A group of people is called hell

Have you ever felt like your decisions are sometimes out of your control? Fear and panic take over, making up those choices for you. That’s anxiety.

This post is inspired by a recent blog post Chloe wrote titled “life begins outside your comfort zone“. In it, she touches on the whole subject of anxiety and how sometimes, you just need a little push into the unknown to conquer that paralyzing fear that is holding you back. If you don’t know Chloe’s blog, definitely give it a visit. It is one of my favourites in this blogosphere and she writes about her life and her struggles so honestly. Long story short: She’s a wonderful human being and I think you will like her too! We are also kicking off a year-long collaboration soon, so stay tuned for that!

Oh anxiety. How I sometimes wish it would just let me live my life. But alas, it’s there. Obviously there are many different forms of anxiety, ranging from mild to severe. What I have is social anxiety. It used to be a lot worse than now but I have had it for as long as I can remember. I just didn’t know what it was. It was only when I suffered a horrible panic attack a few years ago that I finally realised that something wasn’t right. My anxiety had reached a boiling point and actually caused me to lose my sight for a few minutes. Not being able to have control of your body is terrifying. I would be lying if I said that I don’t still have nightmares about it.

I find myself dreading social events, even though I technically want to go. Even mundane activities like ordering food or paying a bill at a restaurant can be scary. Now here’s the thing about being anxious all the time: it slowly becomes normal, a habit even. And after a while you feel yourself pulling back more and more, isolating yourself so much that you don’t even know anything else. It turns into this new reality you are stuck in, no visible exits in sight. The whole point of this post is to tell you that even though they might not be visible, doesn’t mean they’re not there.

One of things I have learnt over the years is that anxiety can trick you into thinking it is an instinct. I CALL BULLSHIT! Even though it will feel wrong in every fiber of your body, go against that “instinct”. It will be difficult and terrifying but trust me; anxiety is not your friend, it’s your enemy. I can’t tell you on how many things I have missed out because I was too scared. And the thing is, looking back, I regret not pushing myself more. I regret the things I didn’t do. I stopped myself from moving forward with my life – no wonder I have felt stuck for so long. As Chloe put it so perfectly in her post, “comfort is the enemy of progress”. 

To me, a group of people might be hell now but I am gradually starting to notice a difference in my approach. Comfort is safe. Comfort is reassuring. But it can also hinder you in so many ways. So the next time anxiety decides to kick in, say NO and grasp control of your own life again. The more you do it, the less frightening it will be until some day, making your own choices will be your new reality. Just don’t expect for it to happen over night – it’s a progress. Think of it like this: at least you’re progressing again. Don’t ever take that for granted.

What about all of you? Are any of you blessed *🙃* with social (or any kind of) anxiety? What have your experiences been like and how do you try to overcome it? I’d love to know!

34 thoughts on “A group of people is called hell

    1. Thanks for reading, Alys! I’m glad others can relate, I hope you will be able to conquer your anxiety too! I think one of the most important things we can do is talk about it, raise awareness & spread the word – which is exactly what you are doing with your “conversations with anxiety” series that I LOVE so much.

      & You definitely should give her blog a visit! 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have heard jokes about people having social anxiety but I never knew it could be so serious.
    Thanks for educating me.

    Also,
    How did thee in

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You comment actually makes me really happy because I feel like although social anxiety is being talked about more, it is still an area where few actually really know about its full scale. In the mental health department, anxiety is often played down. So knowing that I might have been able to shed some light on this for others is incredibly rewarding!

      Like

  2. Ah girl u have no idea how much love I’ve got for you 💙💙 I absolutely loved this, I have social anxiety too (though I’m sure you already got that part hahaha), but now I’m really trying to do the mind over matter thing and realising that these thoughts I’m having are NOT me, they’re this shitty thing in my brain trying to stop me from living my life and as I’ve gotten older and become a lot clearer on my identity and who I am, with that has come strong mindedness (probably not a word) and now whenever I get these thoughts the actual me kind of overpowers them and I’m like no actually, f you – get out of my brain. I’m overpowering these negative thoughts with my REAL self – the physical part I’m still working on, as feeling anxious is something I’ve realised I may never be able to actually control because sometimes it does also come subconsciously, I’ll wake up one morning incredibly anxious with absolutely no idea why, it’s just one of those days. I’m also learning to say yes more – like you said, we’ve missed out on so many things because anxiety has told us to avoid them at absolutely all costs, but now I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not listening. Any opportunity I get, I say yes before I even have chance to think about it, and once I’ve done it I realise how much I enjoyed it and that it’s another thing I can tick off the list as having done. Now, the real me on the inside tells myself it’s okay, and I block out these negative, anxious thoughts with positive affirmations – I calm myself down and push through it. Loved this post, you write amazingly as always .xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chloe, I look up to you so much. You never cease to amaze and inspire me. Truly. I feel so proud of you for coming this far and for fighting your anxiety.

