Born Shy and Sensitive: The Truth of Social Anxiety

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Guest Writer: Jordan Hammond, Based in Dublin, Ireland

I was always a shy and sensitive kid, but I didn’t even know what social anxiety disorder was. I believed I was born shy, and there was nothing I could do to fix it, so I didn’t even try. I had given up on myself, convinced I didn't win the genetic lottery, so better luck next lifetime.

For years I suffered in silence. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed that I didn’t tell anyone or seek help. I always believed it was weak for a boy/man to talk about feelings. When I did try to tell people, I felt they didn’t understand me or what I was going through. I was told things like “harden up” and “who cares what others think?” I have since come to realize that admitting you need help and talking about your feelings is one the bravest things you can do.

Asking for help is the first step to change: If you act like everything’s all right when it’s not, how do you expect anyone to be able to help you?

Dealing with my anxiety has been one of the greatest challenges of my life, but I am a better, stronger, and more confident person for everything I have gone through. I learned that living a life of fear is not living at all, and while obstacles may arise more than I'd like, there is no problem that I can't handle. I've learned to take some risks and face my challenges head-on. The rewards of trying, whether I succeed or not, are always better than letting my worries run my life or wondering what would have happened if I'd only had the courage to try.

Editors Note: Jordan Hammond also is sharing his journey with Facial Palsy, a rare medical condition, on his YouTube Channel. It's an encouraging and educational video on the condition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maEvdOrDles

You can also follow Jordan @jorddinary

Written by Jordan Hammond. 2019.

Edited by Sarah McKinnon