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My Constant Struggle With the Thoughts in My Head

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The thoughts that constantly plague me are returning. They crash into me, wave after wave. What if I sounded unintelligent? They must be so frustrated with me. Why can’t I be good enough? Am I too clingy? They must think I’m so immature. Why am I like this? Why can’t I just be normal?

These are the thoughts that haunt my nights and follow me in the daytime. These are the thoughts I don’t know what to do with because I have never been formally diagnosed with social anxiety but am 95 percent sure that’s what I struggle with. These are the thoughts that I try to hide deep in my mind. But they escape through my raw thumbs which bleed at least once a day from my constant tearing at them. They sting, but my mind isn’t on them. It’s on the conversation I’m having or the conversation I wish I could have. A conversation I need to have with a doctor or therapist. But I don’t know where to go or who to turn to.

Every once and a while I think I’ve made up my mind to tell someone, but my thoughts pound that idea to bits. They argue against me: You’re fine. You’re just an introvert. You’ll tell someone only to be wrong and be humiliated. Everyone will see you as someone who just overreacts.

If these thoughts didn’t affect me so much I’d be able to push them to the side and forget about them. But they do. They affect me so much so I don’t talk in class unless I’m 100% certain I’m right. And even then, I rarely put up my hand to speak. In a restaurant I can’t order anything new or different from the usual. If I am uncertain of the pronunciation of a word, I won’t say it. When I’m in a store and an employee asks how I’m doing, I’ll always say “fine” even thought I have a million questions and have no clue what I’m doing. And then after I say “fine” I freak out and overanalyze my tone of voice and how I said it, and then pray to God I’ll never see them again. And I can’t tell anyone. Because that would bring on the worst thoughts of all.

And I don’t know what to do. It continues to haunt me, and I sit in silence.

But my story isn’t over yet, and neither is yours. So hang in there because we’ll make it, one small step at a time.

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Thinkstock photo by stock eye

Originally published: January 31, 2017
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