Friendship Anxiety

It’s natural and normal to want friends.  At this point in my life, I need friends.  It’s so important for me to find friends.  I am so paranoid when I try and make friends.  I do have social anxiety, but is there a diagnosis for social paranoia?

I can’t help but think that everyone hates me because I looked at them in a strange way.  Crushes are even worse, because then I think that they automatically hate me for having feelings for them, even though I show just friendliness in our interactions.  It.  Is.  So.  Difficult.

I don’t want it to be like this, I really don’t.  I just want to pursue friendship in a fun and easygoing manner, in a normal manner.  I dream of what it is like for a person without a mental illness to make friends!  To have confidence, to feel secure.  I just started a low dose of Celexa, and I have been noticing that it’s helped to give me social confidence in little spurts throughout the day.  I feel that I am a confident person at my core, my mental illness just skews my thoughts away from that.  It covers my true self up with a blanket of lies.

One of life’s greatest thrills is making new friends, and I am so sad that this has to be marred by my mental illness.  What I’m focusing on currently as a way to cope is to congratulate myself when I screw up.  Yep, my goal right now is to mess up at least once a day and to pat myself on the back for it.  A therapist from a Youtube video mentioned it, and initially it seemed horrifying but promising and exciting at the same time. My anxiety tells me that if I encourage myself to mess up, I’ll get so relaxed about life that I’ll get into a car accident and loose my legs.  So far, I’ve screwed up a few times and I still have my legs!!  When you’re presented with irrefutable evidence like that, it might be a good idea to question the messenger.

Sometimes, I’ll stutter over a word, or laugh loud, or introduce myself twice because sometimes I turn into autopilot mode to cope with anxiety.  Each time, I congratulate myself, and count that as my daily screw-up.  I’m still working on intentionally screwing something up.  That is the next level of the therapy, I’ve decided.

I did go into writing this piece, preparing to screw up, however.  I intended it to be short and terrible and just a free flow mental exercise.  I think that it turned out pretty good, and I was able to enjoy the process more.  Maybe getting something right is more about getting it wrong.  Maybe screwing up is the great secret to life.  Maybe it’s about accepting the good and bad, and really putting extra effort towards accepting the bad.  Excuse me while I have a cheesy Hallmark moment.    

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