Social anxiety can affect us all. When you realize everyone can have those same feelings of anxiety, a small weight is lifted. Hear me when I tell you that you are not alone. In this episode of Breathe In, Breathe Out, I share my own recent struggles with social anxiety.
Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor, take a slow deep breath in and now breathe out. Congratulations, you just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jakosky, and this is Breathe In, Breathe Out: a Weekly Mindfulness and Meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it.
Welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky and as always just thrilled and delighted that you are here. Last week, we talked with Emily McGill and had a terror reading. And if you haven’t listened to it, I encourage you to go back and just have some fun and kind of laugh with us. As a brief recap, we decided that we would pull three cards. Two of them were in honor of our podcast name, Breathe In, Breathe Out. So one of them was, what are we going to breathe in? One was what are we going to breathe out? And one of them was just a general card about what my listeners really needed to hear in that moment. What did they need to be aware of? And it was fun and enjoyable. I’m familiar with the terror and I’ve used them off and on throughout my life and just pulling out guidance and knowledge from the realms.Read More
And yet it’s beautiful as well. I have been dealing with social anxiety. It’s a new thing. I have never dealt with it before. It just started in January, ironically after I got COVID and it’s really been a little bit debilitating because I’ll have a conversation with somebody and after I have that conversation with someone, then I leave and all of a sudden I’m insecure and I’m asking questions like, did I talk too much? Was I personable? Did I offend them in any way? Was I rude in any way? Did I talk over them? Do I need to fix something? I’m sure there’s something I fixed. I’m sure that I was offensive. I’m sure that I did something like questioning so much about myself in that moment and in that experience that I had with them. I’m not used to being that
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely experienced insecurity. You guys know this, I’ve been pretty open about my vulnerabilities, and yet this has been the next level kind of thing for me and where I am. So just frozen in this insecurity, it almost makes me not want to interact with people because of my fear of offending or hurting or whatever will come out of that. I’m not thrilled with the aftermath that I myself may have to endure because of these encounters. I’ll give you an example. I recently was chit-chatting with somebody about our passions, our loves in life. And they were telling me about this new hobby that they had. And it was just amazing and thrilling They were thinking about opening a store in relation to it.
They were just real. It was beautiful to see them so enthralled and so excited about where their life was going. I found myself wanting to support and encourage. What can I do to lift you up and amplify your efforts so that you can achieve what you want to achieve? Then I talked about my pottery and my mugs, and I really want to keep practicing and working on them because I want to get better and I want to make the perfect mug for myself. Like what’s the perfect mug in my opinion. I’ve made a bunch of them and they’re fun, but I really want to dial it in. What’s the perfect lip for me. What’s the perfect handle for me. What’s the perfect weight and the perfect size. I really want to just play around with that and enjoy that.
And it’s fun and relaxing. It is a beautiful piece of self-care that I get to enjoy. So I was telling her about my mug making and my thoughts and my experience. I told her how if a mug comes in more at the top, then it keeps the heat in a little bit longer. So your coffee or tea will stay warmer a little bit longer because there’s this point that holds the heat in. And the next morning she texted me and said, thanks for the info. This is no longer my favorite mug. And she meant it very genuinely, very kindly saying, you know what, I now know why my coffee gets cold so fast. And I’m really excited to get a mug that will help my coffee stay warm longer, but my brain read it as, oh my gosh, I’ve just ruined her favorite mug.
I’m sure she’s upset with me and frustrated that I did that. And maybe I should have kept my mouth shut. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything, how do I fix this? I really don’t know how to fix this. Maybe I need to make her a mug asking all these questions about how I fix this problem that my brain perceived was there. So I texted her and I told her, I’m sorry. Her response was, what are you talking about? It opened an opportunity for dialogue. So we ended up talking on the phone again. I was explaining to her that this newfound social anxiety has been so overwhelming. I’ve really struggled with just the thoughts that come after. And she was like, really shut up. I learned that a lot of people deal with this on a much lesser level and others deal with it on a much more intense level.
Mine feels pretty intense for me. Or it felt really intense for me. And then we went on a family thing and again, I constantly felt myself questioning. Did I do something wrong? Do I need to apologize for that? Are people upset with me? I started all over just questioning so many things about myself and the situation. Finally, we sat down to play cards and at that moment I looked across the table and said, I just have to let you guys know that I’m dealing with a lot of anxiety right now. I’m worried that I’ve offended or upset you guys and that my action here, or there was a problem. So I just want to apologize to you. And they all looked at me like I had grown two heads.
