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Therapy Thoughts: Social Anxiety + Self Protection

Many of you may be surprised to find out that, for a very long time, I have dealt with a degree of social anxiety. Sometimes that anxiety masquerades as self protection, but am I really protecting myself, or am I just giving in?

As I continue in therapy, I am dredging up past issues. I use this blog as a journal among its many other uses, and so if I were you, I would not be surprised if you see some thoughts on issues that I am examining in psychotherapy come up in blog posts. Some may have answers, some may not have any answers at all but merely be me putting my thoughts out into the ether and seeing what happens. We’ll see how it goes.

Is social anxiety a form of self protection? Or am I just cutting myself short? What issues are you looking at in therapy? Suzlyfe.com @suzlyfe

Social Anxiety

At my first official psychiatrist therapy appointment (not just going for medication maintenance), during the course of discussion, I brought up my social anxiety tendencies. I told her about my aptitude for ducking out on experiences that I start out excited for and then, when it is time for me to go out and engage, I instead retreat and often opt out of the experience altogether. I make an excuse: it’s cold; I’m tired; it’s across town; I’m not going to know people; I’m going to get tired; there is going to be all of this or that. I want to stay home with my dog and my cat and Netflix.

Then, more often than not, I end up staying home. Or staying in the corner. Staying quiet. I don’t light let the fire within myself get lit. 

Because, when I relax, when I have faith in myself and faith in others, the fire gets lit, and I have fun. People see who am, not a wall that I put up to protect myself.

This past weekend plus wasn’t easy for me… before I left. Once I was there? Um… I think we all know that I had a great fantastic time! But before? I convinced myself that I wouldn’t get any time to myself, that I would get overwhelmed with all the people, that this would happen, that would happen. Then I went and had a lovely time. I relaxed, let that fire be lit, and let life happen with me a participating part of it.

And how many times has this happened? How many settings? How many situations?

Why do we let ourselves create false future realities? Is this just something that people with anxiety do? I mean, I know that it is necessary to weigh pros and cons and all that, you need to do that to survive, after all (otherwise, you would get eaten by a bear, run over by a car, bankrupt on your dollhouse cleaning business).

What makes me so convinced that I won’t have a good time? What makes me so convinced of a negative outcome? Why won’t I take the chance? When I do take the chance, what is the driving/convincing factor? 

 

Ok, so, say I get there. What gets me to open up? To engage, participate, and put down those barriers that I am so deft at erecting in the blink of an eye?

I won’t go into all of the factors now, but I know that I was able to relax and trust myself and others, to deal with the social anxiety, because I had my trifecta: exercise/activity, food (that I could eat), and Alex and/or my mom. With those three, I can take on the world. 

But I can’t always have that luxury. So one issue to work on in therapy? What to do when I have only one, or even none, of my security blankets.

What is your security blanket?

Are you a homebody, or do you deal with social anxiety?

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78 Comments

  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    I am definitely a homebody. Going out brings me a lot of anxiety especially if it is a place that’s new or that I don’t know anyone. Pretty much the gym and my house are my safety zones.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…The Ultimate Food Blogger Gift Guide 2016My Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 5:09 am
  • Reply Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.

    I used to have a lot of social anxiety when we went out to dinner. I think that’s when I realized I had an unhealthy relationship with food. The fact that it would make me panic when I couldn’t control how it was made or what was on the menu.

    I don’t actually know how I overcame it. I think, to be honest, I went in the completely opposite direction and lost control altogether.

    Gah. I honestly don’t know how our mind and body operate the way they do. But, regardless, good for you for taking steps to go to therapy and help yourself figure sh*t out. I would have been too timid to make that move, despite the fact that it would have been so beneficial.
    Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. recently posted…Teaching Students with ADHDMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 5:41 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Your first paragraph–totally me! I’m so glad that is isn’t so much a deciding factor any more! I definitely feel freer as a result. Now I need to find out the other reasons that I’m holding back.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:58 pm
  • Reply Pamela Hernandez

    I’m a homebody but I think it’s more self-protection and a need for quiet after a day were I am “on” for clients. Large groups are awful! But I like the connection of one or two friends. πŸ™‚

    November 29, 2016 at 6:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am such a small group person as well! And I hear you–particularly after a day of clients!

