Well writing this is harder than I thought....I guess I'll keep it simple. Almost 40 years old, suffered social anxiety, depression and anxiety my whole life. It has felt like one endless battle. I manage to function, just...I've lost the vast majority of friends over the years, am pretty much down to one. Little contact with family. A fragile relationship with someone as mentally unwell as me. So far I've been able to work, albeit getting more sporadic as I get older. Have recently started a new job in an environment that most people would be thrilled to be in, a close knit & sociable, outgoing group of people who pride themselves on being a supportive team, and I have almost come completely undone. Coffee breaks and lunches together every day, and I just clam up. How can "normal people" possibly understand that I can not even speak openly in groups of people I've known my whole life, that I can barely hold up a conversation with the family or friends I do see, that I am almost crippled by my own depression and suffering, let alone relax with a new group of people. It's getting harder to keep up the act that I've got it together so I continue to avoid people as much as I can and live an isolated existence. I grieve every single day for the person I could have been and the life I could have lived.
So here I am...I know that all sounds like a huge poor me, attention seeking rant. I guess the idea of having some connection on here seemed comforting.