About ten years ago, I was diagnosed with social anxiety.
At the age of about 9, I realized I was shy and introverted, in comparison to my classmates, so the diagnosis was not a huge surprise to me.
When I was in social situations, I would get sweaty palms, my heart would race, I’d feel unsure of what to say, what people might think of me, and my mind would run wild with different scenarios of how things might play out, consuming me with worry.
Soon after I was diagnosed, I did try prescription meds at that point and hated the way they made me feel. I also started individual and group therapy and found them of little benefit since they kept my thoughts in a place where I focused on myself and my flaws.
Since then, I’ve spent countless hours reading self-help books, and have learned coping skills in my attempt to naturally tackle anxiety.
I have also learned something profound in recent years. I still wrestle with anxiety, but so does everyone on some level. The more I shared my story with others, the more I realized I’m not so strange and that we all have social anxiety to varying degrees.
My relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has also given me so much comfort and courage as I have become more and more diligent about reading His word. I check in with myself often and realize that any time I am in a state of anxiety or worry, I’m not trusting Him. I have also found that when I turn my focus to helping others, I take the focus off myself, and consequently I’m a happier person. It helps me to stay out of my head.
Finally, this past month, I’ve tried a combination of oil blends that I knew had worked for many many others and I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to go through my day without sweaty palms, butterflies, muscle tension, heart racing and just being in a constant state of worry! And NO side effects except that my students say I smell good. The oils are not a cure, but have noticeably lessened my symptoms.
So any gal reading this who may think they are alone and perceive everyone else out there has it made and feels confident, I can assure you that is so not the case. Everyone feels anxious, insecure, and nervous. We’re just human. The key is to figure out how to spend as little time as possible in that zone, recognize it and quickly move through it – back to a place of looking outside yourself and trusting Him.