Social AnxietyI was a class clown in elementary school. By junior high, everyone stopped taking me seriously and I wanted to be seen as smart and beautiful, not goofy. I started to do my classwork and minded everything the teachers told me.
This became a habit of mine. I started to get bullied and at somewhere around the age of 12, I started to exclude myself from others in the state of fear. I started to "blush" all the time at even the slightest things and everyone always had to point it out. I started to sit in the back desk in the corner of the classroom, covering my long hair over my face. I also wore heavy foundation, hoping it would cover up the redness when it flared up. But the hair and foundation, resulted in my already bad acne flaring up worse and it lowered my self-esteem tremendously.
The blushing went away a year later, but the social anxiety did not. I did have a few friends and I did date. Strangely, I got along better with guys than I did girls because (in my personal experience) some of my female friends were much more judgmental than my male friends.
But all these years, I chalked up what I had as "shyness" and nothing more. That is until I went to college. I was all alone. I didn't know anyone there and I didn't have a single friend. I walked up to the professor to turn in a report and she started to look over it while I was still standing there. Next thing I know, I started to tremble really bad. I noticed that she noticed but she didn't say anything. It was starting to be like that everyday at college.
I went to the doctor and found out that I had social anxiety. I never heard of it before but the symptoms described me accurately. I realized then that it was a real problem for me. It kept me from doing everyday things and I was afraid to even tell the waitresses at restaurants what I wanted to order.
I started a job in customer service, and with all the rude customers. I started to have anxiety attacks almost everyday and my chest was hurting so bad, I feel like I was going to pass out and that I thought I was going to drop dead and die right at the customer service desk. Of course, customers noticed this and would point out that I didn't look like I felt good. I had to quit because it was becoming too much for me and it even resulted me in having nightmares when I slept. When I worked stocking items, I didn't have this problem.
Sure, none of my close ones understand why I have it. They think it's something I can't "get over", like a cold. But it's not that simple.