Social Anxiety/Phobia Support – Episode 2: Ann – The Ugly Lady

Why is it that we have names for everything these days… It could be convenience or perhaps whimsy but I have always called elements of my personality different names. One part of my personality however has always sat in the dark awaiting a label (until recently). I have struggled finding a name for my Social Anxiety until my Fiance and I started talking in code. We call her Ann. Ann (short for Anxiety) is an ugly ugly woman, I speak of her as a cruel and sadistic person but in reality she knows no better, she is ignorant and barely capable of tolerating other people, she is what makes me mild and meak, a boiled down version of my true self (Ike).

Today is July 4th, I know that means little to us Kiwis, but today is American Independence day. Today is significant for more than just the fact that people in the US are fireing hundreds of tons of fireworks into the night sky. It is ironically the day that marks my true independce from the evil spectre Ann. Thats right today I begin my quest to rid myself of Ann and the beginning of my own “cliche” independence.

There have been many days of difficult social situations, moments of avoidance, exposure failures and red faces but today 12 months after being identified as suffering from an anxiety disorder my anticipation has reached a peak. I know that todays appointment at the Anxiety Disorders Unit (A Canterbury District Health Board Facility) could mark the beginning of something very special.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very very nervous, lets make that terrified, but I know Im sailing my boat in the right direction from today.

My first meeting today was with my group facilitator for my 5 week Social Anxiety Programme to be held in August and September. I was relieved when I met her for the first time -the people at ADU are very nice and reassuring. Like most SA sufferers (Social Anxiety) I hate unfamiliar things whether they be people, situations or places so today was always going to be tough.

We chatted in depth about my personal situation, which I will get into in more depth in later blog entries, and began probing areas Id like to focus on during the workshops/programme. I also asked some questions about how many people would be at the group and what sort of things we’d be doing.

Finally I set some goals which I will let you in on in future entries and I got given a map to the venue – damnit the venue isn’t familiar!

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