Social Anxiety……..

For as long as I can remember I have found interacting with people difficult. When I was little I was very shy and quiet and wouldn’t speak to anyone I didn’t know. At school I would try to interact with my peers but from the blank stares I received I knew I was missing something vital. I used to really hate it when people would look at each other after I’d said something as if to confirm to each other that what I’d said was weird.

As an adolescent I made a real effort to talk to people I didn’t know. This didn’t work either as most people just wanted to get on with their day without responding to the weird girl trying to engage them in conversation. I just couldn’t win. I will still talk to anyone and just don’t care about how they respond to me.

I try to avoid social situations as much as possible as I find them overwhelming. I’ve never been one for going out drinking and clubbing; I just don’t like it. As a child I loved family get togethers because everyone accepted me as I was. Now I avoid parties altogether as I find them too much.

The main problem I have with socialising is that I find it exhausting. It takes so much effort to appear ‘normal’ that I can only do it for a few hours at a time. This exhaustion is compounded by sensory overload. I find it almost impossible to separate out conversations from the background noise and it’s even worse if there is music playing. As a sufferer of CFS I have little energy spare for socialising.

The only people contact I have outside of the family is my Slimming World group. They are a lovely group of people and because the groups image therapy is so structured I do not feel pressured. Apart from this my interaction with other people is through the internet. This is ideal for me as I do as much or as little as I want depending on how I feel. I find writing so much easier than talking. I guess this is why I enjoy writing this blog so much.

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