I am not social anxiety, but I accept it as part of my life.
I’m still working in the direction of “recovery,” but I’ve made space for a lot of nuance in what I think that looks like.
I think I used to equate recovery with “cure,” and I used to think “cured” meant no longer socially anxious or held back by “shyness” or “introversion” at all.
But that mindset came from a place of unnecessary and hurtful self-rejection.
I had to shift to a place of self-acceptance before any recovery could really take place. And there have been some other changes, too:
- I stopped viewing shyness or introversion negatively once I realized they weren’t the same thing as social anxiety (or as one another).
- I’ve started to see social anxiety disorder as the thing that makes me censor myself from the world. Even from myself sometimes. Recovery has meant learning to turn down the censor and let the real me emerge.
- Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that self-shame is just not a useful tool for recovery.
I’m learning to accept that who I am inside is 𝘯𝘰𝘵 the problem. And that recovery doesn’t mean “fixing” the real me within.
I’m not broken.
Please don’t beat yourself up if you experience social anxiety. You’re not bad or weak or broken.
You are not social anxiety.