I’m terrified of talking to people. Specifically, I’m terrified of talking to people I don’t know.
Get me in a room full of strangers, & I’ll sweat like no one’s business & not say a word. I don’t say anything because my mind goes blank when I’m nervous & anxious.
Also, I’m scared strangers will notice how anxious I am if I start talking.
I’m terrified of talking in front of groups of people, even if I know them.
I’m terrified of walking into unfamiliar places. In my drinking days, I used to have people come out of the bars & come get me in the parking lot just so I didn’t have to walk inside by myself.
Everyone stares at you when you walk in! Ugh!! I HATE that. I couldn’t walk in on my own.
Fast forward to my recovery days. I had to have people come with me to some of my very first support group meetings because I was scared to walk in by myself with everyone looking at me.
It also took me YEARS to talk at the meetings. To this day (12+ years later), I still don’t talk that much during the meetings.
I’m terrified of making eye contact, especially for long periods of time. Those people who just stare at me directly in the eye while they’re talking to me … yea!
They’re the HARDEST people to talk to. That intense eye contact makes me uncomfortable as hell!!
I’m terrified of small talk. I’ve dodged people I know in the grocery store before just so I didn’t have to engage in small talk.
Small talk is awkward. I don’t like it. It makes me anxious.
I have social anxiety. This is what it’s like. I’ve worked hard throughout my life to overcome it. I force myself to talk when I’m uncomfortable.
I expose myself to places & situations that make me anxious. I do it scared. I do it anxious. I do it sweaty. I do it even when I don’t want to & my head is screaming to run. I do it anyway.
The uncomfortable is where growth happens.