Social anxiety has taken it's toll on my life too. I am back at work again part-time (5 hours per day) for about 10 months now. But when I arrive home from work I do not go out to socialise.
I get on with most of my colleagues at work but do not attend the social events that people at work organise every now and then. For instance the hold a Christmas party night each year but I never attend it. I know that I have become a real odd ball, but it is so hard to change.
It is as if I keep people at arms length (e.g. work) but seem afraid / unwilling to let my guard down in the more intimate surroundings such as house parties where drink is involved, and people are having FUN. i just do not seem able to relax in such situations, seem incapable of "letting my hair down", of letting myself go.
This inevitability leads to a lonely existence, but what can you do if I try to ge involved in these social events, only to find that I want to get outside in the open air and go somewhere in the open air that is quiet and without people.
So, I cannot seem to "live" with people, but on the otherhand I crave the company of others.
How mixed up is that?
That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she/he sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end.
The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.