Author’s Note: If you have not read the first post in this series then all the rest will make no sense at all. Please click here to take a quick look at Just Write Something Damnit! — Day 1
I struggle with social anxiety daily. Some days are better than others, but it always there—right below the surface of my forced smile—struggling to strangle me.
It has been there my entire life. It has cost me friendships, stopped me from meeting nice girls, caused me to leave (or avoid) family functions, and played a major role in every social interaction I have ever had.
I took it all in stride and never talked about it with anyone. When I was younger it didn’t have a name and as I got older the sheer embarrassment kept me from speaking about it.
Now it is a problem though. Now I have a fifteen-year-old daughter (who has issues of her own) that I am desperately trying to connect with. That situation is hard in the best of circumstances but the anxiety interferes with how close I can be to her. She always thinks I am angry but I am not. She thinks I don’t find her funny because she tells a joke or acts playful and the fucking anxiety has me focused on a million things other than the moment I am sharing with her. I try to think of ways to spend time with her and the fear of being out in the world always forces me to the old standby—”want to watch a movie sweetie?”
It is not right. It is not okay. It is crippling and I need to find a way to fix it—for her.