To realize that there is something that explains everything. Something you weren't really looking for but found, especially when there are things you have been looking for for so long and still can't find. To know that there are people who understand and know what its like. To hear their stories and see the similarities between their life and your. To know that you-I-am not alone, if only for that one moment when that realization sinks in…its like finding a key to chains that have locked down your life for so long and unleashing…you. Me.

It would seem strange that after finding out that I suffer from a social anxiety disorder, one of the first things I would do is join a practically anonymous online group and tell a bunch of strangers my story. Wouldn't the better thing to do be to run out to the nearest club and try to blend in with everyone else, show everyone that I know what's wrong and its all fixed now? But that not true. That might never be true. I'm here because the first step for me is to get this off my chest before I chicken out. Before I start to worry about what other people will think of me for what I am saying. Before I start to fret over whether I spelled anything wrong and who is going to judge me for it. Before I lose my courage to help myself and just stay the way I am.

I have a social anxiety disorder.

No, I've never stepped foot in a doctor's office to have this confirmed but know that I know that end is only inevitable. I've thought about going to a psychiatrist for years because of the anxiety issues that have plagued me over time. But I couldn't. In the beginning when it first began happening to me, I couldn't get up the courage to ask my mother to take me. Just the thought of telling my mother I thought I had a problem made me weak in the knees. When I got old enough o take myself…I just couldn't do it. I thought of the people I might see sitting in a waiting room. They might think I was crazy. What if I knew someone? What if I just wore the wrong thing in general an dpeople stared at me long before I ever reached a leather couch or reclining chair.

I don't want to reread this until it's too late to change anything. I want to let the truth out. Maybe little by little but out eventually. I want help. Whatever it takes. I NEED help. I like to tell myself that I don't but I do. I want people to be there for me but I can't let my true self out enough to bond and make relationships that mean something to me. I want to be able to call someone and have to come for me and not be concerned about who they see when I open the door. I want to be able to cry because I haven't cried in years in front of anyone just so they wouldn't feel obligated to take care of me.

This is the beginning of a new me. I will find the peace I seek, if only in short bits at a time. I will find a way to let the real me out and when she is completely free I will make a trip to some tall building and shot out I AM HERE!

But for now, through this page, I will just whisper.

…i have an anxiety disorder.

…I hope you heard me.

…I hope I hear myself.

-Tranquility

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