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Did you know I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder? Yeah it is true, about 6 years ago my doctor at the time diagnosed me with it, read on to learn more about how social media has worked to help me overcome my anxiety disorder.
Travel back to December 2008, I was determined to make money from home and had been doing direct sales for a while without making enough in commissions to pay all my bills. I wanted more, but knew that money had to be made from home due to the fact that daycare is so darn expensive it makes working near impossible without assistance. I was at a point in my life where my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t walk into a local grocery store alone without having a panic attack. If someone asked me to go run an errand that involved anything other than a drive up window, I would lose it, tears would well up and my heart raced, I was indeed in panic mode.
My panic attacks were always set off by social situations, ones in which involved me being alone in a store or a room filled with people I don’t know. My body’s automatic response was a bright red face, tears in eyes and choked up voice, my heart would race and my left arm would get tingly. I hated that I was like this, I couldn’t find a way to overcome it other than medication. The medication I used to take made me so relaxed that I could have done anything and been fine, it was way too much for me and at the lowest dose possible I knew I had to get off it.
Eventually I weaned myself off of medication and found myself back to square one, a scared girl who couldn’t do anything without having a child with her or another adult. Then one day I happened upon Twitter and I started sharing my day at 140 characters at a time, eventually I met other Mom Bloggers, Dad Bloggers, business owners and more. Today my Twitter following has gone to over 9,800 in a short year and I interact daily with my tweet friends.
As MySpace started to be a place for only family, I knew I wanted to network through a similar site and was introduced to Facebook. I set up a Facebook account, starting adding friends, family, twitter friends and other bloggers as I visited their sites. Eventually I grew my Facebook friends up beyond 1,600 and to this day it’s still growing.
I am online daily, networking is my business. If I don’t have visitors to my site to read and comment then I don’t have a business. If I don’t have someone knowing who I am and that my site is out there … I don’t have business. It finally dawned on me that networking was a vital part of being a successful blogger and so I dove right into social media and never turned back. I spend a lot of time networking, and will talk to just about anyone virtually. Facebook and Twitter have not only allowed my blog and virtual assistant business to grow but they have allowed me to grow as a person.
I still get anxiety in social situations, but social media has allowed me to open up my heart and mind to become a more outgoing, talkative person. A couple Saturday’s ago I went to a conference or seminar you may call it, and when I walked in my heart started beating fast, but there was an improvement in me and only I would be able to realize what that was. I didn’t get tears in my eyes, my face didn’t turn bright red. I was comfortable sitting in a huge room filled with a lot of people and I was okay with this, I was truly okay with being in a room filled with strangers and listening to presenters without wondering what others were thinking about my clothing, about my hair or about my make up, none of that! I am happy to say that this past weekend proved to me who I have become and proved to me that I am now a happier, more confident person than I ever was growing up and I am a firm believer that social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have allowed me to overcome my anxiety disorder.