If you have read my last post you will know I have had trouble with being myself in the past. I felt the need to lie to people so I could fit in to their social groups. This time I want to talk about the reasons why being ourselves is so important for our health – or at least my health.
Ever since I came to the decision to be myself around people instead of using a persona I have been able to see the emotional damage being someone I am not had on me. I used to avoid social interactions because I knew that I would have to be someone else meaning I would be miserable – this led to many lonely nights and weekends of reclusive behaviour which I still sometimes show if I am feeling down. The fact is, if I had never done it in the first place I wouldn’t have kept myself to myself and would have been happy going out to see friends all the time with out putting a mask on and therefore wouldn’t feel the need to hide myself away when I am feeling low now.
The horrible truth is that by not being myself I have picked up something I don’t think I can ever fully get rid of and that is social anxiety. My friends don’t see the shy, anxious side of me any more because I am comfortable with them, but because I spent so long using persona’s bringing myself out of the shell I have been hiding in has proved so difficult in the past to the point that I would rather have to travel to get a package than answer the door to the post man. It is, thankfully, beginning to get slightly better though in the sense that I can now answer a phone and will go out to see friends and open the door to post men. A few years ago I was actually afraid to use public transport, now I take buses all the time and am very comfortable doing so – and this is only because I feel comfortable being myself.
My best friend has helped me a lot with this, ever since we became friends a few years back (I don’t remember when…whoops bad friend moment) she has seen the brilliance in the real me and helped along with my confidence just by being there for me. Knowing that I have someone who fully accepts me for who I am has given me the confidence to slowly rise up from the water and become the person I really am – a bubbling energy ball full of confidence and fun. This has led to me being less reclusive and more sociable which has impacted my life very positively – even if I do still have the occasional blip, they only last a few days now instead of months.
Sometimes it feels easier to be someone else and hide yourself, but if you come out of the shadow you will find that people actually accept you more as yourself and you will want to be more sociable and less reclusive because you don’t need to hide around any one any more.
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