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social anxiety

I have had this since I was a child, maybe since birth. Then they called it shy or quiet, but really I was immobilized by fear. I would long to talk to another kid and make friends, but the anxiety kept me from doing it. It isn't any different as an adult, except people often mistake it for being 'reserved' or sometimes even arrogant. Truth is, I'm terrified of making my presence known in social situations. I can logically tell myself, "Meghan, you can call the pizza place and order the pizza. What is the worst that can happen?" But it is easier to beg someone else to do it. I know with repetition of a certain situation can help, for example, I can go to the pharmacy with minimal anxiety, but then, it's been a couple of years.
Well, I'm lonely, desperately, and I want to get out into society, because no one is going to just knock on my door. This means pushing myself through INTENSE anxiety. Why is this such a big deal? Is it something chemical? And if so, why just social situations? Or would it be more likely something that happened at some point? Could I have just been born this way? I can't take antidepressants because I have bipolar disorder and the send me into a manic state. I want to avoid taking anything like Xanax.
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