Anxiety that used to be under control to now stemming into friendships and causing social problems (social anxiety). It never used to be that bad where you wouldn't go places because of people. But such is the current state of affairs when you can't typically enjoy your usual things with people.

Couldn't even tell you when it happened, for me. But travelling and coming back always has me 'off' and not sure with people that should be friends and should have me comfortable around them. Meeting dozens of nice people and calling a handful 'friend' from various countries I should know how to use my gut and trust people, right? I should know how to be comfortable around people that have been positive and shown affection to me, right? I shouldn't plan ways to escape or feel stages of worry emanate from my stomach and chest around these people, right?

Anxiety and depression I've often seen come hand in hand or spoken about side by side. As someone who is concerned about emotions and health in every aspect (physical, mental, emotional, financial, etc.), I just want to make you all slightly more aware of people with anxiety. It's beautiful that we're more open to mental health and supporting loved ones through it or as they manage it. But as wonderful as it is that you want to help your friend who gets really nervous/anxious, ask them how they can help you feel more comfortable. However in the same breath don't bring up the subject often.

Here's a list that I've found to help me and some friends have done for me, as well as what I've seen online:

  1. If you're out and about with your Awesome friend (let's not say anxious), have a fun signal that helps you know when it's time to leave or they want to leave. My best friend and I have facial features we use or one liners that help us gage each other and exit venues and situations.
  2. If they don't want to leave their comfortable place- whether it be their room, the kitchen, the car, etc. for a few minutes, then let them stay there for a few minutes. I am not sure for those with extreme awesomeness but my minimum can be thirty minutes and my maximum 2 hours.
  3. Be a friend and don't stare or treat them differently. There are extroverts that suffer with anxiety but seeing as I'm an introvert that used to be a mix of both, I know anxiety has negatively affected me more recently (2016) and caused me to go into myself more. Travelling has hidden that and let's me find solace in quiet places even though I literally throw myself into new things, to as people say "get over yourself". It's difficult to do that but ever since my friends made me feel comfortable to just be still, I've built bridges to get over it and fly kick that big baddy that threatens to steal my life at every turn!
  4. Do things that awesome person likes. I like food, so food makes me happy: make it, cook it, bring it, be it. FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD.

That's about it for what I want to say with anxiety and social anxiety. It's not extensive. It's just to meet your friend at their need and let them know you care, be yourself though and don't molly cuddle. I manage a lot better even through an upsy turvsy year of failures, heartbreak and getting over self-disappointment. The only positive of recognising and previously being 'diagnosed' (I say that loosely as I became healthier without waiting on therapy) is that I tell myself to see more of the world and experience new situations more often even if it is by myself.

If you're a traveller, you have panic attacks, you think anxiety runs your friend, it doesn't. I pray you find bravery and courage to challenge yourself to come out of your box, the world is half bad but there's another half that's beautiful beyond your wildest dreams! Trust me ;-)

Published by Kirah Grand