Reading & Ranting: Social Anxiety Makes Small Talk

readingranting

 

So this post topic is based on two things :1) My actual experience with dealing with social anxiety and 2) the fact that a lot of people don’t understand what it is. I’ll explain number 2 first.

Social Anxiety is, as you can tell, an anxiety based disorder that is rooted in extreme fear of being judged/scrutinized in social situations or performance situations.That sounds like being shy, right? NO! One of my main peeves is when someone says I’m shy. I’m not…seriously…Like most people tell me “shyness goes away with time”, social anxiety does not. It doesn’t disappear on its own, you have to work through it and get the proper treatments.  Instead of thinking of it as a reluctance to speak up think of it as a phobia. I have an irrational fear of social/performance situations which can range from talking to a stranger to eating in front of people. I have been called mean, cold, weird, and unfriendly because of this but it’s not true. There was a time when I made friends easily, but that was before the wiring in my brain shorted out a bit and reset itself with a whole new set of rules. (I blame the horrendous stress I was under in college). I like having friends and meeting new people, I want to do group activities and go to conventions….but a part of me is vehemently against this. So much so that I actually get sick due to how utterly nervous I get before or after meeting people.

  • Social Anxiety is NOT Shyness
  • The fear IS irrational, but knowing that doesn’t change how it affects us

This is what I feel or react on an average day at the store

  • Stomach twisting and clenching – You know the feeling where you go over a hill really fast in a car? That…constantly.
  • Extremely amped up – I get a ton of energy
  • Hands/body shake – This is my tell. I actually shake when I talk to people I’ve known for a very long time including my best friend and sometimes even my parents. It’s usually the only way someone can easily tell I’m freaking out
  • Mind/heart races – Imagine you’ve just been given a test in your least favorite subject and now in order to pass you have to run a marathon at the same time…that’s what I feel like.
  • Nauseated or Stomachaches – I’m sure you can figure out what that means
  • Embarrassment – Sometimes I feel like I’m making a fool of myself and if I say one word wrong then it bothers me for hours. I feel like I’m being judged, even when I know that’s not the case.
  • Exhaustion – Once the store closes or a customer leaves I feel a huge wave of exhaustion hit me.

The bottom line is social interaction is hard on me. I try really hard and some days it’s really easy, it feels like I can handle it…but that can all change at the drop of a hat.

On the off chance one of my customers reads this….I swear I’m not a mean person and if I don’t seem to be chatty it’s usually because I have no idea what to say or can’t get the courage up to actually say anything out loud.

 

Review: The Harder I Fall by Jessica Gibson

The Harder I FallSource: Gifted
Publisher: -
Series: -
Edition: eARC, 176 Pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

Becca Langer was not a normal girl, she didn’t have normal girl problems. For most of her life, she’s had to take care of herself, her younger brother Chad, and her drunk mother. She’s lived under the shadow of what her father did when she was ten years old. Forever branded by his actions.

College was her escape, she could get away and finally live. Her dream was to make it in the New York Ballet Company one day. That for her meant a long road full of hard work and dedication. She didn’t have time for distractions, and Levi Klein was definitely a distraction.

Will Levi be able to crack through her tough exterior and really see the wounded soul underneath? Becca needs to be loved, but the question is, will she let Levi love her?

The Harder I Fall is one of those novels that get better as they progress, and by the end of it I found myself really happy I’d taken the time to read it.

Becca Langer comes from a small town where she’s had to deal with more than any young adult ever should. Her mother is a drunk and her father is in prison because of something he did when she was just ten years old. She was forced to grow up and now she wants to make a new life for herself and live out her dreams. It takes her a while to move on and that’s one of my main likes about this book. She doesn’t move away and instantly make a new life, it takes time and in some cases she extremely reluctant to accept anything outside of her plan. She slowly opens up and becomes more. I loved Levi, even though there were moments where I wanted to smack him silly…but other than those few lapses of sanity (clearly that’s the only explanation) he’s a great counterpart to Becca. He has a big heart and isn’t afraid to give her the help she is reluctant to ask for but clearly wants.

The beginning portion of the story sort of threw me off, it moved sort of fast and I wasn’t fond of how quickly everything was happening. However it does slow down around the 40-50% area and gives the reader time to get use to everyone and let the previous events sink in. The difficult issues that Becca deals with, and her support group is what makes the college New Adult book different from the others. She doesn’t go to school and forget about it to pursue a relationship. She’s driven and sticks to her dreams, and no one is going to take that from her.

I can’t wait to read the next book, The Deeper We Get, which is about Becca’s young brother Chad who is sixteen in this book. He’s also had to deal with a lot and I’m curious to see how he turned out after everything from this book.

4 stars