NEED HELP NOW? 1800-448-3000
Real Story

Overcoming social anxiety

7

Our Stories are written by young people for young people. If you want to share your story, we encourage you to do so in the ReachOut Forums.

My name’s Sarah, and I’m a 16 year-old with social anxiety.

The beginning of my sophomore year I had it all. I was on the dance team and had three best friends. We did everything together. But slowly, throughout the year, things went downhill. I was always the second choice. They stopped inviting me places and my slowly decreasing health was of no concern to them. It didn’t help that my school is very judgmental. If you’re not a size two, a cheerleader, or an athlete, you are a nobody. Making friends was really difficult and my social anxiety didn’t help. Note: My social anxiety was developed from all the judging I had gone through over the years. I felt stuck and that there was no way out. I wanted to please everyone all the time, but it didn’t make a difference to anyone. I was never good enough.

With the help of my medication, I realized I didn’t need to make everyone happy. I cut all ties with my friends. For two months, I ate lunch at home by myself. I did things that made ME happy. I transferred to a new school. I was accepted instantly and now have a great group of friends. My social anxiety is now going away, slowly but surely. It will always be a part of me, but I’m not going to let it control me anymore.

Sometimes it’s okay to want to make yourself happy first; if you’re not happy you can’t possibly try to make things better for someone else. It’s okay to let go of the past. Anxiety doesn’t have to manipulate your life. Take it by the hand and control how you want things to happen.

 

Comments

Responses

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    WalkingInWonder

    Sometimes you don’t have the option of changing your school. I’m about to be a junior at my high school and honestly I’m terrified of being isolated again. Last year as a sophomore I was new to the school and town, and I couldn’t break in to any circles. The school is too close-knit, everyone has basically grown up together, and since I’m a more quiet person I don’t fit the ideal of having a strong outgoing personality. The only friends I made last year were also new to the school. I know I have a lot to work on when it comes to being more talkative and friendly but I don’t think I can do it. I tried to appear friendly all last year but I was still the odd one out. I don’t know what to do this year to make it different since I’m just not the kind of person who can make instant friends with their great personality. And even if I make changes I’m afraid that this year everyone will still remember me as the quiet new girl. Any ideas?

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      It sounds like you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself.  Moving to a new place and a new school can be scary and lonely, so it’s great that you made friends last year!  It can be tough to be the new girl, but not everyone needs to be the outgoing personality. Often it just takes time to develop deeper friendships, but it’s hard to be patient.  To meet people with the same interests, you could join school clubs or extracurricular activities.  Remember to just be yourself, and people will like you for who you are.  For more help, have a look these factsheet on starting at a new school and meeting new people: http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/starting-at-a-new-school/ and http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/meeting-new-people. You also might want to try going to our ReachOut Forums (http://us.reachout.com/forums/forum.php), where you can reach out to your peers for help too! And before you know it, you’ll no longer be the new girl! Good luck! The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    heyitsD

    i can completly relate to this, it is really hard to do, but it feels great when you finally learn how to control the anxiety! (: stay strong

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    Julia

    My name is Julia I am 16 years old and I also have social anxiety and depression that has put me isolated from everyone around me. It even made my 3 best friends in the world forget about my existence wich of course is heartbreaking to know I cant even have a friend to put up with my problems. My mom even bought me a puppy to help with my depression, but even with something that actually wants to be around me why do I feel so alone…. 

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hi Julia -
      We feel for you and hear your loneliness and sadness. It sounds like you have a supporter in your mom who seems to understand. We wonder if you are getting any professional mental health help? If you need help figuring that out, you might check out the Finding People to Help and Support You section on ReachOut http://us.reachout.com/get-help/finding-people-to-help-and-support-you
      Getting over depression and dealing with anxiety can be challenging. A mental health professional can evaluate what’s going on and provide some strategies for how you might help yourself feel better. Also, is there a counselor at your school who might help you reconnect with your friends? And if you just want someone to talk to, kind of let it all out, give the Boys Town National Hotline (not for boys only) a ring at 1-800-448-3000. They are really good at listening - anonymously 24/7.
      Take care. We are thinking of you. We are your friend.
      the ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    Zak22 Zs

    I feel like I can’t let go. My mistakes haunt me, and i feel like a weight is constantly on me. It was reawakened one day, after an absense, after a memory of something i did, that i never told about. My mom wouldn’t have approved, and now its eating me away, but im tired of telling on myself. It gets me ina bigger hole, and it doesnt seem to help. at all. help?

Commenting has been closed for this entry.