We all get nervous for monumental events in our lives, but the nervousness that I experience on a day to day basis is more than just that. It even has its own classification from general nervousness. My condition is identified as social anxiety. Sufferers of social anxiety, like myself, often get nervous in social situations, whether it be meeting a new group of people, speaking in front of a crowd, or even going to classes in which they feel like they don’t “associate well” with their peers. There are situations that I cannot control socially, and I think that is part of what keeps my anxiety alive, as well as situations where I don’t know what to expect. I think about how others perceive me, and the majority of the time, I’m thinking they’re picking me apart. It’s a normal thought process for me to feel this way, so I’ve tried to just roll with it in the past to avoid blowing it into much larger proportions. Unfortunately, though, always feeling like people are judging you isn’t a great feeling. It often leaves me feeling like I can’t hold a conversation, maintain eye contact, or meet their friends. It’s awful.
Many people think that anxiety isn’t a real issue, and that it’s an excuse for an introvert to avoid socialization. That assumption is ridiculous. I would never choose to experience uncomfortableness in social situations, and I would never in a million years choose to avoid certain social situations if I were always comfortable. If I always felt comfortable and ready to socialize with others, I would never be home. I’d always be out doing something with friends and taking on new experiences. But right now, I’m easing into new experiences one chance at a time. I’m trying to get myself more comfortable. I’m trying to overcome this anxiety before it consumes me. Many of my friends say that I’m one of the most extroverted people they know, and actually, that’s part of the way I deal with my anxiety. In order to get myself more comfortable in new social situations, I tend to bring out my more extroverted side so I don’t end up sinking through the floor. It’s something I’ve learned that I’m able to do, despite the anxiousness, so often people don’t even realize that I suffer from this condition.
Part of my personal journey battling social anxiety is combatting it through my Youtube channel that I created recently under the username, “Mandirito”. On my channel, I do tutorials, vlogs, and other videos that invite viewers to see into what I do on a day to day basis and allow others to get an inside look on my personal thoughts, experiences, hobbies, and opinions. I had been wanting to do this for a very long time, and this year I had finally worked up the courage to just do it. It’s part of my willingness to come out of my shell in a more public way.
It’s important to realize that there are so many people out there that suffer from the same condition that don’t let others in close enough to see it. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, and it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be taken seriously when confronted. Be sensitive to each person’s battle, because we’re all fighting one, one way or another.