      December 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm
  • Reply Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Love your honesty! I’ve learned over the years that I’m introverted and recharge with alone time… so I tend to dread group events as well, but like you, usually love it once I’m there! It’s a balance… I need some people time and some me time to feel my best.
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Where were you 5 years ago?My Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 6:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Totally right there with you!

      December 2, 2016 at 4:00 pm
  • Reply Alicia @Bridges Through Life

    I’m definitely a homebody. I prefer a night in rather than going out. However in order to meet people i do try to find events i enjoy like yoga workshops, etc. I used to be nervous about going to things alone and I still am if it is a new area of town to me but once i am there and surrounded by like minded people i feel more at ease and have a great time.

    November 29, 2016 at 6:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Being amongst people who get you makes such a difference!

      December 2, 2016 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply Lacey@fairytalesandfitness

    Sometimes I do like to just stay home so I don’t have to be social and do my own thing. But when I do get convinced to go out, I am always happy that I went.
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Running with the Comfort WagonMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 6:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am just about always happier that I at least put the effort out there!

      December 2, 2016 at 4:06 pm
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    I have a lot of social anxiety, believe it or not. I always feel kind of awkward in big groups–funny because I do really well at work with my patients. But that’s my realm. I don’t do well with groups of women. I’m not great at small talk. I do like to be at home.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Product Review: Mizuno Cold Weather GearMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 6:46 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’ll cuddle with you at home.

      December 2, 2016 at 4:07 pm
  • Reply Gretchen

    I can totally relate to ducking out of social obligations just because I’m nervous. Then once I’m there (if I make it) I’m SO happy I decided to go. To be honest, When I met you I was really nervous! It was my first time meeting an internet friend but I knew I couldn’t make excuses since you were all the way from Chicago. I’m really glad that I went because I LUVVV YOU!! I need to get over my fears and not let it stop me in the future. Goal for 2017?
    Gretchen recently posted…Tasty Tuesday : November FavoritesMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 6:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
      And yes, hashtag goals. And when are you coming to Chicago?

      December 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    I would MUCH rather do something with a few other people than a large group. I find it overwhelming. I’m def a homebody!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Crock Pot Christmas GranolaMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Small groups for the win!

      December 2, 2016 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Bri

    For me it’s not so much anxiety but energy – if I’ve gone to too many events in a row I’m miserable and don’t want to make the effort to go out.
    Bri recently posted…8 tips to help you have a happier, healthier holiday seasonMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And see, I think that I convince myself that I don’t have any energy. Once I get going, I’m good!

      December 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday

    I have a lot of those tendencies, but I think for me they manifest more of an anxiety around change in routine than social settings specifically. Yes, I know I’ll have fun once I go out or go on vacation or even go back home, but doing so disrupts the careful, perfect (LOL) structure of my life, so I resist it. I’m vaguely (and sometimes very) tense in the first few moments of my new scene, but then I relax into it and remember that sometimes routine is meant to be broken.
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Sometimes the World Is TerrifyingMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Agreed. But I am always glad to have YOU change my routine πŸ˜€

      December 2, 2016 at 4:10 pm
  • Reply Cora

    Yes, and yes. It is something I’ve known about myself for a long time and am trying to work on… but fears and anxieties that reared their heads in years and years ago are extremely hard to break (the cold weather and the addition of food fears only piles on the reasonings to stay in). Somewhere along we line we learned to fear social outings – something happened or our feelings were broken in some way – so that even now when our reasonings seem irrational, it is that past conditioning that reminds us “danger danger something could go wrong you are far safer here at home where at least you know your feelings will be protected.” Lets face it, sometimes we do bite the bullet and go out and it sucks or something bad happens. But then sometimes, like your past weekend, our fears are proven wrong and we are reminded how awesome we are when we let go and can be ourselves and are around people that make us feel truly safe. Every time I’m making the decision it feels like a hard gamble to play. Sometimes I win,sometimes I lose, but I know I don’t want to be a recluse that misses out on life for the rest of my young years, so I need to continue pushing myself past that comfort zone. Thank you for sharing your questions.
    Cora recently posted…Week In Review: Well I’m Happy That Week Is Over.My Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We can’t always hide because of risks and possibilities. In any part of life. And like you said, sure, sometimes? It isn’t going to work out. But often it isn’t half bad!

