How I Overcame Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

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Almost every day throughout high school I experienced something that I could not identify. It was over a year since I had graduated until could put words to emotion. I discovered that I was not free in my own mind. I was in a prison. One that I couldn't touch and for many years I could not see. After several visits to counselors and therapists I finally had the words to describe what my experience was.

It had come to the attention of my family that I had some sort of psychological problem and something had to be done. I was always labeled as a shy and quiet kid, and like my family I had thought nothing more of my behavior. However, now it had become something more obvious. I had told my parents the kinds of problems I was having. Basically I didn't want to talk to anyone or to be anywhere near anyone I didn't know. I didn't really want to leave my house for any reason for fear that I might have to talk to someone. I was so critical and scrutinizing in relation to myself that I couldn't even enter into a conversation. Everyone seems to have a part of themselves that lends itself to thoughts of pessimism and failure, but mine was something that was in the forefront of my mind at all times. Something telling me that everything I did was a failure, and that anything I ever did would not succeed. Through discussion with my family it was decided that I should move out of my parents house to a place where I could find treatment and get a job. I was to reside with my sister Lisa, her partner Brynn, and their Saint Bernard in Greensboro.

As we pulled out of my parents driveway, the circumstances seemed very surreal. My entire way of life had been turned upside down with only a few hours consideration. I was very much “at sea” in the ...

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... I could see that part of me that caused me harm was starting to show itself and I would act, clearing my mind completely before anything could take hold. As well as eradicating negativity, I also forced my mind into happiness through focus and meditation.

Nothing has changed my life more since the realization that I had to make who I was something that I chose, and not something that just happened. Since this revelation nothing seemed the same anymore, as though I could see the world through new eyes. It changed everything from my taste in music, literature, and movies. Things of a dark and pessimistic nature used to hold a strong allure for me, and yet I found much of things I once enjoyed didn't seem to entertain me anymore. I remembered the mental state that I once held and now seeing how I have changed, know that I can never return to the prison I came from.

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