Behind Sadie's Mind

   
 
     I’ve always been shy. As a teen, I used to call myself “cripplingly shy.” My dream was to become “functionally shy.”  

In 2018, I was diagnosed with severe social anxiety disorder, as well as generalized anxiety disorder, perfectionism, and depression. I was 32 years old at the time, and my kids were very little. It was a hard time, but also a turning point.
In 2019, I had a breakthrough in therapy (psychodynamic psychotherapy by this point, but I did a cognitive-behavioural therapy program for social anxiety before that).

A knot was finally loosening inside me, and I was starting to become okay with myself as a person. To berate myself a little less for my “inadequacies” as a mother. To become more self-compassionate and self-accepting.
 
I don’t have sunshine all day every day, but I’ve come so far since the time in my life when the skies were completely overcast. 
 
My blog and Instagram account first started as a place for me to write about my cognitive-behavioural group therapy for social anxiety.
 
Since then, I've been using both platforms to share the ups and downs of life with severe social anxiety in the hopes that someone else like me feels a little less alone on their journey. 
 
I plan to write a memoir about my social anxiety journey, once I figure out how far into the journey I want to be when I write it!
 
I share openly because I can, and I know that this is a privilege not everyone has. I want to do what I can to raise awareness and end stigma. 
 
If you experience social anxiety, I just want to say that I know how isolating and defeating it can feel. But you're not alone. You're not "bad" or "weak." 
 
When you live with social anxiety, life itself becomes one big exposure exercise. So you're already braver than you think just by being here, even if you're anxious inside. You can be brave and anxious at the same time. You can be a lot of things and anxious at the same time. xoxoxo

 

Sadie H.

Hamilton, Ontario

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