A Mental Health Struggle – Social Anxiety

My Struggles with Social Anxiety and Isolation

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The last few have been a struggle for me when it comes to my social anxiety. Leaving the comfort of my house has been almost impossible because I fear the inevitable panic attack. I know this summer was supposed to be when I conquer this part of my mental illness, but the hardest part is not isolating myself to the point where don’t feel comfortable leaving my house. It becomes a comfort zone and one that is not good– it only makes my issues with social anxiety worse.

I am my own worse enemy because I can pretty much work and do school from the comfort of my desk. The last time I went to a coffee shop to work or study was last May when I was finishing my degree. So many things happened to me this summer that kept me from going where I was happy. I moved to the rural area to the city which for me was a big adjustment. I spent the summer writing, and it was great, but I failed to recognize that I was slowly getting comfortable staying home and writing.

I created bad habits that I have to break because the reality is fall and winter are not my best months.

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Fall. It is the transitional time of the year that I hate. I can feel the struggle with anxiety start to mix with depression this week, and that is all bad. It culminated on Thursday to a point where I had a panic attack and then struggled with depressed thoughts about letting myself get to this point.

I am not giving up though, and yesterday (Friday) I came up with a list of things that I need to do so that I can begin to change my habits.

  1. Begin to integrate my workout routine– again.
  2. Meditate in the morning and in the afternoon.
  3. Eat healthier.
  4. Make plans to go out and have a cup of tea or coffee at my favorite coffee shop.
  5. Focus on sleeping better through the night.
  6. Restart my bi-weekly therapy appointments.

That last part, getting back to therapy, is perhaps the most important one on the list because during the summer months I tend to get away from therapy because I feel better and energized. My depression is almost non-existent, and I feel the need to forgo therapy. It always ends up hurting me, but I am stubborn.

I think these changes will be good and it should help me to refocus my social anxiety. Wish me luck.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Jordan Bauer

Gabriel

Alisa Anton

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46 Replies to “A Mental Health Struggle – Social Anxiety”

  1. I also struggle more each fall and winter.
    Love your checklist; much wisdom there. I know I need to get more exercise and keep up the healthy eating but I struggle with motivation in the winter.
    Last winter I tried to be more mindful about getting outside on sunny/warmer winter days and I found that helped more than vitamin D supplements. This winter I plan to carve out a comfortable space to write and read in a sunny south facing window as well.
    Many blessings to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I d only add one thing to that list: connect with someone, help someone. I honestly believe that is the best therapy. Good luck, to you and to us all depression fighters.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The cold is a challenge on our health. Cheers to being enjoying the little things, coffee, taking a breather, warm stuff, and the changes in the seasons. The self care list you made is right on. I’m trying to figure out how to get myself to exercise too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to forgo working out during the winter but I need to keep on track with that, it made my list because it’s always a struggle in the winter. I wish you luck with your own goals this winter.

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  4. My thoughts are with you James. I am sorry you are struggling with your anxiety and isolation. What if you tried a new coffee shop or would that be worse?? Maybe something new for the new you?? I love coffee shops too. I have my favorite too. Maybe a change could be the change you need. I am just grasping at straws… just thinking as I type. I am here cheering you on James. You can do it. Keep keeping on and keep fighting. You got this. Enjoy a new coffee shop or your old coffee shop and try a Lavender Latte… it is heaven in a cup. We all need a little heaven in a cup…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am always good at giving advice and today is one I need to take my own advice. I am struggling with motivation. I am working on self talking myself into motivating myself to get moving, take a shower and get out of the house. I am in a similar situation as you today… I am wanting to go to my favorite coffee house, apple orchard to get some yummy apples and/or see a move. I need to get out of the house but it is so much easier to say this is my lazy day and to stay in. So, I am trying to motivate myself as well. Best wishes for both of us to get out of the house today…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you had a more productive day than I did. I had a lazy day and did a lot of nothing… I didn’t leave my house. I guess I needed a lazy day and today was it hopefully. Be well and happy…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Therapy is so important and I’m glad that you’re going to get back to it. I believe you should have kept it up during summer even if it was much less often. I also think it’s great that you’re going to work on getting out once and awhile. It’s so important and can be quite healing. I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was going but I missed the last two appointments and it has been almost a month. So I need to get back to it. Thank you for the well wishes

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  7. I just created a daily, hourly planner page for myself because I have been isolating so bad lately. Granted, of course, I have a “why”, its because I have been working on products to sell and on my blog, and…. Basically, I love being alone BUT that is not healthy for me. On my weekly calendar, I alotted Thursday as my day to socialize. I am having to plan my days hourly because my schedule is not productive. While it feels like I am accomplishing a lot all I am really doing is…. You guessed it, isolating. It feels right to me but usually what feels right, to me, is wrong for me. Fall is my favorite time of the year so I am going to be strict on myself and make myself stick to my schedule. Your list looks great but it only is if you implement it. I wish luck on this because I know how comfortable isolation is and how uncomfortable socializing is but for our health we must push ourselves. Would you like to be my accountability partner? We can check on each other the day after we are scheduled to hang out with another human. 🙂 Let me know if this sounds good to you because I think it would benefit us both. And in reality, we would be making a second human connection by communicating. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The fact that you can identify your negative triggers and still come up with positive ideas to improve your situation is testament to how strong you really are; I have real admiration for you James :O) xx

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Keep fighting… I too struggle more in the colder, darker months so I am right there with you. I love your list and I hope you don’t mind but I might use your idea.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Great goals my friend. Anxiety is so difficult to deal with. I’ve had it for years and a lot of the time lm tempted to just give in to it and never go out again!

    I try to live my life despite my anxiety now. Wanting it yo go was just making me more depressed so now l focus on ways to do things regardless of it.

    Wishing you the best of luck

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wishing you the best of luck as well my friend. I find that anxiety is the least understood of all my issues even with struggling with it for years. It is a tough road but we keep on fighting.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I can empathize, truly. It has become too easy to live life in my small apartment where everything is available on line. If it weren’t for going out to get groceries (walking distance), I’d probably never leave–too comfortable. When I’m shopping for groceries I’m a totally different person, smiling and chatting with literally everyone! They have no idea that I don’t have relationships with friends and family–too anxiety producing. Anyway–I send blessings your way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My stubbornness and fear of living the house has ruined me. We are there for you. You don’t need good luck—you/we will make this happen w/ our hard work and faith—faith in our strength.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Great post! I can appreciate your honesty. How do you think you’ll do going back to therapy?

    A loved one really encourages me to return, but I just, honestly, don’t want to. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For me, therapy has always been positive, it has been the best relationships when it comes to my mental health. My therapist has been really positive so going back is like falling back into a routine. She is actually the reason I started this blog and wrote my memoir. So I guess it is different for each person. I know that some people hate therapy. In my experience I can’t do group therapy because of bad experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I understand the struggle, this one in particular and how real it is. But I am incredibly proud of your commitments you have made to move out of a space of isolation and into a space of interaction. Keep up the good fight. And keep sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Good advice for those who are beginning to understand how the seasons affect them. I struggled with this for years and self- medicated badly rather than institute these items on your list. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

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