Claire tells us about her experience of social anxiety and how CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) helped her to overcome it.
Claire: I have always struggled when it came to things socially that other people found easy. I didn’t know how they did it, speaking on the phone to new people, taking something back to a shop, complaining in a restaurant, talking in public, making new friends. I got through uni, but I was always known as a bit of a loner. I think I made people think I was a bit weird, so I could avoid them really, realising how shy and incompetent I was in socialising which all came so easily to them.
I worked from home, which was easy enough, but we did all have to meet up a few times a year and I dreaded it. My boss wanted me to go for a promotion for a manager’s position, but how could I? I could barely look people in the eye. Honestly, who would believe that I could be here now making this video for loads of people to watch?
My CBT therapist was fab, she really understood and took things at my pace. I started using a digital programme to learn all about CBT and then I had my sessions with her after that. She pushed me at the right times and got me to try loads of things out. I would never think that I could get to a place in life where I could call myself sociable, happy in a relationship, but here I am. I would say do it and if you’re not sure, do it, what have you got to lose?