Welcome back to another week of the “Share Your Story” series. Last week the lovely Emma from Bee Money Savvy sharing her tips on how she not only survived the student life but how she managed to save whilst being a student. She had some really great tips. This week we have Caroline from Caroo Makeup Blog sharing her story on Social Anxiety. Over to you Caroline…
Caroo Makeup Blog
I am a 19-year-old student nurse, that runs a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog – Caroo Makeup. I enjoy writing, and my blog. I live in Limerick, Ireland but I am originally South African. Fun fact about me: I have terrible trypophobia!
I look up from my lap, sitting down in my seat. Great. I’d think. Another class presentation I’ve been dreading. I’ve been thinking about this moment for a good few weeks now, ever since our teacher said we were going to have to do a presentation. Every time the thought popped into my head, my heart would bounce with worry and it would linger for as long as it decided to. It would take over life-like that. Just the thought alone, that I might stutter or fall or people would laugh at me, was enough for me feel sick.
For those of you that are not familiar with this feeling, this is my description of social anxiety. And to give you a better understanding, imagine this feeling every day, but not only when a teacher says there is a class presentation on, but with every situation that seems daunting throughout your whole life.
Social anxiety is hard for people who do not have it to grasp. ‘But nobody is even looking at you, why can’t you get that?!’, my (ex) best friend would hiss every time she got frustrated with my unreasonable way of thinking.
My anxiety actually made me humiliate myself more than I ever would have. The constant anticipation for situations I had no getting out of like mingling with people, talking in front of more than two people made me behave in a way that ended up embarrassing myself, even though I was never going to begin with. If I did something that I thought everyone noticed and judged me for, I taunted myself with it for weeks.
That’s when I decided to start avoiding social situations altogether. I began to stop socializing and dodged any situation that might even possibly make me feel this way. I even started to beg for it to rain whenever I had to leave the house, just so I could put my hood on. There was something anonymous about wearing a hood that some of your face. I cared less about judgement and pondered less about how I looked or if people were laughing at me when a quarter of my face was hidden.
So, I’ve found a solution, right? Stay inside and never have to face the humiliation. Nope, wrong. My home became my sanctuary. My solitary, nobody could judge me if they never saw me. As you can imagine, this just made me feel lonely. I rejected all my friend’s invitation to parties, events and things like that, so I was slowly losing them, as well as my sanity.
Facing my fears
It’s only before I started college, I decided to get help. College is where I drew the line. No way was I going to spend my first year of Uni this way. And it was the best thing I could have done for myself.
Now, I have successfully completed my first year of college, studying mental health nursing (ironic, right?). It was a great year, because the world didn’t seem so bleak anymore. It was something to be excited about. I’ve started thinking so positively every time I wake up, and there are times where I can’t wait to leave the house.
Even though this issue should have been addressed quite a while ago, I’m still happy I finally did it. And for any of those who strongly resonate with what I’ve shared, talking to someone is the first step, and the next one is seeking professional help.
Thank you Caroline for sharing your story on dealing with your social anxiety and well done for completing your first year of college!
If you would like to read more of Caroline’s writings then pop over to her some of her socials;