Monday, July 23, 2007

longing to belong

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I've been thinking a lot lately about how isolated I've become over recent years.

I now know that I suffer from social anxiety. This explains a lot about difficulties I have had with very simple things throughout my whole life, such as making phone calls and keeping up with blossoming friendships.

Ten years ago, I was active in school, church and community activities. I was quick to volunteer wherever I was needed and enjoyed the interaction with other people in my community. In college I was on the newspaper staff and interacted daily with other staffers and people all over campus, conducting interviews and writing news articles. Sometimes my anxiety reared its head, but I was able to tamp it down and charge forward most of the time.

Over the past four years or so my chronic migraines have made it more and more difficult to keep up my involvement with activities outside of those with my family and a few close friends.

I'm a lapsed member of a book club, but I'm going to make myself go to the next meeting. I'm planning to attend a meeting of my political party's county-wide organization next weekend. I'm thinking of returning to church. And I'm trying to reach out to friends more, which is really hard for me. But I feel better when I do something to work on this anxiety.

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