Social anxiety disorder, for me, is a force to be reckoned with. It has dominated my life for 30+ years, and although Ive managed to develop ways to start living a somewhat normal life, I fear that it will always be there to some extent.
While I am sure that some have managed to beat this thing in its entirety, I still feel its presence in every aspect of my life. Essentially, it determines my success, my happiness, and my piece of mind. If Ive learned anything in the past few years, its that I need to work with SA, and not try to take it on with the intent of annihilating it. Please be mindful of the fact that I am speaking only for myself. Everyone is different.
So, am I going to roll over and play dead? Am I going to concede defeat and allow this condition to have its way with me and continue to destroy whats left of my life? Not a chance.
So whats the solution? Well, as they say; if you cant beat them, join them. Yes, I have social anxiety disorder. Yes, I will probably always have it. No, I cannot eliminate it from my life entirely. But does that mean I cant improve my situation? Of course I can.
I can exist alongside this condition and still make many improvements and real progress in my life. I know this because Ive experienced genuine change over the past few years; and thats all down to accepting who I am and setting small, realistic, and manageable goals. There is still a lot of room for improvement (even without taking on social anxiety head-on) – a lot of room.
I suppose the turning point came when I realized that every attempt I made to conquer this condition (directly) had failed. It became apparent that I could do more by working the small things and becoming less conspicuous. Working from the inside and not waking the sleeping giant, so to speak.
Perhaps, someday, Ill get to the point where I can say Ive stomped out social anxiety disorder permanently. Until then, Ive got to be satisfied with my small achievements, while hoping that they will add up to something someday.
Am I saying that social anxiety is unbeatable and that we should all throw in the towel and accept our fate? Not at all. In fact, I am sure that his condition is beatable; its just that the more aggressive methods arent working for me.
In my next post, I make a list of 10 things I do to improve my quality of life.