I replied to a survey on social anxiety in a moment of late night drunken madness last week. The first question is below with my answer although I may change much of it before it’s eventually returned.
- What is it like having SA? In what ways does it affect your life?
It’s a bit hard to answer simply and I could write several pages on this alone but basically it has felt like having some kind of mental disability since the age of 5(when starting school) and yet I feel it is mostly unrecognised by the majority of people who at least have some idea what depression is. I suppose I have never felt quite normal, like one of the other kids at school or people at work. Always an outsider.For a start I am not only still a virgin but have never had any romantic connection with another person in any way shape or form. Not only have I never come even close to going on a date but in 20 years at work I barely had a conversation with a female co-worker for longer than a few sentences. To be honest I felt hated and disliked by many people because of my shyness so become even more avoidant.
I dropped out of college after only 2 days after major anxiety attack as I could not bear being the loner in the classroom again and so I got a menial low paid job instead. I stayed in that job for nearly twenty years until I was made redundant and never progressed much. I haven’t worked since and my pessimism and paranoia have increased greatly. The shame of being long term unemployed means that I am too ashamed and embarrassed to apply for most jobs or think that I could not possibly do them so I remain unemployed even though I know the end result can only be homelessness or death. I only have one friend who I met from an online anxiety forum and see several times a year as they live in another city. This is the only female friend I have ever had. We get on so well that I almost feel normal when with her and far more confident when going out somewhere with her. I often go weeks without speaking to anyone in between though and my mood nose dives.
I still dont dont whether to return this answer as it’s so depressing and pessimistic to read.Mind you it is the truth. I wont mention my intimacy and asexual issues yet though. How does it effect me from day to day? I hide like a hermit.