Me Against Time

Anxiety: that moment you feel like you’re moving through time at one thousand miles per hour, but really you’re standing still, and the time’s only moved from 1:06pm, to 1:07pm.

I wanted to take a moment and just speak some truth about something. Can we just debunk an unspoken myth, that people with social anxiety, are scared of, or intimidated of you? If you got it, good. If not, keep readin.

For a few with social anxiety, they may say that nerves are the cause. However, being nervous of people is just simply not what’s happening for all those of whom have this type of anxiety. It’s just not always that simple. Ask people that have social anxiety why they feel anxious and most may not know what to tell you. Most people with social anxiety know that sitting down and simply having a conversation with someone is not a scary idea, or is something that will harm them. In other words, they know their fight or flight symptom anxiety symptoms are not always logical. But do they still feel anxious? Yes.

How could they have developed the anxiety they have to be the social anxiety variety? Maybe, they were punished for speaking or sharing ideas in earlier childhood years, so they feel a PTSD when talking to people. Perhaps they’ve been made fun of in some way, shape, or form when they’ve spoken, or been cut off many times when they’ve spoken. The possibilities are endless really. In general though, most of the time, talking to people is not something to be scared of and they know this, so they usually don’t know why they want to hold back from talking or why they feel so anxious while doing so. Mental illness is confusing like that. I’m just suggesting the fact that YOU alone may not always be the cause of someone’s supposed “nerves”. I’m saying it could be an internal battle that has to do with mental illness, that you just happen to be present for. People are so complex.

I speak to you from experience by the way! I have anxiety, and sure, yeah, it’s a battle some days, but I deal. All I am here to say is: just as depression does not always mean you’re sad about a particular something (people can have *great* lives and have depression), in the same light social anxiety doesn’t always mean you’re scared of people (you can be in a totally safe environment, know you’re in a totally safe environment, and still have anxiety.) Anxiety (in those diagnosed with it), is like the tick tick ticking of the click in your living room, is always there, and not really ever TOTALLY ceasing. It is always just sort of there… whether they are sad, scared, or happy. (Prescribed medication for anxiety does aid many anxiety sufferers in their road to healing, but it only does so much. Also, some people are advised to use medication for only a short time. There are many variables in the road to it’s healing.)

“Why do you feel so anxious?” “I don’t know… I just do.” — “What’s wrong? Why do you feel depressed today?” “I have no clue… I just do.” Does this sound like a conversation you’ve overheard? People with these illnesses may know the *triggers* of their depression and their anxiety, but they don’t know WHY they have it, or still have it, other than that it’s medically diagnosed. Some of these things will remain a mystery.

In conclusion, please don’t judge someone with social anxiety or tell someone who you think exudes “nervous tendencies” that “they just need to get out more.” Also, please do not pinpoint someone with depression as just being “Emotional or ungrateful for life” or that they “just need to do more of what makes them happy.” I’m sorry but mental illness is *way* more complicated than that. I wish to God that that wasn’t the case, but it is.

I don’t mean to insult your intelligence: it’s 2018 so we should all already know what mental illness is. But I feel like it’s a good reminder.