It seems odd, me posting about having social anxiety…
…especially as I have fronted a band, sung on stage since I was 10 and seemingly have wanted to be the centre of the universe since I was able to form a sentence, but as I get older it becomes more and more apparent that it is a thing I seem to have developed.
At the time of writing this post, I am sat in my studio trying to muster all the energy I have to draw a smile on my face and be a positive beacon to my clients. It’s exhausting. Yet, according to all the articles I read and the people who loudly proclaim their introverted nature, I cannot be socially anxious because of being quite a loud and often in your face personality. According to some ‘friends’ (loosest possible definition required), because I have always given out an air of confidence, then all I am doing is seeking attention. Trust me, there are less mentally exhausting avenues to seeking attention, this really isn’t one of them.
Over the last week I have been invited to quite a number of things, I have politely said I can’t attend because the mere thought of attending more than I have selected in my calendar, at present, is filling me with dread and makes me feel shattered just thinking about it. No one wants a miserable person at their event, it’s not fun for them and it’s not fun being the anxious one feeling they have to feign being all up beat etc so they don’t ruin the person’s shindig. My friends will tell me that I’ll probably feel better for going (and they’re possibly right), but summoning the energy required to go is, at the moment, a gigantic effort in itself.
This will pass and the usual obnoxious, cursing, confident me will reappear but right now I need to say no far more often than yes to any invites I get. I don’t get many, granted, as my circle of true and close friends has diminished over the years but I really do need to cherry pick quite a bit. So please, don’t be offended if I say no to something, usually it’s because I can’t actually afford it or, as is the case this week, because Pandora has reared her head and it’s taking everything I have to stop being my own bully.
Normal service will resume shortly, but please, if your outgoing, loud friend tells you they’re feeling anxious about something please don’t dismiss it because they’re usually the life and soul of the party. Accept that they might actually have run out of spoons, finally, and hand them a spare one if you have it.
Right, time to paint the smile on my face for the last couple of sessions of this week.