      Although I’m certainly still struggling with overcoming my own anxiety, I do feel like I have evolved a lot these past months. Like you daid, it isn’t always something you can control and I think one of the hardest things for me was accepting that; to terms with the fact that there will most likely always be both good and bad days. Right now I am in the process of learning how to live with it and how to fight against it as much as I can. It’s a process, but it’ll take as much time as it takes. I think I’ll give positive affirmations a go, Ive heard they can work wonders when it comes to riding your brain of negative thoughts.

      Thank you so much for your continuous support and love, it means the world to me, it really does. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Both you and Chloe are great bloggers and it’s great to have people to connect with regarding anxiety. My absolute fear is being left alone. Just last week I was ordering smoothies with my sister, her’s arrived early and she said I’ll wait for you outside. I then had 2 minutes wondering how to stand by the counter while I wait for mine.
    I’ve even been known to call friends when walking to a big event because I’m so nervous. I think my work has just forced me to come out of my shell. I think that’s why I sometimes like getting tipsy, it’s like the me I want to be if I was entirely free of bad thoughts. Lovely post and I’m happy you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and not letting anxiety win. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s so important to know that you’re not alone with your anxiety! At first it definitely felt like I was. It was actually when I first started blogging that I stumbled upon so many blogs that talked about mental health topics that I realised that there were so many people out there struggeling with anxiety, just like me! I have definitely picked up a lot of tips and tricks over the years because of those people speaking up about their own struggles.

      And oh god yes, that’s definitely one of my worst fears too! I definitely get anxious when I have to “combat” social situations by myself. It’s great that your job is pushing you to step out of your comfort zone, I think in my case my friends always try to bring me out of my shell a little (for which I am extremely grateful). And I totally get what you wrote about liking being tipsy – ME TOO. It’s definitely good for me every once in a while because it just drowns all of my anxiety and leaves me to just… live my life for once. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers are dealing with mental health issues. Which I think in some ways shows that there’s still a huge stigma. It’s easier for me to share online than it is to tell people directly.
        And from reading posts, a lot of other bloggers don’t tell people either. But having friends that bring you out of your shell is such a good thing! xx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sharing online is indeed easier! We have the option of staying anonymous and even if we don’t – our screens still offer some kind of protection. The real world and the online world are very much still divided. I think what I like on here is that I have this space I get to call my own and I can share as much as I like without fear of judgement. Sometimes we are afraid of the opinions from the people closest to us – because those are the opinions that mean the most to us. Only a few handpicked friends of mine know about this blog and that’s because I trust them enough to let them into… my headspace I suppose. xx

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t experience a whole lot of social anxiety, which I think I’ve only experienced twice (two panic attacks: once during a music festival evacuation and another, at the same music festival, when everyone was trying to get to one stage… Both times I saw people get trampled, that’s how crowded it was, and of course we’re all trying to fit through tiny spaces and cracks to get to where we need to be… Even the thought of it now is making me antsy!). I do get really anxious when I’m feeling low or my depression decides to make a guest appearance for the day or week… I don’t know how to explain it other than I feel this need to be better and to make sure my relationships with my family, boyfriend, and friends are 100% perfect (in that moment) because I feel 100% sad and worthless. If they aren’t, I feel sad, angry, and frustrated all while my heart feels like it’s going to explode out of my chest. Luckily, I’m able to calm myself down, so who knows! It might not even be anxiety, but I know in these types of situations, my heart beat dramatically increases (I normally have a low resting heart rate), I get really sweaty, and I panic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your own experiences! It definitely took me a while to feel like I wasn’t alone with my anxiety and that there are others out there just like me – there’s nothing worse than feeling isolated and hopeless. And I mean my god, that music festival sounds so scary! Hard to imagine how I would have handled those situations. What you described definitely sounds like anxiety to me, I have the same symptoms. I think the worst situations are when there’s no specific reason for feeling so anxious – it’s just there. Oftentimes I will wake up really anxious and that kind of dictates how my day is going to be like. As you are already probably aware of, some days are better than others. It come and goes and there is no way to really control that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t really get anxious out of nowhere… There always seems to be a reason, which is why I’m not sure. Like, if I think about something at work, like a deadline, then I get those same symptoms like I did at the music festival. I used to work with a girl that would get panic attacks out of nowhere, for no reason really, and it would always scare me! I would never wish that feeling of anxiousness and hopelessness on anyone ever, not even my worst enemy! It’s the worst feeling in the world.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. *How did thee insert the upside down smiley it is nowhere to be found!

