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Saturday, 21 September 2013 22:35

The Quest to Overcome


Here I am almost 40yrs old and still dealing with Social Anxiety Disorder. I realize that finding the root cause of my anxiety is the first major step in overcoming it. My anxiety started when I was about 12 and started viewing myself differently. I didn’t like my smile or my voice and I felt I was too skinny. My self esteem became very low and I often compared myself to others. I was in honor classes but would never like to read in class because I felt people would see all my imperfections. Whenever they called on me, I struggled through darn-near severe panic attacks; voice cracking and all. It was humiliating and I started avoiding it any time I could. At the age of 14, my father disowned me. He was the only light in my dark low esteem world and I was always daddy's little girl up until then. But because he didn’t want to continue paying child support for, he actually told me "you are not mine." It devastated me to the core. It was the ultimate rejection that just added fuel to my already damaged esteem; I wasnt even good enough for my father to want. He spent the next few years of his life totally ignoring me. I started writing to express myself and hid how I felt to others. About 10 yrs ago I decided it was time to address it so I did small things to face my fears. Being a writer opened up many doors for me, I started a magazine that inspires others but when I was asked to come speak to people about it, I declined. Surely, I couldn’t let them see my struggles. I would do things to face my fears and my voice cracked a little so it would discourage me. I hold meetings at work with no problem but something as simple as introducing myself can set off anxiety. I've learned that doing self-talk helps. I never wanted to get on medication so I did/do a lot of reading on the subject and the biggest way to overcome this type of anxiety is to face your fears. You may have to take baby steps; each day try to do one thing that you normally wouldn’t do. I have come a LONG way from where I started but I have a ways to go. Just recently I decided to start openly talking about my battle with Social Anxiety to my friends and anyone who would listen. I noticed that being able to openly address your issues allows others to understand what you're going through and it also gives you an opportunity to help others. I want to one day be able to talk in front of an audience about my struggles to overcome Social Anxiety. But...I can’t do that until I actually overcome it... and I'm only halfway there! I'll keep you posted on my progress. Until then.... stay inspired. ~Cherokee Blues


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We are a community of people struggling with mental health issues, you are not alone!