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Why fight?

Right now, I’m sitting inside my house hiding, while the neighborhood block party happens on the street in front.

I hear the children shouting. I hear the adults talking and laughing. I smell the food cooking. And I would love, so much to be a part of that.

But I can’t. I can’t even walk out the door. And so I sit here, writing a blog that no one reads, missing something I’ve never really had. How pathetic is that?

Human beings are social animals. We’re wired by evolution to need to be part of a group. We build communities, not just because we want them, but because we need them. But what about someone like me, who doesn’t know how to join a community? Who’s afraid of it?

I’ve spent almost my entire life on the outside looking in. I’m jealous, so very jealous, of virtually everyone else. It seems like everyone but me knows how to find a community, to find friends, to find people that they can connect with. I just sit and watch, and feel horribly jealous.

Am I ever going to get better than this? I really doubt it. I can’t even imagine it. And after a couple of months of therapy, what progress have I made? None that I can see. I’m fighting, but it seems like I’m losing the battle. Why keep pissing away time money and pain on fighting this? It’s not going to change. I’m not going to change. Maybe it’s just time to give up fighting, and accept that this is what I am. I hate it, but if it’s the truth, what good is fighting it? What can it possibly bring  me except even more pain?

  1. September 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Because it hurts anyway if you don’t fight it and if you do, you have a chance of being able to do some of the things you currently wish you could. I know I’ve said CBT didn’t work for me, but I have pushed myself in other ways over the last few years and I have gotten better at some things. I’m pretty sure neither of us is going to become the life of the party, but I’m about to go to a barbecue with my housemates, instead of hiding in my room as I would’ve in the past. I’m sure socialising can get a bit easier for you too.

    On the other hand, if you’ve gotten as far as desensitisation exercises in therapy and the exposures aren’t getting even the slightest bit easier, there’s no harm in taking a break or trying a different approach. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to feel a lot worse before it gets better, though. Don’t give up yet.

  2. September 13, 2010 at 7:56 am

    my social anxiety problems are not nearly as bad as yours (and i suppose it might surprise you to learn that also i battle with this as well), but i too, remember all too well, those parties, barbeques and other events that i missed because i was hiding inside my office or bedroom, writing stories that no one ever did read (hid the notebook under my mattress, later burned it) or deleting my latest blog essay instead of publishing it because i was convinced that i had nothing of value to say.

    even though your battle with this affliction is painful, expensive and may not lead to improvement, don’t forget that giving up will change who you are, will forever alter your inner core. are you prepared to accept the person you will become if you do give up?

    worse, if you do give up, your children will learn from your example that this is okay, instead of fighting for what they need and for what they believe is right. sometimes i think the most important thing we can do for our children and for those around us is to give life to our words and thoughts through our own behavior, through our steadfast refusal to give up, regardless of how difficult the battle is.

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