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Struggles with Social Anxiety...Again.

07 September 2012
I can't read the answers if I can't see the page
I'm driving blind and the landscape doesn't change.

These last few months have been rough, but the last week or so has been murderous. It's not easy to struggle with a disease that people can't see, a disease that some people don't even believe in. Social Anxiety Disorder is a bitch, my friends. Moving to a new neighborhood has nearly killed me. It is a very active neighborhood, with people everywhere. I should be happy about this. I should be thrilled that Sparrow has the potential to make friends.

And instead, I shut all the blinds and pray that nobody knocks on my door.

I should be attending my church meetings and getting involved in my new ward. I should be getting to know people and volunteering my endless free time. I should be friendly and outgoing.

Instead, I lie awake all night Saturday and have panic attacks on Sunday morning. And then I either go to church and have panic attacks throughout the 3 hour meeting block, or I stay home and feel guilty and awful that I have, once again, missed my chance at fellowshipping for the week.

I take medication for depression and anxiety (I've had my share of medication struggles too, which you can read about here), but lately it hasn't been doing its job as well. I've also been much busier this week with social engagements. It's even hard for me to be around family, and this week was a very family-oriented week.

I wait for my vision but it never comes...
I'm driving blind through this barren land.

I remember when I realized I had Social Anxiety Disorder. I was 14 and we had just moved to a new state. One day after a torturous panic-ridden day at school I was browsing the psychiatry books in the county library and happened upon a book called Social Anxiety Disorder or something. I read it and was so excited. Someone understands! Someone knows what I'm going through! When I tried to talk to my family about it, I was given these wise words of advice:

Get over it.

That was 11 years ago. (And I have been officially diagnosed since then, so it's not a 14 year old's guess.) I've tried to get over it. I'm trying. If it were that easy, I would be over it. I don't know why I was given this trial. I hate this trial. I hate whatever lesson I am supposed to learn from this. I spend days pissed off that God would let me struggle on with depression and anxiety and an autistic child. It's too much for me to handle. It's too much.

...I never knew it could get this dark.
I can't read the answers if I can't see the page.
I'm driving blind behind this bitter rage.

I spend days wishing I had cancer or lupus or polio or anything but this. Something visible, where people could see and understand that there is something wrong me. Instead, I look normal on the outside and people wonder why I'm so aloof, standoffish, or flakey. I tell people that I'm sick, but it's obvious that I'm perfectly healthy on the outside.

I want my diseased brain to go away. I want a normal life. I want a normal outlook on life.

I've been so lonely and ain't it sad
to be missing something that I never had?
And I've been so blind and now I'm paying the cost.
How can I find what was never lost?

And while I'm praying for things that will never happen, I would also like to have a normal child. This autistic stuff is total crap.

I got no direction, no change in lanes.
I'm driving blind and pushing through the pain.

God will never test you above what you are able to handle?

Bad news. That statement is a lie.

Lyrics taken from Driving Blind by Grace Potter, which you can view here.

7 comments to Struggles with Social Anxiety...Again. :

Leah said...

Yeah, that "God never gives you more than you can handle" thing always makes me see red.

I hear you. Boy, do I hear you. I don't have the social anxiety, and probably not to the degree you have it, but I wish like crazy it wasn't so hard to talk to people about it, to tell people what's up without feeling like a nutcase, and to reach out for the help I need without feeling like I'm completely broken first.

You're a good person, and you deserve to have the life you want. I'm so sorry that you're struggling. <3

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

First I'm sorry its a HUGE struggle right now. I am glad you are able to talk about it, at least here and hopefully with others in your life that can support you.

Second, you're right "God will never test you above what you are able to handle" is a lie. It's actually "God will never test you above what you and HE are able to handle together."

Hang in there, my friend! Even if it's by the tippity tops of your fingernails!

Melissa said...

Remember the story of getting knocked off the horse when you were 11? Do what your mom did, and put yourself back on the horse. If you have to shut the blinds and lock the doors, that just fine. Tomorrow is another day. You can get through this. Through, not over. You are beautiful and strong. You are not alone.

I love you, I always have. :-)

Hilary said...

Oh man, everyone has tough times -- sounds like you're in the midst of one.
Hang in there, there's a reason this is happening... I know there is. Sometimes you just have to hang on.
And find the little things in life to enjoy.

~Kimi~ said...

I like your blog so much. We all may not have Social Anxiety, but we all have weird neuroses that haunt the secret places of our minds. And I'm so glad you are able to talk about yours.

Maybe one day, we'll be up in heaven watching re-runs of our lives, and we'll laugh about the crazy, semi-horrible things we did.

Miriam said...

It is always eye opening to me when I think about the struggles that you and others that I know suffer through when having to deal with the anguish of this ailment. It requires so much patience and love to overcome, and is a constant battle.

But, I wish to remind you that no matter how deep or black the abyss of despair, lonliness, fear, doubt, need, anger, or panic may feel, you ARE strong, Kris. You are an amazing, hard working, persevering woman, and I am so blessed to have known you. You have a spectacular husband, a very loving network of friends and family, and a Heavenly Family looking out for you.

If you ever need to talk, just shoot me a text message, or message me on FB. You are a gem, chica. Keep holding out for the light. It breaks through.

Mrs. Small House said...

Did you know I've suffered with GAD for years? I bet you did because we're twins. So i feel you and still think we should get together sometime if you're feeling up to it.
Sometimes I would just take the sacrament and then leave (taking deeep breaths) sometimes I stayed the whole sac. meeting. I had an amazing therapist who helped me and now most days i forget about this crippling disease, but I still keep xanax around for emergencies :)