      December 2, 2016 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    I appreciate your honesty as always, Susie! I am a homebody and groups make me nervous – especially if I don’t know anyone. Last week I had a tour of the facilities and meeting the employees of a brand I’ll be working with and I was such a nervous wreck and exhausted by the end of the day. I need down time to recharge!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Enjoy Cold Weather Running with Mizuno Breath Thermo GearMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m sure! But then, I think that was probably a mentally exhausting day as you took everything in as well.

      December 2, 2016 at 4:12 pm
  • Reply Emily @ My Healthyish Life

    What Ellen said above is very similar to how I feel too. I’m a creature of routine so anything that disrupts that is what causes the biggest change in demeanor. I am a homebody and do prefer to be in smaller groups, but after the initial interaction in a larger social setting I usually relax. A big “issue” (or excuse?) for me is that larger social groups at my age tend to be in a setting I don’t particularly enjoy…like a club. I don’t say no all the time, but I also make more of an effort to arrange things/activities I do like.
    Emily @ My Healthyish Life recently posted…Thanksgiving OfflineMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:33 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Um yeah. I was never the big club person, so I had a tough time with it as well. I was very lucky to be in grad school and be able to interact with people in that setting as well.

      December 2, 2016 at 4:11 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    I am definitely a homebody, and get stressed out if I am in an unfamiliar place, with people I don’t know, or out of my usual routine. Usually I am able to end up relaxing and having fun, but in the back of my mind I still always wish I was home. This is actually much different from about 10 years ago when I was very much open to new things and much more social. I guess I got used to being in college where there is so much unknown and new people and large groups all the time.
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Holiday Gift Guide for Runners 2016 + Running Gifts GiveawayMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that being in the practice of it, surrounded by the energy of people, makes such a difference. When we live without other people who bring it out in us, it makes us less likely to bust out.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:56 pm
  • Reply lindsay Cotter

    my husband is the one with social anxiety. I’m the buffer. BUt he helps me in so many other ways with anxiety. I still have therapy for other things. I think it’s needed for all humans. LOL! just my thoughts.
    I’m glad you have Alex and your mom! You can do this on your own too. I know it! <3

    November 29, 2016 at 7:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We all need a buffer and a balance to protect us from ourselves! I definitely think that just about everyone would benefit from therapy!

      December 2, 2016 at 3:54 pm
  • Reply kat

    I am a huge homebody and while my husband is ok with it most of the times, other times it drives him up the wall. While I am adventurous and love to go out and explore, I like to do that in a small group [like with one other person] lol I am a really shy person and it takes me MONTHS to get comfortable with new people or situations, which is probably why I avoid them most of the time!
    kat recently posted…Almond Butter Grape Smoothie [Vegan & Paleo]My Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:51 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      What about if people come to you?

      December 2, 2016 at 3:52 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    Yup, yes and fo sho. I can’t count how many times I have committed to something and then backed out at the last second. It sucks because in the moment of committing to it I really do want to go and I’m super excited to do whatever I’ll be doing with whoever I’d be doing it with but then yeah, I mean, I just back out. It’s not that I’m necessarily scared, though; It’s more a feeling of being overwhelmed. My life is always filled to the brim with noise and people (and noisy people) that when I do get a chance to choose something extra, I want to be the F ALONE!
    Suzy recently posted…Week in ReviewMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:55 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that part of you is looking for any and every opportunity to have some peace because, as you put it, your life is filled with noise and other people dictating what happens when. This might be your act of defiance.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Jen @ Pretty Little Grub

    I can SOOO relate to this. I do that all the time. Make plans that I’m excited about and then back out last minute because I’m too scared to go. It’s so frustrating because every time I do go, I have a good time.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Weekend Recap – Wedding fun and Christmas treesMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 8:24 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      YES. Totally of a same mind.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:51 pm
  • Reply Karen @ Fit in France

    I think social anxiety is completely normal. And I would say mine is getting worse as I am getting older. I like staying home, even if I am always glad I did something, or went out. I force myself to do different things because I think it stimulates the brain. Even if I don’t want to !
    Karen @ Fit in France recently posted…My Parisian weekendMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 8:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Interesting that it is increasing as you get older. Why do you think that is?

