I don't even know if I've taken the time to mention this before, but it's becoming more and more evident to me that it's a pretty big struggle.
Clearly, from the title you should be able to guess, this post is going to be about social anxiety.
This isn't a post promoting mental illness, nor is it a post asking for pity, I just want to share my most recent experience with it and give you a little background.
After high school I was in a terribly traumatic relationship, where I was forced to avoid socializing and missed out on a lot of activities people my age were enjoying. I mention this because I think my lack of exposure to social events has, in part, contributed to the way I am now.
I personally don't mind meeting new people. I don't mind being introduced to someone. I do, however, struggle at social events. If I am going to a party for example, where everybody else knows each other and I only know 1 person, I find it incredibly hard to start a conversation.
It doesn't help that I don't actually know what you're meant to do.
So, last night, we went to a small party where I only knew the host and not very well. While everyone else was talking, pouring drinks etc, I felt a little lost with myself and, not knowing what to do, stood in the living room with my arms crossed.
The host saw me and laughed, saying I looked awkward.
I didn't know what to say so I kind of said "nahh" quietly.
My boyfriend tried to help, so he held my hand as he moved around, but I still felt uncomfortable and I was clearly still being awkward.
Being the only 2 non-smokers we were left inside while everyone went on the balcony. Until my boyfriend decided we would go outside and join the conversation, so we went outside, but I ended up standing awkwardly, with my arms crossed, trying to avoid the smoke and not knowing how to join the conversation.
So we went back inside. Again, I just kinda stood while my boyfriend laughed at me and told me to stop being awkward.
It pretty much continued like that for a while, one person tried to start a conversation with me, and, while I tried my best to answer her questions, it didn't last very long and I don't think I did very well.
I feel awful, because I don't know how to socialize in situations like this and I know my boyfriend enjoys them. He suggested we leave after only being there for half an hour because, although he'll probably never admit it, I was just too damn awkward and the entire thing made me feel uncomfortable and upset.
Even now, just recounting what happened, my chest is tight and I feel like curling into a ball and sleeping.
I don't even know why I decided to write this.
I guess because there may be someone out there who feels similarly and may feel comforted to know they aren't alone.
Maybe so that I have something to look back on in the future.
Regardless of why, I did.
So, if you're every wondering about my tweets on how I'm scared to go to parties, this is why. If you're ever wondering why my vlogs are always just me and my boyfriend, not doing anything fun, this is why.
I just feel like I've moved on to being an adult, and these things are too young for me - which is kind of terrifying because I'm only 21.
I really have to stop this blog post because it's really just stressing me out.