“You’re not ill. You can’t be! When you were younger I was dragging you out of the party! Don’t tell me you’ve got anxiety or whatever the doctors say it might be.”
I don’t bear any ill will towards my mother, but she could never wrap her head around my diagnosis. I was 24 when my friends finally dragged me to seek professional help for social anxiety.
They knew me as fun, vibrant and outgoing Rachel. But for the past few months, all I wanted to do was leave early from everything I went to and hide in bed.
For many people struggling with social anxiety, this quarantine might be a blessing! No going outside, no dressing up and worrying what people think of you. But speaking from experience – this is just a band-aid over some deep-rooted issues. Trust me, I should know.
I used to love going out and having fun with my mates at uni. Life was simple, there were no responsibilities, or bad hangovers! I never had the best grades at school, but that didn’t stop me from sorting out a good degree and graduating from Newcastle with good prospects. Everything had gone fine, up until then.
The real world hit me like a train. Like so many young people, I moved back into my parents’ place and started looking for jobs. But they weren’t coming thick and fast like I was expecting. In fact, for the first few months, they weren’t coming at all.
Rejection after rejection, while my friends slowly got their lives together. I felt like I was falling behind.
What if I never got a job? What are people thinking of me? I can’t afford to go to the bar with the girls from uni!
Social anxiety slowly crept in. In fairness, I should’ve seen it coming over the horizon. My father had been diagnosed with depression and I had seen a close friend struggle with anxiety throughout her teenage years. But I suffered in silence. If I ever opened up to my mum, she would tell me I was just unlucky with my job hunting, and that the opinions of other people didn’t matter.
No matter what anyone said, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being constantly judged. I stayed awake at night, replaying conversations in intricate detail to pinpoint any sources of embarrassment. If I ever met someone I wasn’t familiar with, I choked up and went quiet. They already had a bad impression of me before we had even met, I told myself.
I stopped being confident in myself. I avoided any event with people I didn’t know. Slowly, I withdrew from public spaces. I would ruin the atmosphere with my low mood, I told myself. Why show my face if they all hate me anyway.
Most people don’t understand what social anxiety is. They have an idea in their head – you’re just shy. It means a lot more than that.
I have to give credit to the girls. My friends rallied around me. They were the ones who spent endless hours by my side, telling me I meant something to them.
There were many people around me who showed their ugly true colours, too. When I was struggling at home with my own demons, they just left me to it. If they ever did reach out, it was over their glowing social media accounts, filled with reminders of their successes, magnifying my own failures.
People gave empty words ‘don’t worry’ ‘perhaps it’s just a phase’.
I spoke to my GP upon the insistence of my closest friend, and received a diagnosis. Just knowing that I had a recognisable problem, and that many people were being treated for anxiety disorders, was a blessing.
I engaged well with therapy, talking through my feelings with a psychologist at weekly sessions. They had seen people like me before, and were immensely satisfied with my progress.
Throughout the ordeal, I had the support of my friends. They encouraged me to stick with my therapy, and slowly but surely – I began my recovery.
I take antidepressants now, a reminder that my demons are always around the corner. But I can go out and put on a brave face. To me, that’s real progress. I’m almost there.
My tips to anyone going through social anxiety
Therapy, therapy, therapy! The strong support network around me was invaluable, as I found a job and changed my outlook on life shortly after the sessions were over. Sometimes therapy wasn’t enough, and changing up my diet and trying some health-boosting supplements gave me the extra push.
I found that CBD really helped me manage my thoughts day-to-day. One of the things I was told at therapy was to live for the day. Don’t worry about tomorrow, or the pressures you’ll be facing next week. Keep it together, one step at a time.
I found out about CBD Products 420 through Instagram (social media was good for something!) I have to admit I spent far too much time on there, but this was a quality find. A girl I went to school with posted an advert for the 10% CBD oil on her page.
Everyone has seen CBD in Holland and Barrett or in the news – I figured it was worth a try. The website has loads of resources to teach the discerning customer about how it works and what it’s used for. I did my reading and bought some.
There was a clear improvement in my mood and a sense of happiness I hadn’t felt in a while, after 2 weeks of using their CBD. I reached out to the company, who sent me a few too many scientific articles on how CBD has been clinically proven to treat anxiety disorders.
Sorry guys – I didn’t read it all! But it’s very clear that CBD can be used as a supplement to help you feel better and recover faster.
Where do we go from here?
I still attend therapy, but only every 6 months. I find it very helpful to keep my emotions in check and prevent me from spiralling! Me and my friends text all the time, and we’ve got big plans once this Coronavirus quarantine is over!
I’m still taking CBD oil every morning and night, and I would recommend you do too if you struggle with anxiety or sleeping problems.
No one knows what the future holds – but one thing is for sure: I’m going to live for the moment, and not let my diagnosis hold me back!”
This was a testimonial provided to us by one of our valued customers. We always appreciate feedback, and love to hear how our products have helped people! If you want to tell us how our CBD has helped you - send us your story: email@example.com