      December 2, 2016 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Kelli @ Hungry Hobby

    I don’t know, whenever I start getting anxiety about going somewhere I remind myself that everyone else is probably feeling the same way. Maybe that isn’t true but it makes me feel better!
    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby recently posted…Pizza Stuffed PeppersMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 8:38 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Nice tactic! And then you find strength in numbers!

      December 2, 2016 at 3:51 pm
  • Reply EB @ Running on E

    This one speaks to me. I have many of the same feelings and tendencies. I like to think of it as only being an extrovert when I feel like it. For the most part I am very introverted until I feel comfortable, to the point where I too will skip events or ‘have something come up’. For me, being aware of it is half the battle and taking the time to think of why I’m avoiding something and what’s really the worst that can happen. IT’s a process! πŸ™‚
    EB @ Running on E recently posted…Silver Comet Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 8:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Right there with you. We are so on the same page.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:50 pm
  • Reply Danielle @ The T-Rex Runner

    Good questions. Those are issues I deal with myself. Looking at your “security blankets,” I’d say that most of those would be mine, too. However, I’ve had long stretches of time where I’ve had one or none – like before and after I had my back surgery and couldn’t exercise at all for months, or every time I travel and I don’t know if the food is going to make me sick, and every time I’m away from AJ – which is a lot! I’ve gotten to the point where each of those security blankets is becoming much less powerful because I’ve taught myself to prepare for and adapt to not having them.

    My old therapist (the brilliant one who also committed insurance fraud) told me once that I couldn’t expect to just wake up one day and be recovered from my eating disorder just because I got pregnant, turned 30, got married, whatever. She said I actively had to practice recovery. She was right, and I think the same thing applies here. What if you aren’t able to exercise at the level you want when you get pregnant, or what if Alex or your mom can’t be there when you’re struggling? Practicing how to handle those situations now will prove immensely beneficial in the long run because you’ll already know what to do. Kudos to you for working through it all!
    Danielle @ The T-Rex Runner recently posted…Nepal Off the Beaten Path: Tamang Heritage TrailMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 9:10 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And that is exactly why we are trying to work on these issues now. I am “fortunate” that I got a sense of living without exercise last year with my back–and I know how easy it is NOT, but I am so so lucky that I will be able to still walk and move around, though to a much more limited degree. I remember you posting about the “actively practicing recovery,” and I remember how much that struck me as just making so much sense. Just like you can’t just decide that you are going achieve any goal without doing the work–you have to fight through cravings and yens to work against your goal and actively decide to pursue that goal every day. But doing so will make your resolve stronger each time.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    I have a very small circle of friends, which has decreased dramatically in size these past 9 months. I am a complete homebody, and I think that’s because my security blanket is in my own little hole…and this comes from me being let down by so many people so often, sadly. I’ve learned to just rely on ME! <3
    Michelle recently posted…ThanksMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 9:16 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      While on the one hand, it is great that you’ve learned just how capable you are, it is terrible that you have had to learn it in this way. But you’ll never doubt just how strong you are again!

      December 2, 2016 at 3:43 pm
  • Reply Marcia

    I am an introvert, but not a homebody. I value lots of alone time. Although I typically enjoy social interaction, my happiness does not depend on it. I prefer watching and listening rather than being the center of attention. I’m so glad the Thanksgiving weekend was in an environment you found comforting!
    Marcia recently posted…Turkey Trot with a Side of Pulled HamstringMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 10:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am a bit wishy washy when it comes to being the circle of attention vs listening and watching. I tend to be at either end of the extreme, but probably equally so overall.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm
  • Reply Jo @ Living MInt Green

    I’m a homebody too… but more so in the evenings if that makes sense? I love going out/seeing people during the day, but once the sun sets I’m like, “Go away world!” and retreat to my bedroom. When I was younger (like early-mid 20’s) I know I held myself back – particularly in social situations. I used to be a very fearful person – especially when it came to what people thought of me but now IDGAF. Hahaha
    Jo @ Living MInt Green recently posted…All I Want For Christmas Is… SHOOOOES (My 2016 Holiday Wishlist!)My Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 10:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      If you don’t give a damn (what) we don’t GAF. SING IT

      December 2, 2016 at 3:40 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    Some months ago, you wrote about Super Feelers. I think that your social anxiety (which we certainly ALL share in our family–but in very different ways) may be an aspect of your being a Super Feeler.

