I'm pretty damn shy. It's somewhat a low self-esteem issue, but also an anxiety thing. Meeting people, talking to people, asking women out, and my job are all things that used to cause me severe anxiety. I would seize up and even get vertigo if I had to talk to someone I didn't know. Freshman year of high school, I was going to turn out for cross-country, as I had run cross-country in junior high and did very well. I needed to get a physical, and was directed to a sports medicine clinic downtown to obtain one. I couldn't find it. And the thought of asking around, or calling home to get directions, or heaven forbid call my school, just filled me with dread. So I wandered around a bit downtown and went home. And never turned out for sports again.
As I've chronicled here, the death of my brother Matt 2 years ago triggered something in me that has gotten me to face up to a lot of this stuff. Not all of it. But a lot. I can talk to people I don't know more easily. I can ask women out on dates. Job performance doesn't tie my stomach in knots. I can dance in front of folks at a club and not care how stupid I look.
I've a couple of things still that eat my lunch. Not gonna detail them now. But I need to deal with the anxiety.
I've thought about going on anti-anxiety meds before. Counselors pushed them on me so hard I was scared. The question that none answered satisfactorily to me is what happens to my anxiety without the meds. Do I have to be on meds all the time? If it was just something to help ease the transition perhaps I'd be more amenable. My experience is that I haven't needed meds to get past much of my anxiety. So I can do so with the remaining ones. I would look at myself as a failure if I couldn't eventually do it without medication.
But it's painful and I hate it. I want it dealt with now. I want to be free of it now.