When I first started writing posts on this blog, I decided to type them all in Italian, mainly for a practical reason; I started reviewing Glee right after it went on the local channel, I began writing reviews of Italian books I had read, and things went on the same way. But even though I knew my language was the best option for my blog to be read and visited, I have changed my mind a little bit. I deeply love English, since high school; I love the sound of the words, the structure of the sentence, the pronunciation, every bit. As you might know from previous posts, I’m attending a university degree course which is entirely taught in English, because this is my passion. And for as much as I like writing and posting here in Italian, I have always felt something on a deeper level about posting in English. My head was like: “Will they read it? Will they hate it?”. Who knows until I try? So this posts won’t occur frequently, maybe one every other month, and I already apologise for the amount of mistakes I will surely make along the way. This is my passion and I’m constantly trying to improve and expand my knowledge.
After this extremely long intro, let’s jump into today’s topic: it is something I have slightly talked about in a previous post, but never analysed on a personal level. I suffer from social anxiety, a pretty bad thing that people tend to consider as fake or “not as important”. But it is real (so real) and very important. I can’t speak for all the people suffering from it, since everyone is different, but I can talk about my personal experience.
My anxiety started about five years ago, even if I can remember some facts from my childhood that I can now refer to this; at first, it was purely shyness and insecurity, until it turned into something bigger. I was 15 and walking home from the gym, when two men behind me stopped me and told me that my body shape was really good, in a pretty rude way. I was shocked, and couldn’t speak; one of the two told me to be polite and to thank them, and so I did. They then walked away and I did a whole different road to go home since I didn’t want to meet them again.
I never told anyone except my boyfriend, and I am pretty sure that caused everything. From that day, I was terrified of walking alone in the streets: according to my mind, everybody could hurt me, and I couldn’t do anything. I quit the gym a few months later just because I was terrified of going down that road every time, and started going out alone less and less. Whenever my parents asked me to run some errands I acted like a total freak, getting anxious over the smallest things and feeling stupid as hell. They never thought about anxiety, they just said I was lazy and that I didn’t want to help others.
I am terrified of the outside world and of the people out there, all of them. Every time I walk down the streets I am so tense that any sudden sound can make me jump, and I know it’s not normal. I am scared of going to the grocery store, of taking the bus, of putting the garbage out, and many other things. People’s judgement is what stops me, the fact that someone could tell me something, that I may embarrass myself acting like a weirdo.
Lately I’ve decided to work on it; I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year and a half, and he never knew until I told him. He had noticed before that I was an extremely anxious person, but he had never thought it could go so far. I told him recently, and since then he is been the most amazing boo in the whole world (not that he wasn’t before, he just got even better), starting to help me out in so many ways. When he can be present and give me a physical help, he is just there; when he can’t be with me and knows that I’m getting anxious over something, he always figures out a way to calm me down. There have been tiny little improvements, but it’s just the beginning and I’m happy about it.
Even though each one of us has a different story and experience, I think I’ve recently learned a tip that could help everyone suffering from this kind of anxiety: find support. It doesn’t matter who this person is, he could be a member of your family, a friend, your boyfriend, a teacher, someone you chat with on the Internet, anyone whose opinion you trust and anyone you can trust. You have to be sure that he/she will take your problem extremely seriously, that he won’t laugh at you, consider you a freak or think that it is easy to overcome it.
Seriously, I’ve kept it inside for five years, and it’s not been fun. But now that I have told someone, now that he supports me no matter what, that he understands me and helps me so much, I can tell the difference. Just do it for yourself, just do it to get better: tell someone, look for help. It will be easier, I promise.
Thank you for sticking with me through this cheesy and maybe stupid post, but it is a topic that touches me personally and I will definitely talk about it more in the future.
Moreover, if you’re liking this kinds of posts (or not), just let me know and I will make changes. Thanks again, see you next time!