I nearly backed out at the very last minute.......but I didn't. I finally crossed over the threshold of the comfort zone and put myself "out there" for all to see. I have a severe case of social anxiety and generalized anxiety that unfortunately hits me with what they call, Scopophobia, the fear of being watched and it has been inhibiting my personal and professional progresses for YEARS. Now I'm determined and motivated and annoyed to the point that I am ready to take back the power this anxiety has had over me for as long as I can remember.
It's time to say "fuck off" to anxiety once and for all.
Since the anxiety revolves around making myself feel vulnerable around people, I thought a good place to start this journey would be on Facebook live. It was simple, straightforward and gave me a solid starting point....and it was just as horrible as I thought it would be. --Im not foreign to "facing fears", but normally, I am physically surrounded by supporters, and it's only a single time, but this time, I was all alone and I will be exposed to my phobia every single day until it no longer effects me. This is going to be an interesting journey.
My goal was to live stream myself randomly on Facebook for 30 straight minutes, but it didn't even take 10 minutes for the panic and frustrations to begin showing their ugly ass faces, showing people the physical struggle that I have been concealing from all of them for years. It was time to air it all out and let them see the REAL me....no fancy makeup, no fancy hairstyle or swanky clothes....just me facing what scares me the most. Them.
During the entire session it was pure terror. My mind racing, heart pounding, can't seem to catch my breath completely mixed with OCD tiks of constant glances at how many people were watching me, seeing messages being sent (to which were all very positive and I thank you all for that), and notifications of new people watching and it all compounded effectively and kept me suspended in a state of moderate general anxiety for the rest of the day, but that's exactly the point of exposure therapy. To overcome this fear, not just cope.
The 1st day is always the worst no matter what you do. Thats the day you have to get down, get your hands dirty, and plant the seed that will ultimately grow into the vision of myself that has been waiting to come out. Today, I got my hands dirty and I planted that seed. Now all I have to is continue to nurture its progress and keep up with the exposure therapy sessions. Im praying it will work. Wish me luck!