Social Anxiety With A Social Baby

The look on Sweetie's face is the same one I feel that I get from others!

The look on Sweetie’s face is the same one I feel that I get from others!

As I pass the five-month mark of motherhood, I am struck by two major things: 1) time moves so very quickly, and 2) I love having a baby!

It is especially great to have a baby who loves other people, though maybe all babies are this way. Everywhere we go, Mr. Sweetie makes new friends, smiles a lot, and everyone tells me how happy he is and how cute. Which I absolutely agree with! However, in a pretty significant way, it is still a little difficult for me to be in a situation where there is a lot of attention directed my way.

That’s because I have social anxiety. I was in a very bad relationship when I was in my late teens, after which I sustained quite a few injuries, the worst being a significantly swollen face that stuck around for about a month. At the time, I was using the public transit system, the city bus, as my mode of transportation, because I didn’t have a car. I was hypersensitive to the looks people gave me when they saw my face, and I changed from a young woman who loved attention and goofing off for an audience, no matter how unsuspecting, to a woman who cringed when she thought of people watching her. I started to feel like I always had a weird look on my face when interacting with people, even if it was just meeting their eye, and I started to like being more reclusive, preferring to be social only when significant alcohol consumption was involved, to help me relax.

Now that Mr. Sweetie is around, there is no hiding from my anxiety anymore. Everyone wants to ask me about him, engage with him, and it all brings me straight into the very spotlight that I have avoided now for such a long time. It is delightful, a challenge, and scary, all at once, to be pushed into working on what I consider to be my weakest link, and I am happily terrified. Most of the time, I feel like I fall flat on my face on the inside, but I have no other alternative but to keep working at it. This anxiety is something that I have been battling with for years, and I am determined to come out the champion. I want to correct what I feel is a great disservice to myself, and to the rest of the world I come into contact with: myself, for not ever fully being able to express what I know I am, and others, for not allowing them to know the real me the way that I would like them to.

To help with this journey, I have pulled a book down off my shelf and dusted it off, opened it up again. It is a book that I had purchased at the suggestion of my first therapist, after the traumatic incident referenced above. It is not just reading material, but a workbook, which appeals to my kinetic-learning ways, and I feel is a great tool for just about anyone who wishes to work on any personal anxieties or phobias they may have, because I think workbooks allow for an individual to become that much more involved in their own process of working through their difficulties. There is a link to the book here that gives an overview and brief synopsis, for any readers or mamis who are interested. The title is “The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook”, and it covers not just social anxiety, but also phobias of all kinds and any other type of anxiety you can imagine. There are exercises, suggestions and working plans for finding a way to live peacefully with yourself and your challenges. I hope this book can help others as much as I feel it has, and continues to, help me!

In closing, thank you to everyone, wittingly or unwittingly, that has given me, or gives me at the present time, opportunities to work on my difficulties with social anxiety, and for the patience and understanding that it must definitely include. To years of healthy mentality ahead!

 

Encouraging Empowered Mamis To Do What They Do Everywhere

 

Mami

Mami is an artist, aspiring entrepreneur, and first-time, full-time mother. She enjoys long walks with Mr. Sweetie, good food and cooking, her family and dear friends, writing, arting and crafting. She doesn't know everything, but wants to learn, and loves to do research and share what she finds. She thinks life is like a box of puzzle pieces: you keep trying until it fits, because every piece has its place. She owns and operates whatever she sets her mind to, and knows that the sky is only the limit if you haven't left the ground yet.

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