Why you should never lose hope


My social anxiety took its final form when I was a teenager but its roots were deep in my childhood. The social phobia that later defined me and my life evolved from the feelings of inferiority and unworthiness  which were with me from my earliest memories.

There’s nothing unusual about people having inferiority complex and not feeling good about themselves. In a perfect world everybody would receive all the love and wise parenting they needed from their parents and grow up to be a happy, confident person.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Many of us live with personal traumas, feelings of being hurt, rejected, unloved or abused. It is baffling how diverse the results of that can be – some people may have no visible manifestations of their suffering and look perfectly normal to all around them; some may develop panick attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorders or harm themselves; others will look for relief in alcohol or develop eating disorders; others still may become narcissists or be overly sociable and gregarious… And I developed social anxiety.

Just  thinking about that diversity of human mental suffering can be a solace to those who suffer themselves. It diverts your attention from you and your misery, you cease to be the centre of the world, where nothing other than your plight is worth noticing.

It’s natural for you to be mostly concerned with YOU. When YOU suffer, it overshadows all else, it becomes a TRAGEDY. I remember how, in the depths of social phobia, I was convinced I was the most miserable human being on Earth, that nobody else could conceivably feel the way I did, that I was uniquely wretched, forever doomed, condemned to suffering that offered no hope and no way out. How egoistic was that?

Now I believe this black, lopsided and egoistically inward perception of my anxiety was big part of the problem. First, it blew things out of proportion – hunger, wars and disease afflicting big parts of humanity all faded in comparison with ME and MY SOCIAL ANXIETY. Secondly, it made the anxiety seem inconquerable, more like a scientific, unchangeable fact about me than the curable disorder that it was.

So, please, if you have social anxiety – never lose hope! However bleak and hopeless it feels to be you right now, know that it’s very much escapable. You were never predestined to develop social phobia, it was never your fate. A set of unfavorable circumstances and conditions worked together to make it happen, but it’s just a disorder and not a feature of you, like the  height or colour of your eyes (and I remember that in the depths of my social anxiety it felt like that, like an unchanging characteristic of me).

You will also need hope, because the process of healing requires patience and perseverance. Without the firm conviction that YOU WILL GET BETTER, you may get brought down by the setbacks and low points that are bound to happen. It’s not a rosy path. After weeks of feeling better you can suddenly find yourself in a situation, when once again you feel the familiar sting of anxiety. What happens next? It’s crucial that you don’t revert to the old ways, running away, turning inward and wallowing in the negative, self-defeating thought patterns.

Please remember – social phobia is curable, and if you keep at it, you will get rid of it.

Wish you all a wonderful weekend, gonna be back with another post soon!

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