anxiety · life · social anxiety

For Everything A Reason

One of the hardest seasons for me to bear is winter. Not does the sky already begin going dark at around 4 pm, but the chill of the outside air and lack of bright, warming sunlight are not very inviting reasons for me to go out. I lose my motivation to even meet up with friends and just want to be cooped up in my comfort zone. Then I have bouts of depression because I’ve convinced myself to stay in for x, y, and z reasons, but staying in my comfort zone doesn’t help me grow as a person, and I know it. This, lumped in with my social anxiety, make a dangerous combination. I often feel a sense of restlessness because I do not really keep to a routine that requires me to go out on a daily basis, such as school or work. I also have continually felt depressed these past few weeks. I’m still in the process of working out what I would like to study if I enroll in college again. My therapist allowed me to take a career assessment test last week, and she should get the results by this Tuesday, which is the day of my next session with her. Instead of feeling like I’ve taken at least one step in the right direction, I feel frustrated that I can’t just make myself pick a major and start applying to nearby colleges. I truly don’t know what I desire as a career. The three types of classes I enjoyed in college were art, psychology, and writing.

I’m trying hard not to be so negative about everything. It’s a test for myself, for sure, because this isn’t something I can put a stop to permanently overnight. If only changing my perspective on life was that easy. There have been so many times in my life where I’ve felt the emotional toll of social anxiety has been so astronomical that, for a brief moment as I think about the things, events, experiences, and friendships I’ve missed out on because my choices in life, I wish I could end it all. Like this morning. I found myself counting all the recent times in the past few weeks where I’ve felt like I’ve disappointed people, and wondering how much better it would be if I wasn’t around so my family wouldn’t have to be burdened with a 27-year-old (my birthday was on Nov. 26) who still has no job and is financially dependent on them. I know I can’t change my past, but even looking to the future can be a pain if I have no idea what path I want to take. I keep reminding myself that what I perceive as negative isn’t always the truth of a situation. I know this, and it’s the only thing keeping me from spiraling down further, even though I’m unable to let go of my own negative perceptions of myself that I believe to be true.

I was texting with a friend some days ago about feeling depressed. He invited me to a card-making event that I was interested in. However, I did not go. Right away, I immediately gave myself reasons not to go:

1) The event starts too late (it was at 4:45 pm, which is hardly late).

2) It’s too cold out (maybe it would have been an inconvenience for travel, but the event itself took place indoors).

3) I don’t know anyone there (not true, because the friend who invited me was also attending. In addition, I knew the event host from a meditation class event of hers that I attended in the past).

What I wrote in parenthesis is what I believe I could have countered with when I was having doubts about attending. My reasons for not attending were quite weak. I even feel surprised at my counter argument for the last one, which shows how distorted my views are. I claim that I don’t know anyone from the event, and only after writing everything down, I am now consciously aware of the actual truth I didn’t want to face, which is I do know people there. I don’t know the friend who invited me that well (because we only met in person once before at another event), and I’ve only spoken sparsely with the event host at the meditation class, but had I gone to this event, I wouldn’t have been completely around strangers.


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