None of them understood what I was talking about. One of them said, wow, you know, thanks for letting us know, but you’ve been handling yourself so we had no clue and it’s not a big deal. Again, it opened up a dialogue for later. I was so grateful for this dialogue and conversation. We were standing in the kitchen and I was talking with this girl, my sister-in-law, and talking about this anxiety. She helped me remember that we all have these parts of ourselves. This is what goes back to the terror. We all have those parts of ourselves that are dark and scary. They are the parts that we really don’t want to admit that we have. I didn’t want to admit that I was dealing with anxiety. I really didn’t want to deal with it at all.
The more we squash and try to hide those parts of us without dealing with them, the more they try to pop out and say, hello. The harder it gets to keep them down because they are growing so big and they become all-consuming. It’s like that boogieman. When you’re a kid, you just know that there’s a monster under the bed and you are terrified to get out of bed in the middle of the night because everything is dark. And you know that it’s going to reach out and grab you. But if you turn on a flashlight, there is no boogieman. It doesn’t exist. If you turn on your bedroom light or your lamp, it’s not there. It’s all of a sudden gone. As long as it’s dark, it can grow. And instead of just under your bed, it’s taken up the entire floor of your room. Now you have to hide under your covers because you’re terrified because of this boogeyman. As soon as you turn that light on, I recognize that I have this anxiety. So I took that and instead of hiding it and pushing it down, which I tried to do in the beginning, I started shining a light on it and saying, yeah, I see you.
I recognize that you’re there. And by telling people, Hey, I’m just letting you know that I’m having a bit of an anxiety moment and I’m really insecure. I’m worried that I’ve upset you in some way. It’s a brighter light and it shines on more of the bed. instead of being scary, people are able to say, no, it’s okay. Not a big deal in this conversation with my sister-in-law. She said “when you acknowledge that it is a part of you. And you say, Hey, you know, come here and cuddle up under my arm. And I gonna say hi, and pat you on the head, greetings, I recognize you here. You’re not my favorite part of me. And yet I get it. You need to be here because I’ve allowed it to be a part of me instead of squashing it, allowing it to be present, allowing it to be a part of me means that it can not take over anymore.” It’s not growing. It’s not getting worse. It’s not as debilitating because now I’ve said, I see you. I acknowledge you. You get to be right here. You have to value it. It’s not going to control me In the terror. We are breathing in something that we don’t necessarily like.
I breathed in my social anxiety and said, okay, yeah, I’m gonna acknowledge that. You’re here. It’s not so big. Ever since I did that and acknowledged it, I can’t really fully explain it other than it just seemingly shrunk a bit and it’s more manageable, way less controlling, way less overwhelming. It no longer pops up with every conversation that I have. Sure it’s there, but it’s not as big and easier to deal with. Which means that I’ve shifted into being. The second card that we pulled, is I see you. I know that challenge is there. I get to sit in this moment and breathe and know that it’s okay. Moving down to the third card, I get to find balance in there. There is a time when my anxiety will be a big deal and there are times that it won’t be anything at all.
I’ll be somewhere in the middle because I don’t want it to overwhelm me. Yet having just a little bit of anxiety might actually be a good thing. It might actually keep me safe from other things. It was a really interesting reading. It was really fun to chit-chat with Emily. And I really just wanted to share with you this experience to fully illustrate that reading. So very viscerally apply in my life. In that moment. Feel free to share on social media or wherever you’re listening to this podcast, how it applies to your life. What did you notice? Is there something, what is it that you decided to breathe in? What is it that you decided to acknowledge is there and just accept. And then how did you find balance? Where are you at this life? It’s a fabulous journey and I am constantly learning.
I am constantly seeing a new side of myself that I get to work on and embrace or heal and let go of. This experience with social anxiety. It was really upsetting in the beginning. It leaves me a little speechless and discombobulated because I have not experienced that before. And to have it come up. So all-encompassing as it was, it just took my breath away, and now I have the ability to say, no, I don’t need to do that. It’s okay. I can breathe. I can breathe in and I can breathe out and I can be so wholly present in the moment. Thanks for listening. Thanks for coming on my journey with me and I’m excited for next week. When you join me here again on BreathIn, Breathe Out.
I hope this moment of self-care and healing brought you some hope and peace. I’m @krystaljakosky on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and I hope you check us out and follow along for more content coming soon. I look forward to being with you again here on Breathe In, Breathe Out. Until next time, take care.