I feel like I’ve got some ‘splaining to do, even though like five people follow my blog… and most likely less than that even read it (just being a realist! :)). But anyway. An earlier post of mine (see: This is Pretty Much How I Feel Right Now…) revealed just how much stress I have been under with school–so much that putting together blog posts felt near impossible. Then, when my classes finally seemed to slow down for five minutes, I didn’t have ideas for posts or when I did have ideas, I didn’t have the motivation to post. College has really brought out my lazy side… These all seem like pretty unsuitable explanations for my prolonged absence in the blogosphere, I’m sure, but I think it really boils down to being human. Humans have busy lives filled with work and classes and commitments and hobbies and aspirations, so much that sometimes they don’t have time for other things–no matter how important. Which brings me to my most human reason of all for disappearing.
May have mentioned a few times on here, but I am a busy person (at least while school is in session). And I like being busy, constantly flitting from one activity to the next. At least, in my head, I do. However, as I’ve also mentioned, I’m an introvert. Like waaaay far over on the spectrum, like socialize for half an hour and need two-plus days to recover far over (though every great once in awhile I can probably trick people into thinking I’m more outgoing as long as I only meet them once and never see them again. But I digress.). Busybody and introverted personalities can mix. For some. But as I’ve come to find this semester, not for me.
Through my experiences this semester, I’ve come to grips with the fact that I have anxiety, most likely of the social sort, though all of this is undiagnosed. I’ve experienced symptoms my whole life and have known about this mental illness long before it became more of a universal idea. But funny enough, I never really put it together until now. And let me just say, it sucks. I’m not ashamed about my anxiety (seriously, I bring it up all the time in conversations. Just call me Hi, I’m Social Anxiety Quinn!), but it is an incredibly exhausting lifelong experience–especially in a college setting. You can certainly read up on social anxiety here, but that’s actually not want I wanted to talk about. Not exactly.
I want to talk about what I do when I feel down about my anxiety and how these acts can maybe lift your spirits when your anxiety or depression or quarreling parents or demonic cat are preventing you from being you.
When I need to be an introvert, I’ll go to my room at home or my dorm–depending on where I am–and close the door and listen to my music. Something upbeat or something sad, or maybe a musical or maybe Disney. Whatever. But I choose music that I know I’ll focus on and really get into (e.g. awkwardly dance while lying on my bed, envision myself giving a live concert filled with supportive friends and family watching in the audience, sing along with totally A-plus singing, etc.). I become so engrossed in the music, I tend to let go of whatever I was feeling prior to plugging in. Plus, ensuring I’m alone in my place of utmost comfort means I’ll be able to breakout singing or dancing without worrying about someone suffering through an unfortunate impromptu concert (and by that I mean without feeling self-conscious because someone with social anxiety, as far as I know, would NOT be singing or dancing in front of people willy-nilly unless they were completely confident in their abilities). Being alone makes me happy. And listening to music makes me happy. So why not mix the two to achieve the ultimate happiness formula?
If perchance my introverted solitude is exacerbating my sad, anxiety-induced feelings, then I’ll make sure I’m with other people, whether it’s my roommates or family or close friends. I don’t know what it is about super introverted people that seem to attract… less introverted people, but I tend to have lots of very chatty, exuberant individuals in my life. My family is probably the most tame of the above support systems, but no matter who I surround myself with, as long as it is someone I love and trust, I find myself able to relax and enjoy the company and maybe even move my mindset away from my anxiety for a moment.
No matter what I may do to remove my anxiety from my thoughts for awhile though, returning back to those thoughts is still important. As ironic as this feels to say as someone who is socially anxious, don’t shy away from who you are. Embrace it. If you can, come to grips with it. I applaud you. But don’t try to hide or repress whatever seems to be the issue. And it’s not even really an issue. My anxiety is not a problem to be fixed, and neither is yours or your parents’ fighting or your cat’s demeanor; they are merely part of the hand you have been dealt in life. So it’s important to take a look at those cards every now in then, and maybe even see the good in them. But if it takes some time to feel comfortable embracing your hand, don’t worry. It’ll always be there waiting.
Hopefully you found this helpful in some way. Or maybe your life is all hunky dory (such a great phrase, right?) and you don’t much need ideas on how to manage your nonexistent troubles right now. But either way, we all need to have our favorite people and past times to survive this game we call life. So, no matter where you are in life right now, I’ll leave you with this piece of advice brought to you be by Glee’s Rory.
Also, I’ll try not to leave for as long next time. But no promises.