I’ve been asked about my anxiety a lot. I have social anxiety. It’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. In short, it sucks. There are different ways to treat aspects of it. I’ve done therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, I’ve taken medication… you name it and I’ve probably explored the option.

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What I’ve found most effective for me is to acknowledge that I’m having an issue and then use some of the coping mechanisms from cognitive behavioral therapy, some of which involve me focusing on breathing, to work through it. Other things I’ve done is put myself into situations that would trigger a panic attack, but with a safety net of options to help myself push my boundaries and limitations.

Recently I’ve gone to several different places and events to force myself to interact with people in a safe environment. While I’m still nervous and awkward, I’m definitely improving. Sometimes I get so anxious that I find myself tongue-tied and I close my eyes and force myself to speak slowly to get the words out properly rather than stuttering.

I feel like I’ve experienced a lot of personal growth by exploring my limitations, understanding my triggers and then pushing my boundaries. I don’t feel as trapped as I used to. I don’t typically write about my anxiety or panic attacks, but I wanted to write about it today to give the message of hope to anyone who has to deal with any sort of disorder.