#SocialAnxietyIsRealAF – Being Socially Anxious in NYC

Social anxiety impacts me each day, and threatens to stop me from leaving my house entirely.

I have social anxiety and it impacts me on a daily basis. This is particularly difficult because I live in a city of millions of people. I have to pump myself up every morning before I leave the house to get myself and my two children on the subway. It’s difficult and I know I can do it, but the thought of getting on the N train with so many people is daunting. The idea that there could be multiple homeless people on there asking me for money that I don’t have makes me sad. Still, I persist and I make myself get out of bed, get coffee, get my kids ready for social and get out the door and onto the subway.

To have social anxiety and live in New York City, it’s difficult for sure. It’s crowded here and I’m surrounded by people every day. It’s challenging to have time by myself and find a moment to breathe. Social anxiety impacts me each day and threatens to stop me from leaving my house entirely. I like the safety of my warm cozy room. I like blankets and Netflix. I enjoy snuggling with my cats because they don’t talk to me.

I decided to open up about my social anxiety, because (even though it makes me really f*cking anxious) I know that I’m not alone. I started a hashtag on Twitter #SocialAnxietyIsRealAF. I want people to be able to share what it’s like to be afraid to be around people. We are not faking this, we are actually afraid to interact with others, even if we love and adore them. Being anxious is really difficult, but we don’t have a choice in the matter. Our brains are designed to be highly sensitive as anxious individuals.

#SocialAnxietyIsRealAF – Social anxiety is real AF

Social anxiety is real and it has impacted me since I was a child. I remember during Thanksgiving and Passover (which for some unknown reason I often confuse) I used to hide underneath the coats on the bed. I would pretend to be asleep so that I didn’t have to socialize with relatives. Being in large groups of people is difficult for me because I am profoundly introverted. It’s ironic, actually, because I have a dynamic personality, I am fierce and can be loud. I’m an actress and a singer, but I have tremendous stage fright. The reason is that I have social anxiety.

Do you live with social anxiety too? I want to hear about your experience. I know that I’m not the only one who cancels plans with friends because I can’t handle being around other human beings. Do you prefer to hang out in your pajamas with your dog? I want to know! Use #SocialAnxietyIsRealAF on Twitter and shout out your social anxiety.

This post was previously published on huffpost.com and is republished here with permission from the author.

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