    You wear your heart on your sleeve and, for those of us who do that, our hearts tend to get bumped into, torn off, stared at, and potentially punched because we DO put our hearts out where others can see them and we are very sensitive and get very hurt when someone doesn’t like “our heart.”

    You are comfortable in your crowds, in your groups, in your space, and in your “quiet.” The anxiousness can come out when you aren’t in one of your “safe Susie spaces” or you are out of your comfort zone. Once you find a “safe space” in that new zone, you can calm down.
    This is very real part of what makes you “Susie.”

    We all find ourselves withdrawing from something that might take a big bite out of us. I certainly do.
    Look at my arrival at the big family event last Friday, I was so wound up, I was almost unable to talk–THAT was anxiety. I know where I am and who I am in MY places, but that wasnt one of them. Once, I found the welcome and smiling faces, I relaxed and had a blast.

    I would rather spend my time by myself or be at home than feel like I have to be out mingling all of the time. I can do it, sure, but I’m wiped out after!

    Having a dog, a cat, a gerbil, whatever pet you have gives you companionship without having to be anyone other than yourself.
    Look how glad Ridley was to see you when you picked her up! She wasn’t looking for a stimulating conversation, she wanted a good snuggle and to lick your face, to be in her mama’s lap.

    Therapy is a wonderful safe place–if you trust your therapist. You can put things out on the table that are very scarey because you feel safe enough to examine the monsters.
    It can take years to discover what the real monsters are that lurk way down deep, but what a wonderful experience it is to finally get to the bottom of the fears. The monsters don’t just go away once you find them, but now you can address them. It’s like finally getting the diagnosis–now you know what you are dealing with and you can learn to manage it. You may not be able to cure it, but you can learn to work with it— and make it work for you.
    I’ve been with “Bob” for over 20 years–his office is my safe place and I’m still discovering who I am. As your runner mind would say–it’s not a sprint, it’s a very long and interesting marathon.

    November 29, 2016 at 10:48 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And it is a neverending marathon–at least, not until the whole thing is over! Having a safe space (that will never be done away with) is so important. I honestly don’t know what you would do without Bob. He has definitely been a bastion of comfort for you over the years, a beacon in the storm.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:36 pm
  • Reply Michael Anderson

    Each and every time you post something like this I will always stop to say THANK YOU. Thank you for sharing this part of you life, thank you for helping the conversation around these issues that are so important, and thank you for stepping outside of what is easy to do this.

    Especially following the election season, we heard so many harsh voices and there was so much acrimony that I am sure that for many the thought of Thanksgiving family events spawned loads of anxiety and panic attacks!

    Also, I have read too much from my generation and those before me belittling anxiety and depression with some misguided ‘toughen up’ talk. Ugh. Sure, we weren’t often given the options, and those who struggled with anxiety were not handled well … but did the ‘tough talk’ ever do anything positive? I don’t think so …

    Both of our boys deal with anxiety, one also with depression. We have always encouraged therapy, which they have each done and have benefitted from. It is real and not easy to deal with, and we can see the impacts through the years.

    Personally I am inherently an introvert, but am very social and in recent years have become much more outgoing. I feel like I have worked half my life to overcome the residue of being obese, which in itself I know was a compensatory state due the wonderful ‘swallowing my feelings’. It has taken decades to overcome and truly love every bit of myself … well, at least mostly (nobody is perfect!)

