Hey readers! This is not going to be a blog post to do with books so I’m sorry if you were hoping to see one today. But as well as blogging about books and hosting blog tours, I vowed at the start of the summer holidays to talk more about mental health as I think it is an important topic that shouldn’t be ignored. Since the age of fourteen, I’ve been living with anxiety and when it first struck in school, my world was to change. Up until last year, shyness at times proved to be a problem but at the start of the year, I discovered just what exactly I had: Social Anxiety. So what is Social Anxiety and what big an impact does it play in everyday life? Let’s talk!
Social Anxiety is when you either have the fear to talk or simply talk too much to shelter the nerves and other anxieties you may have. Taking class for example, on Wednesday just gone I didn’t talk a lot but on Friday, I just couldn’t shut up talking about Pixar films. A lot of people I know get shy or nervous before doing public speaking for example but in my case, it’s a lot more difficult. There are days when I wake up and just hate the sound of my own voice. And on other days, I just sing (badly) in the shower or when I’m sat down on the family computer listening to music on YouTube for example and not have a problem. As Jessie J once said in her song Nobody’s Perfect, “Sometimes I can’t shut the hell up.” I can relate to that. The issue here is trying to find the perfect balance for talking. Being told off for both talking and not talking at all I feel doesn’t really help me. It’s basically a polite way of telling a person to shut-up but mentally, you have to time it right and think before you speak otherwise the consequences can be brutal.
My accent at times can be funny, it does have an American twang sometimes but I’m part Scottish on my father’s side of the family so one of my friends thought I was generally from Scotland. I am from England but it’s clear to see why my voice is misinterpreted which in all honesty contributes to negative thoughts I have about the way I speak. I like writing because it’s like talking but I don’t have to open my mouth. I can just sit tucked up in bed, iPad on my lap, on WordPress tapping away. My escape, my own voice that I generally like.
Because of my Social Anxiety, I have been left out of many birthday party invitations from when I was in Secondary School and struggled to really find people away from the Internet with the same interests as myself. I prefer to be alone in my room because my Social Anxiety doesn’t flair up as much but being branded as a loner tips up the perfectly balanced see-saw. I had plans to go to some book festivals this year but that sadly didn’t happen because of the flair-ups I had.
I think that mental health is important and an interesting reading part in Fiction. Still looking for a great read that deals with Social Anxiety but now I’m interested in studying Psychology at University because of my experiences with mental health. University is a great distance away yet since I don’t have enough grades to get there (I’m working on it).
My coping mechanisms for Social Anxiety are:
– Taking time from physically talking to do some writing, my blog helps me with that just well.
– Never being afraid to say no to someone/something if you personally don’t feel comfortable. My parents know that I don’t like going out for meals at night but I do during the day so it’s all about the perfect balance as I mentioned earlier.
– Singing, try karaoke or put the radio on. I fall asleep with the radio at night, other times I sing myself to sleep.
– Avoiding certain social situations. I love to talk to my family on the phone but not with anyone else I don’t know all that well.
If you have any other coping mechanisms, feel free to write them in the comments section. I hope that you enjoyed this post, it is a bit deep and people have told me not to blog about mental health so instead of physically talking about it, I write about it because my writing voice doesn’t and will never be silenced.
PS Any good blogs about mental health?