Only recently I started to accept that social anxiety will always be a part of me. No miracle pill to make me devoid of anxiety, nervousness, and worry. No magic spell to cure me of the constant stream of negativity going around and around in my head. If there was an unearthly but possible way I could physically rip away everything in me that is associated with my social anxiety, I would jump at this chance.
One of my favorite shows is Once Upon a Time. Don’t be fooled by the title. For a show about fairytale characters in the real world, it has some dark elements, such as the ability to rip out hearts that some magic users on the show can do. It’s also possible for a magic user to rip out their own heart. Doing so can cause the person to stop feeling emotions fully. If I have my own heart ripped out and buried somewhere in order to stop feeling anxious, yet at the same time, lose my ability to fully feel love and happiness, I cannot say for sure that I’d be strong enough to turn down the offer, even if going through with it made me into a cold and unfeeling person. Though the show itself having many magical solutions to real life problems, the downside is there is always a price the person has to pay. One character on the show said that living with one’s pain makes you who you are. Brave words that I’d like to believe.
I’m still stuck between wanting to run and pushing myself to stay whenever I’m in a situation where I am socially uncomfortable. Some days are better than others. Once in a while, I make myself go to a social event and it turns out fine, despite the million things going on in my head screaming at me that it could all fall apart at any second. I’m very set in my negative thinking. Put myself into a social situation, assume the worst will happen, nothing bad happens but I perceive it as bad, and then afterward spend the next few hours and/or days picking out all the times I made an idiot of myself. Rinse and repeat.
I did not attend a social event today, however, I noticed for the first time that aside from my usual thinking of everything is going to go wrong, there’s also a truth outside the scope of my perception: Anything could happen.
It’s so simple that it’s laughable. Here I am constantly trying to predict my future, my actions and the actions of others when I’m in a social situation, but I must be the world’s worst fortune teller because none of the things I have thought up have ever come true. I am very selective about believing only bad things will happen to me when I really have no way of knowing with 100% certainty that things will turn out that way. I’m just realizing the gravity of that now.