    November 29, 2016 at 12:16 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I didn’t want to discuss it too much, but you are totally on it–I was a little worried about the discussions that might be had (knowing some of our relatives’ predilections). It ended up being quite fine, but that definitely factored in!
      I think that you also raise another great and unfortunately point: that your generation was treated with the “toughen up” attitude. Like telling a person with depression to get happy, or a skinny person to just eat a cheeseburger.
      Knowing your boys are dealing with these issues and still being able to blossom and find their way to adapt and interact must make you so proud! Yes, it does effect who they are and the adults that they are growing in to, but they are also so strong to be persevering.
      Food is so tied to emotions–control, being upset, fear–that it doesn’t surprise me that as you learned more positive coping mechanisms that you also “freed” yourself socially. Thank you for the great comment!

      December 2, 2016 at 3:34 pm
  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law

    I’m a bit of a mix of homebody and social butterfly. When it comes to my friends and family, I love nothing more than spending time with them – but when it’s an event for the blog or work? I’ll usually give it a miss because I’d rather be at home spending time with Jesse.

    Even harder is when it’s in a restaurant situation where I know I can’t eat anything (because they don’t cater for coeliacs) and I know I have to face the “why aren’t you eating?” “what CAN you eat?” “can you eat this?” “oh, my cousin was gluten free but was cured by a fairy who told her to eat tadpoles” malarky – but when it’s with people I know I know I can just go and have a good time.
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…2016 Foodie Christmas Gift GuideMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 1:57 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I totally understand the food aspect of things for you–particularly because you have a real live threat every day of your life.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    Great post, thanks for opening up to your readers. I definitely have social anxiety but I think we all do to an extent. My husband doesn’t but I categorize him as a rarity because almost every other person I know would much rather sit at home, under a blanket, watching TV, snuggling with pets. πŸ™‚ But I’ve totally been there. Totally amped up about an event, only to bail the hour before it starts. I dunno why. But I’ve been working hard to change it. πŸ™‚
    Rachel recently posted…2016 Cleveland Turkey Trot Race Review and RecapMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 3:45 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And see, my hubs doesn’t share out mentality–at least, not from an anxiety stand point. He might just feel lazy, but I find a reason not to go.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply Ange // Cowgirl Runs

    I can so relate to feeling excited about something but as that something gets closer, letting anxiety take over and bailing.
    It’s something I don’t do quite as much anymore, but I definitely feel like doing it more than I like.
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Spruce Meadows Race Series: Dashing Through the GlowMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 5:00 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      If I am in a mindset of going out (like, when we have a lot of social engagements in a row), I am fine. It is when I get out of the practice that I have so much trouble.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm
  • Reply Lisa Drexler

    This post is what I needed to read today. As my son and I sat in the back row of a new church this weekend, he asked me if we could attend the church picnic they were having later in the day. At that moment, I whispered in his ear, “Did I ever tell you I have social anxiety?” He said “no.” And he was right. It wasn’t until that moment I put a label on my everyday behavior. I avoid everything social unless I have my son or my ex husband at my side. Like a shield against life and it’s unpredictable nature. This is an eye opening and honest post my friend. I’m excited to see where you head next. Now, back to Netflix πŸ™‚

    November 29, 2016 at 6:31 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Love you and love your kiddo. Kyle is like Alex–he might want to spend a night at home, but it is more because he is just social-ed out, rather than because he has talked himself out of it because he don’t want to deal with the interactions.
      And you know I’ll be your wingman πŸ˜€

      December 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm
  • Reply Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    I can absolutely relate to this. I struggle with going out and doing things because it gives me anxiety. I also struggle when I know there’s going to be a large group involved because they causes me to have anxiety as well.Having a close friend, my husband, or one of my sisters at an event usually helps anxiety but very rarely will I branch out and go to a social gathering on my own.
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…November Goals & Intentions ReviewMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 7:22 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that having a close friend/confidant/partner in crime makes such a difference. Like going to workout–you have that support but also the accountability.;

