It is a Saturday evening. We went with Sophie to watch a movie in our favorite plaza. About Time. My friend Steve recommended it to me. I wanted to go out in the evening by all means. Going to the cinema was a step in my “social rehabilitation,” a process that I have to work on every day. Slowly, step by step. I was very nervous while I was driving to the plaza. My mood was fluctuating wildly. I was afraid of everything that might happen there. My mind was out there in the future. “What is waiting for me in there? What do I have to do? What situations will I drift into? How will I react? What difficulties do I have to solve?
We are mostly unaware (at least I was) of how big part of our identity, self-image, self-esteem, and confidence is determined by our job, our everyday life, our daily routine, the communities we belong to and identify ourselves with.
After my recent struggles, after reevaluating things in my life and thinking about what is important and what is not, I changed the way I see my financial situation and my future needs. It is very current after I quitted my job because it is very likely that I won’t have a steady and significant income for some time, so I can only lean on my savings. How long my money is going to last is mostly determined by my needs, so it is essential to set things straight.
Another horrible day. I pulled myself together by the afternoon, sat in my car, and drove up the hill for our soccer match with the boys. When I arrived there, an hour before the start, every single muscle in my body was in a cramp like concrete. I was trembling with fear. I was all alone on the field. I started walking up and down the pitch, thinking about my fears and if I could handle what would wait for me here.
I feel an enormous black hole in my head. Cosmic, ringing emptiness. I feel like I have nothing to do and no reason to get up. I don’t want to see or hear anybody. I am afraid of everything and everybody. My body is one big cramp from head to toe. I decided yesterday evening that I would ask for an extra appointment with my therapist because I felt I hit the deepest bottom. And unlike ever before, this time I can’t see the way out. I am just sinking deeper and deeper every day in my anxieties and fears. I don’t want to suffer through any more days helplessly.
Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder. I found the expression on Wikipedia accidentally yesterday evening while reading the mindfulness article. According to Wikipedia, social anxiety is an anxiety disorder characterized by a significant amount of fear in one or more social situations, causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. Reading about it was an epiphany to me. I realized that this is the very concept that describes my condition most accurately.
I am sitting in the office, and I am terrified. I had to play two 40-minute matches last evening. By the end, I was so exhausted that I could hardly move or say a word. After I got home, and I was having a long skype conversation with Alex, my heart started beating strangely. It made me dreadful. I could hardly fall asleep after that. I woke up depressed this morning. When I came to the office, my heart started giving strange beats again. It scared the shit out of me. It took me almost half an hour to calm down after the shock.