    I really need to shift to using a computer for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This post was incredible! I didn’t realise I had anxiety, namely social anxiety until I started having literal physical pains that forced me to the doctors clinic and I was made to realise I had been normalising it so dangerously!! Just like you said, making phone calls, giving my order, asking a waiter for something, even asking questions in class gives me heart palpitations – have definitely risked peeing my pants because I’d rather hold it in pain than stand up in the middle of a class to go. The great thing about realising it’s a thing and putting a name to it though, is realising that I have some control over it and can do things to lessen the impact on me. May sound weird but I have to run, as much as I hate cardio, if I don’t do a manic run at least once a week to the point where I think I might pass out and/or vomit then my social anxiety gets ten times worse. Headphones and chewing gum in public, for some stupid odd reason, make me so much more calmer than if I’m completely bare and have nothing to keep myself occupied. This blog post was great to read Fiona, as was Chloe’s, I love seeing two of my faves talking about such important topics, but talking about it perfectly and with so much understanding xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Priya, I’m glad this post resonated with you. Physical exercise is a great way to lessen anxiety, I agree! I personally love to stretch and do yoga/pilates because those types of sport calm me down a lot and give me a lot of clarity in my head. And YES, chewing gum FOR THE WIN! I thought I was the only one! When I’m extremely anxious I chew so much gum because it gives me something to concentrate on and like you said, it’s calming! And girl, thank you so much for those kind words and your support, it really means a lot to me! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish I was the type of person who could be calm and do yoga and stuff but I guess I more the type who needs to sprint it out or go a couple rounds with a punching bag haha!! Omg so glad I’m not the only one, I have a stock of gum in all my bags haha. No problem lovely, always loving the posts you put up! xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My family actually hides their gum from me because I eat so much. (can you call it ‘eating’ if you don’t swallow it? Hahaha) I bet my dentist wouldn’t be so happy with me either. But hey, we do what we gotta do.
          And same girl, same, I honestly love your content so much because you expose me to new artists all the time! xxx

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my lord, this post.
    My mind was just screaming “I SO GET YOU” throughout this post. I have social anxiety, and good ol’ regular anxiety too, but in a lesser extreme. Being in any sort of social situation has been so stressful for the past few years, and breakdowns just became a regular occurrence. Self esteem, self love, everything got really bad. But recently, I’ve been trying to get out of the very same comfort zone, and even when I do little things like being the first one to make conversation, or ask people in stores for help, I feel so proud of myself. It took me quite a while to understand that being comfortable is not always being healthy. And now, I think I’m becoming better, and that makes me glad.

    I loved this post so, so much. Thank you for this.

    Like

    1. “..being comfortable is not always being healthy” – PREACH. It took me YEARS to figure that one out. And go you for fighting your anxiety one step at a time! I’m so proud of you for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, in however little steps that might be! ANY progress is GOOD and healthy progress. Thank you so much for sharing your own experience/story, Arshia, it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that there are other people out there who get what you’re going through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Any progress really is great progress! I’m so glad that you’re getting better at dealing with these problems and situations as well.

        This platform is honestly great. It just seems like we’re all in this together, moving forward, getting motivated, without even having to think twice about the fact that we’ve never actually met the bloggers we look up to.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. True! It’s actually weird thinking about it now that you say that. Because sometimes bloggers are so personal it almost feels like you know them. I’ve made great friends through this platform. Friends I will most likely never meet but they get me. Kind of weird but also kind of cool.

          Like

  8. oh god i cannot tell you how much i love this. I suffer from OCD and when you said “it can trick you into thinking it’s an instinct” GIRL if that’s not my entire life! That’s the annoying thing about mental illness I think people can find it hard to relate to; when it’s all in your head, and it’s just the way that you see the world, it’s not a choice, or a rational decision. It FEELS like just the way your brain thinks, it’s almost normal. Sometimes the hardest part is identifying that you have something wrong – and sometimes it’s terrifying because like . . . well, what if it’s a part of my personality? What if it makes me me? It can feel almost like a safety blanket, in a really weird way.

    I do think both you and Chloe are right in that pushing out of your comfort zone is essential; often, when we do push past the resistance . . . we discover what we were afraid of isn’t even there. And it becomes easier to push past next time. Good luck with overcoming your anxiety, I know you got this! xx

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