How Photography Helped My Social Anxiety

A short story time for you all.  I am intensely introverted.  I’m not talking about being the wallflower at a party I’m talking about not being able to go to the doctor or stores alone because I feel judged, alone and stared at by other people.  My brain says that they aren’t looking at you, Dame.  You’re fine.  Yet my emotions ask ‘but why aren’t they looking at me’.  It’s a horrible cycle that started in middle school and is almost impossible to shake.

The first guy to ever ask me out commented he liked my body.  Being only 13 I had to turn him down.  I wasn’t ready for a boyfriend.  But, you see, that is where the problem began.  After I said no, I was the ugliest person to him.  He made fun of me, got his friends and the other girls in on it, and eventually I began thinking that the whispers were true.

This went on throughout high school and college.

Besides friends and family to help talk this out and make me calm I always had my art.  Photography is truly one of the best outlets for my negativity against my physical form.  I have a destructive self loathing issue that surfaces every few weeks to every other month where I breakdown and I lack self worth.  That is why Pretty Dame Awesome was created.  To help get me out of my fit.  For me to feel pretty.  For me to know I can do something with myself.  It is just…for me.

I really don’t think anyone realizes how hard it is for an introverted artist to show their work off.

I understand that I am my own worst enemy.  Knowing that doesn’t make my anxiety any easier to deal with.  Photography does help.  I still get really nervous when I go outside to take pictures or even to bust Stewart out of my purse for a few photo ops but I feel a bit more comfortable with a camera in my hand.  That camera is what I hide behind now but I am slowly becoming more comfortable in front of it as well.  That is a start…I think.

 

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