I have social anxiety. I don't normally tell people this and many people who know me would be surprised. Especially those of you who knew me back in the day. I didn't used to be like this. I didn't used to dread going to the grocery store. I'd say I didn't used to dread going to the mall, but once I hit about 25, disliking the mall had nothing to do with anxiety. I didn't dread going to the fair, a parade, or even to a friends party.
I don't know exactly when it started because it manifested physically. I just thought I was getting sick a lot. It took years to figure it out. In fact, it wasn't until we had been in California for a year that a doctor thought to ask some questions about depression. Another year and half of the same things going on and my fabulous doctor here in Bellingham figured it out and put me on an anti-anxiety drug. Finally, some relief. However, that relief came at a price. I was a personality zombie. Finally, after about six months, my friends and family came to me and said "We want you to be okay but you aren't you anymore at all". My daughter felt like she didn't have a mother. That broke my heart. Goodbye pills, not so welcome back anxiety.
It's been three years since I stopped taking the zombification drugs. My anxiety sucks but somehow, we make it work. I push myself in some ways and have lost ground in other ways. Every day is a battle and every day that I walk out my front door, I win.