Yet another post today. This time it’s about coming out and is hosted by the lovely Jennifer C. Wilson, author of the Kindred Spirits series of historical novels.

Yes, it took fifteen years to get ready for this.

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Date

Title

Val Penny

2 August, 2017

Book Review: The Mill River Recluse

Sue Barnard

10 August, 2017

How I Discovered What I Had

Contemporary Romance Writers

15 August, 2017

From Romantic Romance to Ordered Disorder

Nancy Jardine

18 August, 2017

That Question Again

Chris, The Story Ape

19 August, 2017

Following My Passion

Jennifer C. Wilson

20 August, 2017

Coming Out

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TWO DAYS

to the launch of

Social Anxiety Revealed

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TakingThePlungeHelp! I’m standing on the edge and afraid to take the plunge. And that’s because I can’t see what I would jump into. Is the water rough or calm? Maybe there’s no water at all and diving in would be my downfall.

Maybe I should stop playing with metaphors and come to a decision. The problem is twofold:

Outside in

If people who only know me virtually get to know me from the outside – where I live, who I live with, what I do – will they still want to know me? I want to reach everyone, and especially anyone I can help. I wouldn’t want to put anyone off by bringing my outside in.

Inside out

If people who only know me from the outside get to know my inside – my thoughts and how they impact on my behaviour – will they dismiss me as a weirdo? I don’t want to put them off either.

But I spent my childhood keeping the secrets I was told to keep. I don’t want secrets of my own. And I’ve spent my life longing to be understood. I can’t be understood if I don’t explain. I know that if my novel is published … when my novel is published … the publishing of my novel would/will make this happen anyway, but do I want it now? Isn’t it happening anyway, willy nilly? Is my only question whether to speed up the process?

Others have done it. Why not me?

Help!

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I’m not gay, but I’m coming out. The process has taken about seven years so far and I still don’t feel comfortable saying, “I have social anxiety.”

“What’s that?” is the typical response. No one asks that about being gay. Once the statement is made, it’s understood. Gayness … gaiety… homosexuality has become an accepted state. Similarly, depression is mostly understood. No one has to ask what depression is.

So what is it with SA? Why don’t people know about it? The definition of SA provides the answer. SA is a fear of people and particularly of what those people think of the sufferer. People with SA tend to avoid talking to others and often avoid social contact altogether. So other people don’t know they exist, or they don’t know what they’re thinking, why they’re so quiet.

That’s why SA doesn’t get the recognition it needs – we need – to fight it, destroy it, prevent it from starting even.

Why has it been so hard to come out? Because I’m afraid of the response. Afraid of the thoughts, even if they’re not spoken. Afraid of being thought strange, weird. It goes against my unwritten, unplanned life policy: to pretend to be the same as everyone else. It’s an impossible quest. You can’t miss out on so many basics of growing up and still behave in the accepted way in every situation. And yet, I still try to do it. And I imagine that by keeping quiet I’m not “found out,” although I know that this is untrue.

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I’m going away and might not be able to post again this month. I’ll be back. In the meantime,

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