It’s true. I have many online friends on Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress, and that includes some of the people I’ve met in real life, people from my past. I rarely–if ever–see any of the “real life” friends in person. It’s largely my fault because of the damn anxiety. I may not be depressed right now, but my anxiety is worse than ever.
I’m afraid to leave my house alone, but I’m okay if I’m with my husband. I no longer drive because I’m afraid of panicking while driving. It’s happened before, and it was not fun. I’m afraid to take public transportation because what if I get lost? What if I miss my stop? These last 2 fears mean that my husband has to drive me everywhere I want or need to go.
I don’t walk anywhere in the neighborhood because I’m afraid of being attacked. Never mind that the area where I live is safe. I can’t throw out the trash because I’m afraid the back door will close behind me and I’ll be locked out–even if I have keys with me. I’m afraid of interacting with strangers (e.g. cashiers, food delivery people) because I’m positive I’ll get tongue-tied and look like a fool and/or panic, or be that person in the checkout line who’s taking too long to pay. I’m sure there’s more, but these are the ones I can think of at the moment.
Needless to say, these things keep me from forming and/or rekindling offline friendships. They hinder my social life. I don’t really have one. I’m home a lot. I’m trying more and more to meet old friends for lunch, not dinner, because I’m afraid of being out after 4:00 pm, unless again, I’m with my husband.
I’m thinking about looking into exposure therapy because this stuff has been going on for years, and I’m sick of it.
Do you have anxiety? Does it hinder your life? Have you tried exposure therapy?