I’ve been dealing with something fairly new in my adulthood, and it’s Social Anxiety, almost Social Phobia, to be quite honest with you. Dealing with social anxiety in adulthood is quite a challenge, especially when you miss on great opportunities simply because you can’t even think about interacting with another human being that makes your heart pump like you’re in a race.
I don’t know when that started. When I came to understand what I was feeling, it was quite too late. The anxiety was already creating roots in me and it was here to stay. However, as a law of attraction practitioner, I know I can change my beliefs and somehow overcome this.
Since I made a post about honest blogging, I’ve been thinking about being really honest with you and bringing not only my favorite skincare or makeup products, but also the real tea of the everyday life as a Brazilian girl living in The United States.
My first time in the US was in 2013, when my english was not all that good but I was fierce as a dragon. I was more confident, I would challenge myself more, I would try everything and I was not afraid of anything really. It was the best few months of my life. I took the GreyHound bus with my mom to a different city, I took the regular bus to go to a few places, I would do everything by myself, and I wasn’t embarrassed or afraid of anything.* And now, just thinking about the things I did back in 2013 makes my stomach spin. I don’t think I would do that again due to my anxiety.
*I wasn’t living here by the way, just visiting.
Now we’re in 2019, I’m almost 28 years old living in sunny South Florida. I own a car, I used to work full time (I quit to become a full time blogger), have a house, and I am married.
AND I AVOID PEOPLE LIKE IT’S THE PLAGUE.
I don’t know what happened, but now that my english is way better, I am concerned about the little mistakes I still make and my accent makes me hate myself. I avoid phone calls, avoid going out because I will probably have to speak to someone and I simply can’t stand talking with people I don’t know.
It’s like I don’t even know how basic grammar like verb to be works when I interact with a stranger. My mind goes blank.
When I am with my husband, my english is excellent, I am not shy, I am not afraid of making mistakes and I definitely don’t have any issues. I keep telling him that I need to take accent reduction classes but he says I need to deal with my anxiety with a therapist because he doesn’t see any issues with my english.
I guess it’s because when I am with him, those issues don’t show up, but if we’re out or if I’m by myself and I have to talk to someone, it all comes to surface. What am I even afraid of?
Dealing with social anxiety has been affecting my life tremendously. I avoid phone calls, I avoid phone interviews, interviews for jobs I really want, I avoid going to my local Starbucks, I avoid talking to people because the few times I did that, I sounded like a complete idiot.
And this is something that has been affecting a good percentage of people, especially my generation and the generation after mine. We’re so connected to the external world and what’s happening out there, but using devices to do so. We barely speak, although we talk to a lot of people online.
Sometimes I catch myself not speaking to anyone during the day, but having insightful conversations and interactions with other people on Social Media – all by text.
And the more we do that, the more our anxiety grows. We forget what it feels like to look into someone else’s eyes, to feel that person’s energy, and somehow this all feels weird to us.
Is this “perfect” online world making us feel like we’re not enough? Perhaps the perfection we keep seeing while scrolling through our phones is making us afraid to make mistakes, to sound silly or make a funny joke.
In a world full of likes, we keep seeking everyone’s approval, but it’s easier to just hide and avoid the chance of failing. Anxiety is eating us alive, but we don’t ask for help because we just don’t seem to understand what’s going on. It all seems normal in today’s society.
So dealing with anxiety in adulthood is complicated. But once we understand what the root of the issue is, we can burn it down and move on like we used to.
I miss the girl I used to be, and I know she is hiding somewhere in me, I just need to find her and hold her hand.
I just need to let her know it’s safe to come out and explore the world again.