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It’s not you, it’s me.

Some people will recognise these words in the context of relationships but I want to talk about these words in the context of anxiety.

Anyone with social anxiety or panic disorder can relate to avoidance.  What should be enjoyable life memories are often replaced with fear the moment someone invites you anywhere.

This can be very frustrating for both sides – if the inviter doesn’t know your intention for declining such invitations they may take it personally.  But I would like to clear that up and say it’s not you, it’s me.

Please don’t take it to heart when you invite me somewhere and I decline.  I genuinely appreciate your good will and generosity.  But you see, the fear often wins out.

The fear of what? the fear of the fear response – anxiety, panic.  I can’t exactly explain it in words – it’s something that has to be experienced.

Irrational? maybe, but real? very much so.. the intensity cannot be under estimated.  When you get excited, I get scared.. it’s habitual, wired in to my brain through thousands of years of evolution.

Where you have learned to conquer evolution to take this world by the balls and see it in all it’s clearly I have learned to fear that which need not be feared.

All I can say is I am aware of this irrational fear, and I am actively working on beating it.

So I thank you for all your good will – I am genuinely grateful and will use it as fuel to change my behaviours.