Social anxiety and being okay with being okay

I used to be someone who could walk into a room and meet practically everyone. I was known for this and I had a sense of pride about it. I felt it was a way that I defined myself. Outgoing. Fearless. Social Butterfly.

I was confident that anyone I met could be my new found friend. I even took several of those personalities tests that would confirm this belief. This was how I met so many people in Austin. I was friendly, highly extroverted and on an adventure to discover how I could show my worth to the world.

One day I woke up and realized it was all because I wanted to matter. I was driven to feel accepted so I was driven to meet tons of people to fulfill this hole inside my heart. The thing was I never really got close to anyone. Anytime someone (mostly females) tried to get to know me deeper I’d keep them at a distance. I had stories playing in my subconscious mind that females couldn’t be trusted and they’re backstabbers, catty, and don’t really care to be your friend.

Even though I wasn’t fully aware of this program in my mind, I had this uncanny ability to see past anyone’s story’s and accept them fully as they were. Many shared their deepest stories bc I was willing to be authentic and real about my own shit.

What I didn’t realize was I had a subconscious story playing that people couldn’t be trusted even though they could all be loved. It’s why I still kept anyone far and didn’t dive into sisterhood. This deep fear of mine was a limiting belief that I unknowingly kept alive and well.

As I submerged into my own shadows I started to build a fear about being around people. I was afraid people would see who I really was (the masks and identities I had created to act tough and accepted) and I believed if they knew the truth they wouldn’t want to be my friends. This belief caused me to be socially awkward and a lot of times I wouldn’t even go out bc it was too much stress. I knew something was off and I was too scared to find out the truth. I feared it was another thing that was wrong with me. So I let it be and I avoided understanding what was truly happening.

Whenever Mike and I went out with friends I would let Mike do most of the talking and I comment on menial things. I wanted to hide and run away. I didn’t want to get to know people. I didn’t want anyone to get to know me. I had a lot of shame, guilt and fear coursing through my bloodlines.

I went from being a highly extroverted social butterfly to an introverted recluse.

I started throwing the Life Party’s as I was going through all of this. All the networking when I was outgoing paid off. I was able to throw epic parties and I hid behind this bigness. During the parties I avoided any real conversations bc I kept myself extremely busy managing all the different activities. It helped me to thrive. It was my place of solace. Anytime conversations started getting real I’d excuse myself to go do a task. And then I would disappear.

Although I felt the love from everyone and throwing the partys came from a loving space in my heart, I was afraid to talk to anyone. I knew how to manifest but I was frightened of conversations.

I didn’t know what to say anymore. I didn’t care to know who anybody was. I started judging people in my mind for talking about things that didn’t matter even though surface level conversations became my norm. These thoughts kept me even more distant.

How could someone so loving have so much fear?

When you judge yourself or others you’re uniting with the frequency of fear. Low self esteem, jealously, anxiety, hate all stem from the fear frequency.

I was afraid if anyone talked to me they would ask me what’s going on and I was afraid to tell anyone that I felt like I was losing everything that I knew about my self. My whole identity wasn’t real and I didn’t know who I was anymore. And that made me very very very afraid.

When I opened one door of lower emotions it was a gateway to all the other lower frequencies.

That’s when depression set in. Yes I went through depression in the last couple years 🤭😮 AND I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone bc I was afraid I would scare off the strong ones who were glimpsing the parts of me that were lovable. I didn’t want anyone to know how deep my struggle was bc I didn’t want them to judge me.

There’s something about diving into the real reasons behind your motivations and actions. I didn’t realize I was lying to myself so frequently that it had become normal. I had denied my pattern of making everyone else who I randomly met more important than the ones closest to me in social interactions. I refused to believe there was anything wrong with meeting everyone. And there IS nothing wrong with meeting everyone. The question is what were my motivations and THAT’S what I was unwilling to look at.

People would often say, “you make everyone else more important than me and you try so hard to know everyone instead of hang out with the ppl you came with. There’s something there Trinidad and you should look at it.”

I’d laugh this off and tell them they were simply being insecure and I was an extrovert and this was who I was. I didn’t realize underneath this facade was a deep desire to be accepted and it was the driving force behind all my confidence. Yes some people would say who cares at least you can talk to people. But talking to people just to get a quick rush of acceptance was not really talking to people.

I burned so many relationships from devaluing the ones closest to me that none of those random people I met while I was drinking or even sober really even mattered. They weren’t my real friends so why did I care so much to make a show of my confidence to speak and talk so eloquently with others? Why?

Because I was the brown girl that always wanted to be the white girl that was accepted by everyone. Because I was insecure about who I was so I flashed around my ability to chat up a conversation fearlessly. Because really I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. Because I didn’t really think I was lovable bc I didn’t know how to fully love myself.

