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I'M Not Lazy. I'M Not Crazy. I'M Just Scared.

I'm 19 years old and according to my friends, my family, and even myself, I've been crazy all of my life. Anti-social. Up until a few weeks ago, I didn't even know about social anxiety. I thought I was the only one to ever feel this way. I've only had one real job, and it was working at a kids summer camp. Working with kids who couldn't judge me like people who knew better could was perfect. If I screwed something up, who would notice? Who would tell me off? Certainly not the children. I'm scared of getting a real job. I'm scared of messing everything up. I'm scared of letting people down and interacting with people every few minutes, because I know they're judging me. I just quit a babysitting job and have no income at all right now, so I know I need a job in the near future. It scares me. I'm so stressed out just thinking about where to go next. What will I do? How will I mess up my new job? What do I say and how do I help customers? I simply don't talk to people. I also still don't have my license. My boyfriend has been pushing me to get it, but I just don't want to take the road test. I know I'll embarrass myself. I don't want to go to stores and checkouts because I think the cashiers will think the items I'm buying are weird or they'll try to talk to me. I don't want to talk to them. I want to take my items, go home, curl into a ball and cry. The other night, I didn't want to go into Subway with my boyfriend and I asked him to get my sub for me. He got REALLY upset with me and told me I had to start doing things myself. One time he told me I had to stop "being retarded" because I didn't want to pick up my prescription for a urinary tract infection. He says he gets it, but he doesn't. Nobody around me does. They think I can snap out of this overnight. I think it's going to tear my boyfriend and I apart eventually. I just don't think I can give him the life he deserves. :( I just want to be happy and not freak out about the smallest of things such as ordering food, pumping gas, going to the doctor. I've missed out on so many important things in my life like college/university, job opportunities, trips, etc., because of my social anxiety and I want to get better. It's ruining my relationships and my life, and I need it to stop.
Keepthepimphoofstrong Keepthepimphoofstrong 18-21, F 4 Responses Feb 10, 2013

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I know exactly how you feel. However, I come to conquer all of my fears accept for getting a job. My now husband was actually able to help me push through all my fears but this one he just cannot hold my hand and help me through.

I am going on 24 years old and I have never had a real job. After doing my taxes today (I was selling stuff online for people) and my "business" is just not bringing in money I am so depressed.

I can apply for jobs all day but when it comes down to actually trying for the job, like calling, I just can't bring myself to do it. I can't even bring myself to bring in hard copy applications.

Right now in this moment I am extremely angry with my mother for not letting me get a job as a teenager. The longer I go without a job a less likely I am going to be hired at all ever in life. Who the eff wants to hire a 30 year old who has never had a job?

I can promises you all the other fears and problems you can push through, you can do it! You just have to tell yourself you have no other options, don't give yourself the option to back out.

I know exactly what you mean. Honestly, I don't have a problem doing most things, but the job part is just so hard. I want to bring in money to support my boyfriend and I, but it's just impossible. :( Thanks for commenting, makes me feel less alone in all of this. <3

When I read this, I thought "this is me"! I am extremely afraid of getting a job, especially going through interviews, thats why when I was in high school and needed to choose a career, I wanted to be a housewife. I feel like a failure because I don't have any experiences to put on my resume, because I'm uncomfortable of putting myself out there. My sister is pretty outgoing and she is 3 years younger than me, often gets frustrated that I can't order food on my own. When going to new places I absolutely have to research online what to do before going there, like what is the process that I need to go through in order to buy something, otherwise I'll feel extremely embarrassed for messing up. And don't even get me started on doctors visits, I was extremely proud of myself for just calling the dentist to schedule an appointment, and I had to mentally prep myself 10 min before doing so (though my heart was beating so fast the entire time). While on the subject I'm afraid of calling someone on the phone, I prefer texting or emailing so then I can check if what I'm saying is okay.

Today I got extremely depressed that my teacher made me seem like I was a bad student for not remembering what he said last week, and I was tense the entire day, worrying about how my classmates might be thinking that I'm stupid. I'm always trying to put myself in a good light so people won't judge me. I eat alone in the dining hall because when I go with some friends, they always have their other friends join, and I feel awkward around people I don't know that well, but when I eat alone and a person I know says hi to me, they are probably thinking I'm weird for eating alone. I think this is why I love being with animals more than people because they dont judge you.

Haha sorry for rambling, I just saw a lot of myself in your post. I wanted to thank you for posting, because I had a bad day where I felt insecure the whole time, and now I feel better just reading other people's posts.

I'm a little late on the reply, but thank you for commenting. You sound exactly like me, if we're being honest. And it's nice to know that while this is such a struggle, I'm not alone. :)

keep strong, keep working on it keep chipping away dont give up keep talking it through

Thank you. :) I'm trying.

I hear you. I've avoided doing a lot of things because of that. I used to not be able to go to the bank, grocery store, restaurants, or pump gas because I was so scared of what people would think of me. Lately what I've been doing is just trying to make myself do all those things that I really fear and it usually makes me feel better once I've done them. If I prove to myself enough times that 99% of the time nothing bad happens, I can reinforce it.

Then sometimes I can feel people's eyes on me, so I just try really hard to block it out and I focus on how tense my muscles feel and take a few good deep breaths every time until I relax. I've also been trying to think in the way that it is none of my business what other people think of me, and as long as they don't say anything to me about it, I don't have to pay attention to that. It's really hard, but it helps a bit. I think it's just that mental barrier where you have to just be impulsive and just do the action without thinking about it at all. Like just holding your breath and jumping in. That's what I've always had to do.

People don't understand it though, I know. My family has always thought I was weird because I also didn't want to face the embarrassment of making mistakes and so I didn't get my license until I was 18. I only did it out of necessity too. I absolutely HAD to be able to drive in order to function in the world. I didn't even get a debit card until I was 17 or 18 because I didn't want to make a fool of myself learning to use it. I felt like since everyone else had one, other people would think it was weird that I didn't know how it worked. I never actually told my family that I don't want to do things because I am afraid of it. They would just tell me to toughen up or get over it or something. I just know they wouldn't understand. I think the more you face your fears, the better you get at it though. You may never totally get past it, but it can at least be tolerable.

Sorry about the lengthy comment lol. I couldn't bring myself to cut anything out of it.

Thanks so much for writing this. It's great to know I'm not alone. You sound so much like me, it's crazy. I'm trying my hardest to get out of this, taking baby steps is what my boyfriend is telling me to do, but baby steps for me is somewhere still in the womb. I'm trying though, and I'm certainly going to take your advice the next time I'm out. Thanks. :)

:) I hope it works for you. It's not a fun problem to have.