So, I started writing this blog last night and woke up this morning to see that all of TWO people had already viewed it. A whole two people you say? Why would I be surprised by that? This might sound ridiculous, but I don’t think I really expected anyone to actually care enough to read it. So, even though this is supposed to be a blog about my disfunctional uterus, since I’m attempting to be honest here I might as well say that I also happen to have social anxiety. Part of which is a serious lack of belief that anyone will actually pay attention to or care what I have to say about anything. It’s also why I don’t plan to give my name or tell anyone I know about this blog. I’m explaining this now, both because it’s a pretty big part of my life, and because it will probably help to explain a lot of the weird and irrational ways that I have handled infertility.
I should say that I am pretty high functioning with my anxiety at this point in my life. I struggled for years and years having absolutely no idea that anything was unusual about my constant fear of rejection and humiliation. I originally went to therapy because I was having problems in my relationship with my husband (which were clearly my fault, not an issue that needed couples counseling). It only took one session before my therapist figured out that anxiety was the real problem. Oddly enough, I could use phrases like ‘I suck in social situations’, but it had never occurred to me that this could be social anxiety. In fact, when I told my husband about my therapy session, his reaction was “well of course, you have social anxiety”. As if he’d known all along and just assumed I knew because it was so obvious. I guess that’s what they call denial! It had gotten so bad that the only person I actually felt comfortable with was my husband, I religiously avoided making phone calls, and I spent days stewing with worry over social activities I couldn’t get out of.
Like others I’ve heard about, my anxiety doesn’t take the form of shyness. If you see me in public, you’d think I’m comfortable and even outgoing. But this is actually a facade that requires constant work and a massive amount of energy. In fact, one of my biggest fears is people figuring out that I have this problem, and that I’m uncomfortable around them. So I make any and all efforts to appear confident and natural when I talk to people. Very rarely is this the case, usually I’m over-thinking every single thing I say and worrying that you think I’m boring and a waste of your time.
Anyways, I spent a couple years in therapy, eventually tried medication, and both have helped enormously. I no longer feel like anxiety runs my whole life, and I have friends that I feel my interactions with are mostly real. The social anxiety is so deeply rooted and part of my identity though that it will probably always influence my thoughts and actions in weird ways. I still hate talking on the phone, I start shaking with nerves when I have to walk in to a party (even family get-together’s or at close friends houses), and I avoid going alone to places I’ve never been before.
All of this is to say, its a huge deal to put myself out there in the world, even anonymously. I’m fairly certain this will blow up in my face and I’ll be ‘outed’ on multiple accounts as an infertile social weirdo. But I promised to be honest and real (for once in my life), and maybe this will reach someone feeling like their anxiety can’t ever improve (I’m proof it can) and have a positive effect.