Oh my goodness… Sadie stands in front of the mirror, eyes wandering down her arms to her stomach to her thighs. The pants she just squeezed into lump over her hips like squashed sausage. The shirt she yanked on emphasizes the cottage cheesy protrusions on her stomach. It was as if she gained fifteen pounds overnight.
If the food analogies weren’t enough to make her barf, the look was.
Sadie snatches her favourite black shirt off the floor, slips it over her head and studies herself in the mirror. Yikes. A nest of matted, frizzy hair pokes out in all directions. She studies that gnarly tooth that one day decided it wanted to jump over the others.
A poster of a Victoria Secret model, sporting impossibly white teeth and perfectly tousled hair, is plastered beside the mirror. On a rare good day, the photo is her inspiration… or in today’s case, her depression.
Sadie offers herself a quick glare then slumps on to her comforter. The all-too-familiar word “worthless” echoes through the caverns of her mind, bouncing off the walls and smashing through her already shattered confidence.
If only I could be like Jaime. Jaime doesn’t care what she looks like. Of course, Jamie is beautiful. Sadie scoops her hair up in a bun and twists it on top of her head. She told that same gorgeous friend she would meet her at the mall today. She can’t go back on that promise, no matter how crummy she is feeling… Nerves twist her stomach into gargantuan sized knots.
Sweat starts oozing out her pores. The last thing she wants is to do was go to the mall and be surrounded by people. Just thinking about all those eyes on her made her stomach seize. This day was going to suck.
Social anxiety is tough. Trust me, I get it. I struggled for years but have come through the other side of it and If I can do it, you definitely can.
If you’re willing to listen, I would like to share some tips I have learned over the years.
- Lovely lady, you don’t have to be perfect. I know it’s easier said than done but… anyone who doesn’t accept you for who you are is not worth your time. I knew people in middle school and high school who would change their minds about me every five seconds. I tried chameleoning (I just made a word!!) myself to fit into their groups and in doing so, didn’t grow and foster my originality. In short, it sucked more than being kind of weird and on the fringe… as supremely cliche as it sounds, the most beautiful thing in this WORLD is YOU being YOU.
- Speak kind words over yourself. Before saying things about yourself, think, “would I say this to someone else?” If you wouldn’t call your best friend “worthless” don’t tell yourself that you are worthless… not only is it not true, the more you say it the more it gets stuck in your brain.
- Social media is faker than a spray tan in a December snowstorm. I get that this is a toughy but TRY TRY TRY to limit your time on social media as it can breed a cesspool of comparison. It’s not real life. When you want to reach for your phone, pick up a good book… anything by Ted Dekker, Melody Carlson, Francine Rivers or Mesu Andrews is insanely wild and interested as heck (I will post some of my favourity-mac-favourites on my Instagram page). You can also, do some writing… oooorrr, just sit in silence and let your mind be still (it’s actually so calming).
- Socialize! As freaky as this can be,especially to those of us who experience social anxiety, it’s sometimes one of the best things we can do for ourselves. When you’re in that group, don’t feel like you have to talk, just expose your mind to others you trust and look up to. If you can’t keep up with the conversation, someone else will.
- Remember, even when it feels like it…you aren’t alone. There are so many people who suffer from anxiety. There are people to talk to (like me for example… just shoot me a message. I have been through something similar to what you’re going through and am down to talk about anything). That being said, there are most likely local people who are more than willing to
- Remember, everything is going to work out for you. Even if you feel anxious, even if you think you’re the scum of the earth, even if you feel ugly as all heck… all of that isn’t true
I will be posting more blogs a lot like this one, so stay tuned and remember: you are NOT alone <3
With SO much love,