I have had severe social phobia all my life which has made the prospects of some things, like running for class president or giving a presentation in class, immensely difficult for me. I generally end up fumbling my words or running my speech together… but when the opportunity to run for student council came up for me last year, I’d had enough and decided I would try it.
I was a new girl at the school in question, and while this was my last year of high school, a lot of people thought I looked really young and generally just didn’t take me very seriously. I had a competitor who was really well respected within our class for being intelligent and mature. I knew I wouldn’t have a chance unless I’d written a speech that targeted this perception of me.
Overall, I ended up writing a pretty good speech. The only major thing was that the middle part, where I was supposed to be stating my previous accomplishments, wasn’t very good. I didn’t have anyone to proof read it when I went up there, so I read it raw to 150 people and felt so incredibly sick about it.
In the end, the other guy had underestimated me and written a pretty bad speech. Mine was nearly 3 times longer, and apparently ended up getting me near unanimously elected. But the problem is… when I finished up and went to my dorm, my dormmates told me, “HOW COULD YOU GO UP THERE WITHOUT LETTING US PROOF READ IT?!” They were pretty all in agreement that the middle was overboard and that I’d managed to save it by the end, but that the middle wasn’t… appropriate for the occasion.
It had me seized up with embarrassment every time I think about it (which has been, I kid you not, nearly every day for the past two years.) It is 4am here now and I have just spent hours running it over in my mind and agonizing over it (without even trying! It just won’t leave me.) It's just the thought that for a period, when I was reading the middle, everyone was judging me at the same time thinking I had not written a very good speech... it freaks me out so badly.
The day after I gave my speech, as is normal with any school I’d guess, everyone was talking about me. I had random people who hadn’t been in the room when I was giving the speech tell me they’d heard I done a good job which fills me with immense pride. It’s also stupid to still care about it because obviously the point of the speech was to get me elected... which it did. And some people thought it went well. By now nobody probably remembers. Also, I’ve graduated. I won’t most of those people ever again reunion, so logically I have nothing to be traumatized about.
Then why does it bother me so much??? I just want to sleep so badly but I can’t because of this. Any advice would be so very appreciated.
For example: agoraphobia, claustrophobia, social phobia.
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
I have lots of those moments... Some of those moments even cause me to make a rather large (and obvious) nervous twitch. I guess one might call them a face palming moment. I have yet to be able to do anything about them with any lasting effect. My past tends to make my present very difficult and my future seem bleak. I once tried saying bold things (complimenting the fairer gender on their appearance [trust me that is harder for some guys than you may think]) and I felt less nervous about past stupid things I had said... I did a little drama in high school and college and I had no fear whatsoever in what I said and did. But now that I've mellowed a bit I keep going back to those moments and reliving the shear terror of having offended someone publicly. Yet even without being a career actor I tend to give into arrogance and say stupid things quite naturally... I do hope you are able to work this out. And if you manage to figure it out I recommend you sell the idea and make a small fortune!
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