Anxiety is Hell.
And Social Anxiety is a very special kind of Hell.
Sartre’s quote, “Hell is other people,” was my truth at one time.
“Crawling in My Skin” by Linkin Park is a poignant reminder of the the intense Social Anxiety that I felt before I had recovery tools. I experienced everything on the list below. And more. Including replaying a perceived failing in a social setting over and over again in my head. Torturing myself (mentally) mercilessly for being so “weak and ineffectual.”
When I was drinking Alcoholically, I HAD to drink before and during a social event. Sans alcohol, I abused psycotropic meds, got high, and/or acted antisocial to repel other people and appear tough. Or just didn’t show up.
Today I pray, think of what I can bring to the situation rather than take from it, learn and grow rather than endure, and take an interest in other people there, so as to get to know them.
To this day, with 25 years of practicing recovery skills and using recovery tools, public speaking and social gatherings can still be difficult.
Thank my Higher Power they are rarely Hell.