Hello everyone, sorry for the delay in blogging - had a few quite challenging weeks social anxiety/anxiety wise. But it has also prompted me to write this blog. A few years ago when I was going through a difficult time my dad gave me some advice, "You're like a square peg in a round hole Rosie, you might never fit in but that's ok!"
Since I was little I've always been a very unique person who has never been quite in step with people my own age. Due to being dyspraxic/dyslexic and having social anxiety/anxiety, how I live life might be slightly different. For a start, there needs to be a lot more planning involved in day to day life for tasks or outings. Every day is different when you have dyspraxia, you never know what might happen. Every day is also different when you have anxiety as sometimes you never know when you might have a bad day or a moment of anxiety. It can feel at times that you're 10 steps behind everyone else, and the world around you is so busy and fast paced and go, go, go that it can be really overwhelming. It can seem frustrating and hard at times when you see others seemingly just getting on with it, whilst you're struggling to keep up and get even simple tasks completed. Whenever I was studying it always took me a lot longer than my peers to finish my work.
It's important to remember, and I need to remind myself this too, firstly to breathe, then that life isn't a race, go at your own pace, and live it in your own way. If you need to break down things like facing fears or completing tasks, if it's easier for you to process information or if you're having a particularly anxious day, then do it. I also get tired quite easily so it's important to factor that into the balance too.
It also means structure and routine are two things which are very important to me, it can take a while for my anxiety to feel settled in situations especially social situations, and I find lots of changes the thought of having to sit for a long length of time, overwhelming and stressful for me anxiety wise- I need things more broken down. Alongside living day to day life differently, there has always been a difference in interests to my peer groups. From a young age music has had a huge impact on my life, growing up being the only S Club 7 and Steps fan I knew. In a class full of students with pole different interests made me stand out. I'm someone who's always been quite passionate which has lead to me being misunderstood as people never understood how into my interests I could be. But music has helped me so much in life. I will always say that whenever I've seen Mollie King in concert either solo or as part of The Saturdays, the moment she gets on stage it's like all my anxieties melt away. She with her reassuring, understanding and empathetic nature alongside the other groups I've liked have helped me through difficult times.(in previous blogs I've gone into more detail.) This may not be something typical of someone approaching 30 in a few weeks, when a lot of my peers may be married or have children, but it's me.
But, having confidence in myself is something which I've always struggled with, growing up and in the workplace I experienced a lot of bullying for being different and was left out and felt misunderstood and isolated and I hit rock bottom and struggled with self harm.
It's made making and maintaining friends more difficult for me. A lot of my social anxiety is a fear of criticism and judgement from people and a fear of making mistakes and embarrassing myself infront of others in a lot of social situations. I probably care too much about what others might think of me at times, doubt myself too much and worry I might have unintentionally upset someone. This is something which can make me go into my shell and take a while to trust others and come out of it alongside the physical elements of anxiety. My social anxiety/anxiety has had quite an impact on my life and has been quite crippling at times, living with anxiety is really hard at times. I know I need to grow through these experiences and I'm currently having CBT and on the journey which I hope will help with my confidence and my anxiety. I'm grateful to the people in my life who allow me to open up in my own time, simply listen and accept me for who I am which helps me feel more socially relaxed around them in time. My mum is always telling me I need to believe in myself a bit more and remember my own advice. I'm trying my best, I never stop trying, always trying to learn and it's made me a lot more determined.
I think as a society as a whole we need to remember that everyone is different and lives their lives differently. We all have our own unique tastes and the world would be a boring place if we were all the same. If you see someone might live their life differently please don't judge them, take the time to get to know them and find out more you never know what you might learn or find out.
My own experiences have made me be an inclusive person, as I've spent a lot of my life feeling like an outsider and hate the thought of someone being left out. They've made me more empathetic and compassionate too. It's also helped me see the bigger picture. I've also been able to use my passion in platforms such as: awareness work and this blog and be determined to help others. For all you square pegs in round holes, whether through difference, disability or mental health, it's not just you, you're not alone. I really hope this blog might help some of you and maybe be of comfort. The right people in life will love you for you. You're stronger than you think you are!
Until next time....