Happy Wednesday, everyone! 🙂
I wanted to start with a quick little thank-you note to a fellow blogging family (www.ourdidjourney.com) that I met recently online, who wrote a really, really, really generous and validating post about my blog and my writing. You can check out the post here: Up and coming; The anxious powerliftin’ Sadie. (Blushy Ginger). Thank you guys — for seeing what I am trying to do, and in some ways articulating it more clearly than I have been able to myself. And for just being fun and friendly generally.
For the past week or so, I’ve been mulling over the difference between candidness and vulnerability.
I realized that while I don’t balk at candidly sharing the details of my social anxiety journey, that’s not exactly the same thing as being truly vulnerable.
This is true for me in real life, too. I’m candid in conversations about so many things. I’m not afraid to talk openly about mental health or sexuality or the weird things our bodies do. (Provided the person I’m talking to is not put off by those topics.)
But to be truly vulnerable? To share my unfiltered, un-curated thoughts in real time? To show raw, messy, potentially unpalatable FEELINGS and reactions?
I think it’s rooted in fear. Fear of rejection, fear of conflict, fear of disapproval. Fear of losing control over myself. Fear of what others might think if they meet the Unfiltered Me — because I don’t even know who that is.
Social anxiety is so, so much more than “shyness.” It’s a barrier between me and the world. Between me and YOU.
And the barrier has been there for so long that it has been internalized. It’s become an internal barrier between me and myself.
And I’m tired. Tired of the constant tug-of-war between my true desires and the disorder that stifles them.
Maybe it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t crave connection with others. If I didn’t yearn for creative expression. If I didn’t still have a feisty little redhead trapped somewhere inside me.
But I do. I do.
I want those things.
I hesitated to write such a heavy post. I like to be positive and encouraging. But I should probably be real, too, right? Vulnerable.
And so, the journey continues. My weapons of choice against my struggles are insight, resilience, and hope — but the proactive kind of hope.
(Ah, there’s the happy ending I was looking for. Hope.)