      December 2, 2016 at 3:22 pm
  • Reply Kerri Mcgrail

    This was totally me a couple years ago. i finally got used to going to events/ gatherings myself when I started dental school, but before that my siblings or my friends were always my safety blanket. I would be totally fine if they were going somewhere with me, but if not I would want to avoid that situation. Sometimes I find myself still avoiding food outing/ restaurant situations if I have checked the menu and know there will not be one option for me lol. Thanks for writing about this Suz- you always know how to get a conversation going!!
    Kerri Mcgrail recently posted…How to Survive & Thrive this Holiday Season as a VeganMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 8:55 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that it is something that so many of us deal with, but we are embarrassed to admit that we don’t just LOVE to be social all the time, or we think that social anxiety also only has to be debilitating. There is also a middle ground–you aren’t a homebody, but you don’t interact easy.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply Emily

    Wow. THis is so me. I LOVE to stay home, and I think I realized when I was in Uganda that my family was a security blanket for me. I realized that I couldn’t depend on them, but I could depend on the Lord always. Coming back I realized what a gift my family is but that they won’t always be there at every time for me. It’s been a hard balance, because I can’t really force myself to be a super super social person, but I do love to go out occasionally and be with people. I really love it when the social events come to our house. Is that kind of selfish? I have to gauge whether I’m being selfish or whether I’m actually just tired. It’s such a learning curve.
    Emily recently posted…WIAW: Why I Love Intuitive Running and EatingMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 9:06 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hear you. I was super lucky during my 3rd year, Alex’s 4th year, of undergraduate–I was sick for much of the year, but I spent so much time at Alex’s place, where the party always was, that I never was left out. Now I have to make the effort!

      December 2, 2016 at 3:19 pm
  • Reply Kimberly Hatting

    I think we all have social anxiety in some respect…some are just better at disguising it, and some aren’t aware that it has a name. I have both introvert and extrovert tendencies….but I find myself being a homebody more out of laziness or fatigue (ahem…recent marathon training).
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Route 66 Marathon….my toughest race everMy Profile

    November 29, 2016 at 10:32 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Lol. Marathon training will do it to you, but then you just kind of revert to it as a crutch after a while.

      December 2, 2016 at 3:17 pm
  • Reply Alyssa

    Anxiety sucks. I deal with it, and it is no fun at alllll. social anxiety is something I deal with too- more so in big situations or big crowds. thank you for being so vulnerable with this susie!
    Alyssa recently posted…Trying to Please EveryoneMy Profile

    November 30, 2016 at 3:46 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      xoxoxo Thank you for being vulnerable as well!

      December 2, 2016 at 3:16 pm
  • Reply GiGi Eats

    When people meet me, they immediately pin-point me as “the party girl”, “the life of the party”, “the crazy loud and blunt girl”… But in actuality, I am much like you… I would MUCH RATHER stay at home, cuddled on the couch, and watch TV or netflix or something to that accord. When people get to know me, they quickly find this out about me, because I am VERY vocal, ha ha ha! I think it’s funny when people invite me to clubs and bars and shit and I am like UHHHHH HELL NO! hahaha! I am not shy when it comes to showcasing what makes me feel comfortable and what doesn’t! πŸ˜‰
    GiGi Eats recently posted…NACHO AVERAGE (BRISKET) NACHOS featuring US Wellness MeatsMy Profile

    November 30, 2016 at 9:19 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Right there with you. I think sometimes we get loud to try to compensate, but I’m doing a better job of having a balance nowadays. But yes, I will let you know that I am person more comfortable with a few people!

      December 2, 2016 at 3:16 pm
  • Reply masala girl

    what you described at the beginning, it is EXACTLY me. specifically, i had all these high hopes for college. i thoought my second year would go better, but each time i made plans to go, i would use one of those excuses. this summer, (after going through therapy myself last winter/spring/thissummer), i finally said enough was enough, and really put myself out there. while i definitely still need a lot more *me time* than most people, i also know i seriously need to *make* myself socialize. and along with other stuff, am finally keeping my depression at bay! balance is key, am i right? haha
    masala girl recently posted…Kabocha Squash, Broccolini, and Tofu Red Curry (without Coconut)My Profile

    December 24, 2016 at 7:18 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It is incredibly powerful, that moment when you take your life and your mentality into your hands, isn’t it? I also feel like it is a moment when you take the pressure off of your life to go a certain way–and let it evolve.

      December 27, 2016 at 4:53 pm

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