Trusting Someone with Your Anxiety

There are some people that you can just trust, that you know won’t hurt you, that you know won’t make you feel bad about yourself. My best friend is one of those people for me. It has taken me a long time to trust her, but she has patiently been there through it all.

The other day I was hanging out with her and realized that I was getting to the point of anxiety where I would either freak out or shut down. So I did what I always do and tried to escape as soon as possible. Of course, you can’t just leave without an explanation and because she’s my best friend, I told her the truth. Instead of just letting me go, she asked what would help. By the time I tried explaining everything, I couldn’t handle things anymore. I shut down and then freaked out and then shut down again, but it helped. I got it out of my system and could hang out again.

And she was totally understanding and didn’t make me feel bad about what happened or make me explain why I felt that way. She just hugged me and listened and let me still spend time with her afterwards.

I’m not sure what my point to this is, other than to just trust someone. Let someone know what you’re going through. Let someone know all of you, even the parts you don’t like. Maybe they will be more understanding than you would think. Maybe you will find someone who loves you anyway. And maybe then, you can heal from all the hurt and brokenness, from all the voices in your head that say you are not good enough and you are a freak and no one will ever love you. Maybe then, you can be whole.

I hope you find that someday. I hope you find someone that loves you and would do everything to not hurt you. I hope you find someone to trust with the hard things. I’m still working on becoming whole. I’m still working on the healing and recovery process, but with someone I can trust, with someone that loves me and doesn’t hurt me, I have hope that I will get there someday. I will get better. I can be whole. And maybe, just maybe, I deserve that.

Advertisements

Extrovert with Social Anxiety

I have come to a point in my life where I can start trying to understand my thoughts and why I have some of those thoughts. I am starting to come to terms with different mental models and philosophies that I hold. I know that a lot of my thoughts come from past experiences, and I know that a lot of those thoughts are not really true. The problem is that though I understand these things on an intellectual level, they have not been fully processed mentally and emotionally yet.

One of the most eye opening realizations that I have had in this process has been that I am an extrovert with social anxiety. I absolutely love people. I need people. I need to be around people, lots of people, tons of people. If I am not around someone or talking to someone or messaging someone, the majority of the time I go crazy. I just really need people. On the other hand, I hate people. I hate crowds. I hate noise. I hate people being everywhere all the time and not being able to breathe because there are so many people. I love spending time with people and being invited to hang out or go to an event or have dinner with someone, but I also totally freak out. Sometimes I don’t go, or I go and sit outside and then leave without going in, or I go and stay for a couple minutes and then sneak out, or I go and stay for longer than I am comfortable until I get to the point where I can’t hold in all of the anxiety and I rush out as fast as I can before I can’t hold it together anymore.

My best friend is getting married tomorrow. I have been excited to go to her wedding for months. I have been ecstatic to see her, but I knew it would be hard for me. I know that crowds and noise and people are hard, but I forget about that sometimes. I forget just how hard it is to stay sane with all of my anxiety in social situations. Tonight was hard. The last week has been hard. The last few months have been hard. But tonight, I didn’t want to go anymore. I don’t want to go to my best friend’s wedding reception because the anxiety has gotten to the point where I feel like I’m going to break all the time. She gets it because she’s my best friend, but other people don’t understand or even try to understand sometimes. Of course, I’ll go. I just don’t know when or for how long or how I’ll react or what I will do.

But having social anxiety means that there’s always a tension when you are around people. It’s like having a spring inside of you that gets squeezed the longer you are with people until it finally pops out. And being an extrovert means that once you finally are alone and don’t have to worry about everyone around you, you fall into a bitter loneliness that you just can’t get rid of. So you do this over and over again. You get squeezed until you’re about to snap because you desperately want to be around people and then you retreat until the loneliness is so thick that you can’t bear to be alone. So you go back to the anxiety and then back to the loneliness and back to the anxiety and back to the loneliness.

And you wonder if you’re just killing yourself slowly or if you should just consign yourself to loneliness because trying to be around people is so ridiculously hard. And maybe it is, and maybe you should just stop trying, but… there’s that other voice that says, “maybe this time will be different. Maybe this time it won’t be so bad. Maybe this time you’ll be okay.” And maybe you will be okay; maybe this will all end. And if not, maybe it will be worth it anyway.

Fears and Questions

I read too much into things. I assume that someone not talking to me means they hate me or I annoy them or they just simply don’t care about me.

A few months ago in therapy, we briefly discussed why I don’t reach out to people.┬áMy therapist proposed a low cost to reaching out, but I told him about the high cost I feel from it. I am terribly afraid of people. I am afraid of being abused. I am afraid of being yelled at. I pretend like everything is okay and that things don’t affect me, but the truth is that I am afraid of breaking down, all the time.

I would almost rather disappear. I would almost rather be the only person in the world than try to navigate the dangerous waters of socializing. But if I’m going to be around people, I need them like I need to breathe. I need them to like me, to think well of me, but mostly to not get annoyed with me.

I don’t care if people hate me. I don’t care if they yell at me or put me down- as long as it’s not someone I care about. If someone I care about even thinks I’m annoying, that destroys me.

Maybe it’s because I find lots of people with Aspergers to be annoying. I know that is terrible to say, but it’s true. They talk too much and don’t listen enough. They are always trying to bring all conversation back to them. They get upset when you don’t do things a certain way. Not everyone with Aspergers is like this, just the ones I think are annoying.

I guess I’m just afraid of becoming that. I know it is not their fault. They don’t understand that what they are doing is pushing people away rather than drawing them in. That’s why I’m so afraid of annoying people. I am afraid that I won’t realize that what I’m doing is pushing people away rather than drawing them in. I don’t know how to tell if someone is annoyed. I don’t know how to tell when I’ve said or done too much.

That is why it is so hard to do good. I want to make people happier, but I don’t know if it will cross a line. Do people get tired of good things being done for them? Do they get tired of thank you notes or just expressions of gratitude? Do they get tired of hearing how amazing they are or how much they are appreciated?

These are the questions I want answered. These are the questions I need answered if things are ever going to change. I need to know if what I am doing is okay, because otherwise, it will always feel wrong, and I’ll always struggle with the fear of not knowing if what I do is really good or not.