This is part of my continuing series “My Social Anxiety Life.” I have chronicled the ongoing issues with my social anxiety since starting The Bipolar Writer blog in October of 2017. This blog post will talk about the changes that I have made over the course of the last two months and how with the change of weather has helped ease some of my recent anxiety.
My Social Anxiety Life: Summer 2018
It has been a while since we have talked about my social anxiety. The last time I discussed at length my social anxiety issues I was going through a rough patch. My social anxiety was spiraling in March, April, and May. I could barely find myself in June, but my anxiety started to turn in the middle of the month.
Anxiety is a funny thing in this life. If I have learned anything in this mental illness journey, you can get better at making the symptoms manageable. That is the ultimate goal this year when it comes to my mental health– managing my symptoms in the long run. One significant change is that I leave my house regularly even if it is just an hour or two. At times I will find myself in crowds, and it takes all I have not to go into a complete panic.
I identified that one of my problem areas is “crowded places” which make me extremely nervous. When I am shopping, or at a crowded coffee shop I can feel the anxiety rising in my body. It takes control. I always avoid these types of situations at all costs, but the truth is it was hurting me more than it was helping. I have learned to channel my anxiety by using the breathing techniques I learned in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
I figured out my worst triggers, and I work every second of every day to stay focused. I make sure to always have my Ativan, but the end goal is to get off the anxiety medication completely (never an easy task.)
The most significant change I found is that the summer weather helps keep my social anxiety in check– to a point. I still struggle with my social anxiety some days. At night I tend to have more anxiety, but I have been able to deal. I am learning to take more time in my day to sit and breathe. I am exercising more, so that is another area that helps my anxiety.
There was a time in my life where I had no issues in crowded places or with being around people. I developed that over time with my isolation due to my Bipolar One disorder. It was never a significant issue until about two years ago when it became an everyday issue. Like all things in this mental illness life, we have to find a way to manage. It was the same way with my depression. Now I am able to make my depression cycles last a week or two at the most.
I would like to end this blog post with hope because that is the best thing in this life that we have to live for. The promise of tomorrow and getting better. I have been fighting for a better healthier James for long, it would be crazy to give up now.
Always keep fighting. Let us end the stigma surrounding mental illness together.
Please Help me Publish my Memoir
I am almost done editing my memoir “The Bipolar Writer,” and I have decided to go down the self-publishing route. If you can donate anything towards my goal, it would mean the world to me. I am still working towards enough to pay an artist for a good cover. Those that donate will get a special mention in my memoir on a page dedicated to those that made my memoir possible. Thank you in advance!