Finding Direction, Empowerment And Taking Action.

I had come to a crossroad. 
At  fifteen years old, I found myself, STUCK in a rut of being shy and having no friends.  I didn't have any answers in how to break out of my shyness.   I had no clue as to which direction I needed to take that would bring me to the path of being social and finding friends again.  Then the most horrific fear was realized, one that completely overwhelmed me.  Even if I were to realize a path to take, would I ever to be able to release the paralyzing fear, so I could follow it?

How did I even get to this point in the first place?  I was told by my mother that I would grow out of my shyness.  I believed her and waited and waited, yet at 15, I was still VERY SHY and still didn't know how to break out of it.   When I was younger, I had neighborhood friends, so it didn't matter much if I didn't have many friends at school, I had friends at home.  I was happy.

Then, unforeseen events took place that forever changed my world.  One of  my childhood friends moved to another city and the other was involved with drugs, became pregnant and dropped out of school.  Now, suddenly  I found myself with no friends, alone in the world..confined to myself and facing my worse fear - shyness /social anxiety.

As a  Freshman in High School having zero friends proved to be no picnic.  Making friends was proving to be more difficult as ever, as everyone seemed to already be associated in a social "click".   I didn't feel like I belonged to any "click".   I didn't want to be in any one click.  

I was so shy, I wouldn't even go into the lunchroom because I didn't want to sit by myself, so instead, I would go into the library and read where it wouldn't seem or look so bad to be seen sitting alone. 

Yes, while everyone else was eating lunch in the cafeteria, I was in the Library reading.    The Library wasn't an agonizing experience,  in and of itself, because I had a passion for reading and writing.   I could actually lose myself in the library by simply reading.  The problem was,  I didn't want to lose myself in the library every single day..... it was so... lonely.    The once quick hour over days and weeks soon became dreadful as the hour now turned into being an hour that now DRAGGED BY.    Now, instead of reading...I found myself alone with my thoughts.....analyzing myself.  Why was it so difficult to make new friends?  Losing my two best friends left me feeling not only lonely but confused and deserted when I most needed help from my friends.  

Soon the self-analyzing....turned into self-ridicule, which turned into pity and self-doubt. Now, I had to confront my own worse fear - did I not have the skills to make new friends?   Profound hopelessness and helplessness had now creeped into my psyche.   One afternoon I had convinced myself  no one actually wanted to be my friend.. something was wrong with me.  That's it, something psychologically WAS wrong with me.  That had to be it.  My brain wouldn't  shut off,  my thoughts went into a downward fast spiral of self-defeating humiliation. 

What was wrong... was a girl who had the propensity to over-analyze everything, including myself and had all the time in the world, to sit alone to ' fuel the fire' of self-damaging thoughts. 

The only girls I did know in high school,  I met through my friend who dropped out and I inherently knew were not good for me or my future. 
At 15, not only did they look much older but also acted much older.    Most of the girls came from abuse without any parental control.  At barely 16 they smoked pot while walking down the street like most adults would smoke a cigarette.   Hard Liquor, cocaine, acid and any pills  was their daily goal.  They visited school only when bored.   The tragic part of it all, was that no adult in their world even cared.

 None of this situation is what I wanted for myself and my future.  Logically, I realized I could no longer wait until my shyness passed, as the "shyness" aspect of me had gone on for fifteen years and I was already tired of it.

Do I socialize with the only girls I know, who are bad for me, continue to hide in the library.... or what?   What other option do I have?   HELP, HELP, HELP! ! ! ! Is all I could say to myself.... to the universe... to GOD.   

I always trusted GOD, so I prayed about my plight.  Not only did I pray for friends but I prayed for specific girl types I wanted to be friends with.   I asked for GOD to show me the way.  I asked GOD for just average 15yr. old "girl" friends.  Nice girls. 

I trusted that GOD would guide me.

Within a week or so,  I noticed a woman's magazine my Mom had purchased.   My mom frequently picked up magazines at the grocery store.  My mom too, loved to read, especially when she drank her coffee and smoked her cigarettes.  I  noticed on the cover, in small words, something about how to get over being shy.   OMG.  An article in the magazine about Shyness?    I quickly turned to the index to find the article to read.  I then went to my room and read it and soon learned that the author outlined some basic instructions.  Although I had to follow the instructions, I decided I was willing to give it a try.   I once  thought the path would be some group that I would join some external factor that would lead me to friends.  I now realized the answer was not 'external' but 'internal'.   This was the path that I yearned for, the path I was looking for.   GOD does answer our prayers.

Shyness,   I now concluded was an aspect of myself that  not something I would  "grow out of" as I heard people say, as if shyness was a physical aspect  instead of  a mental one.  You cannot grow out of shyness, you have to step out of it ......and according to the author, it would be three or so steps.... (For directions refer to  'How I Was Able to Beat Shyness!' story)

I decided then and there that I would follow the steps, that I would take action.  I dared myself the next day and each day after that.    It was my secret and it seemed to be working.  I set goals for myself.  I would start with something small. I decided my first task would be to simply just ask someone a question.   Build my confidence.  

I was soon making friends one by one.

About a year later, one day after school I was hanging out with some of my friends.  We were in the woods and they were smoking cigarettes for the first time.  I don't smoke so I just watched them as they inhaled the cigarettes and attempt their best not to cough.  Giggling and laughing at each other.... then as we laughed, my mind instantly went back to the other girls I once knew, all of which whom had dropped out of school.   How hard the other girls were....years earlier smoking pot in the street, hard liquor and hard drugs...and how different these girls were... how innocent. 

Suddenly, it hit me.  They were girls... just ordinary 16year old girls... 

I smiled then and thanked GOD for guiding me to a path, one in which I courageously took, the path that led me to my goal, the friends I desired to have.

DreamWizard DreamWizard
51-55, F
3 Responses Feb 7, 2010

It did. Thanx.

Thank you for your comment. We all have road blocks in life. <br />
I hope my story can inspire those who perhaps are still in the shy rut get out of it..

I am glad you overcame these times and that you became the beautiful woman you are today. Thanks for sharing your story.