All these thoughts led to my reclusiveness. I stopped accepting invitations to hang out. I was also afraid other people’s shadows would affect me because now I could REALLY see theirs bc I could REALLY see mine. If anyone talked about their lives negatively or I could feel their judgments or lower emotions I would avoid their texts and calls. I’d commonly say I missed it or I had other plans. I didn’t know how to accept people anymore bc I couldn’t even accept myself.

The work of diving inwards doesn’t have to be so dark, but some of us just don’t have a fucking compass. And when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing your stories can run a muck and separate you from everyone.

It was thick. All these stories playing in my mind and all these feelings of uncomfortableness were causing me to be stressed out and highly overwhelmed. The thing was I never even realized it was anxiety. I didn’t want to know bc I didn’t want to be one of “those” people. But that’s exactly who I was.

When you’re trapped by stories they start to breed new worlds of fear. They’re all the same foundation of separation they’re just masked in new tales.

No ones going to like you if they find out who you really are. Everyone talks about the dumbest things. People don’t really care about you. They’re just pretending to care like you pretended to care. Remember how you acted like you cared about what people were saying just so you could check off the new friend box? Yeah they’re doing the same. You’re just using people to get what you want and they’re just using you why bother getting to know them? What if you say the wrong thing? What if it gets quiet and you don’t know what to say or ask bc honestly you don’t give a damn about them anyways?? They’re just a new shallow friend who won’t actually try to get to know you so why bother even having a real conversation? What if you run out of questions? What if there’s silence? What if they don’t like you? What if they don’t want to be your friend?

Funny how stillness & silence makes us all feel uncomfortable. We’re all afraid of the pause yet that’s what allows us to breath and be.

I recently realized I had social anxiety the last couple years and it actually gave me a form a relief to know what it was. I started to remember what it was like to be an extrovert and always having something to say even if it was out of nervousness. I wondered if I could ever get back to that and I know I can and I know I will but it will be different.

Am I an extrovert again nowadays? I’m not sure honestly. I feel like I’m some sort of hybrid. I have the courage to meet new people but I still have the awkward feelings of what do I say, will I run out of questions, and will they accept me? I no longer want to just talk. I listen more and hear more and I know I can still practice more listening and less talking. I let people share. I watch their bigness sand their smallness and try not to judge them. I don’t just talk all about myself because that’s what I used to do. I can do this. I can do that. This is who I am so please accept me. No, now I make sure it’s even sharing.

I’m learning to be okay with not sharing EVERYTHING about me. I’m learning to wait for people to ask.

I take pictures of being happy meeting new people yet underneath the exterior I’m still figuring it out what it means to be me and it’s not always easy. Just yesterday I met all these Queens in Ubud, Bali and after we were all done doing some circuit training, everyone clicked into their own conversations because they all knew each other. I found myself wondering if I should jump into any one conversation. I found myself wondering if they felt awkward about the “new girl” who was quiet and reserved. I wondered if anyone wanted to get to know me if I didn’t put myself out there. As I waded in the pool I tried to let the anxiety disappear. Eventually I caught familiar eyes that accepted me and I joined a conversation. The anxiety was there but I tried to just let it be.

Later that day I met a friend who I knew through an online writing workshop. I felt comfortable with her because we could “see” each other through each other’s writing, but I also felt the anxiety come up even with her and I practiced letting it go. I then met another new friend and I was grateful that Mike had come along because he likes to talk and my anxiety was kicking in. I usually bring Mike when I’m afraid to meet people by myself.

I told a friend about this experience and was able to realize that I’m learning to be okay being alone and that it’s okay if everyone doesn’t want to get to know me. The people who want to will get to know me and I don’t always have to be the initiator or the one that’s always “on” or the one that’s always bubbly. It’s okay to feel what I’m feeling.

It’s okay to be an introvert extrovert. It’s okay that I want deep friendships. It’s okay that I want people to ask me questions instead of me asking all the questions. It’s ok if there’s silence. It’s ok if we feel awkward. It’s ok for me to not want be a super social butterfly.

I’m taking it one step at a time and I’m loving myself through it. I’m feeling my anxiety and letting it be. I’m stopping the stories and finding more empowering statements. I’m remembering what it’s like to fall in love with the uniqueness of every human. I’m remembering to accept people no matter what.

As accept where I am, more peace floods in and I’m able to notice the uncomfortableness and be okay. It feels good to feel and not hide under flashy lights of I’m awesome all the time.

It feels good to be alone in a crowd of people. It feels good to feel into my own energy and ask myself where I should go and who should I talk to. It feels sort of like an adventure of getting to know the real me.

And the real me is okay with being okay ❤️

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