The Worst Thing About Social Phobia

Helen Olivier (AuDHD)
Invisible Illness


A little girl, alone, carrying a teddy bear
Image by lisa runnels from Pixabay

The worst thing about having a social phobia is probably not what you would imagine first.

It isn’t being unable to visit a doctor you need to see.
It’s not breaking down after just a short public transport ride.
It’s not even not being able to go to work because people would be there.

It’s not that you can’t do almost everything that you love, because it involves meeting people. That you are confined inside the same four walls all the time, and they are closing down on you, and you feel that you are slowly suffocating.

It’s not that you have to refuse friends’ invitations to meet, you are unable to go to their birthday parties, weddings, and other significant life events you would love to attend… and let them think that they aren’t worth it to you. Because not everything can be easily explained to everybody.

And it’s not even that you are afraid that everyone will eventually accept this state of affairs as the new normal — and just forget about you. That you will become a ghost haunting the cyberspace but absent in the minds of people who matter the most to you. That you are slowly, gradually disappearing from this world.

The really, really worst thing is that you don’t ever stop needing people. You are just unable to handle being in their company.

It’s like being terribly hungry but feeling an immense pain with every bit you swallow. You can eat just enough to barely keep you alive… but nothing more. And most of the time, it still feels like dying.

It means being desperately alone. It means missing human interactions deeply. But every time you try, you pay a steep price in anxiety, exhaustion, and inner pain, so you just keep avoiding them more and more. You have to avoid them more and more. All while you yearn for them with all of your soul.
It means that you feel hunger. A terrible, immense hunger gnawing at your insides. You are dying of hunger in the middle of tables laid out with a lavish feast.

And you know that the reason, the only reason, why you can’t reach for more than just a tiny and utterly insufficient morsel, is entirely and solely inside your head.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like this one about the lack of motivation caused by depression:

Or this one about teaching your brain how to think positively:

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Helen Olivier (AuDHD)
Invisible Illness

Neurodivergent, curious, overthinker, overfeeler. Find my thoughts, love letters to life, freebies and other stuff: 🧡