¬†saying¬†“Kind of, sorry” or “Not always,” but this is a conversation killer and makes me sound like an uninteresting and/or dumb person, which is hardly the first impression I want¬†to give.

Then again, I’m not sure why these people think “Are you always this shy?” is a socially acceptable thing to say. What kind of answer do they expect? Pointing out a stranger or acquaintance’s apparent personality defect simply isn’t kind, even if said with good intentions, and it’s certainly not going to break the ice.

I know that this blog is so new that nobody’s really reading yet, but if by some small chance anyone is, I’d love it if anyone has any suggestions or answers to leave a comment.