So I'm back after a long hiatus from posting here, not that I was ever the most active for reasons that will largely be explained by the end of this post. At the end of last year I was formally diagnosed with a severe social anxiety disorder, although it's a condition I've been suffering from my entire life. Soon afterwards there was a government review of people on disability and the mental busyness of coping with that caused me to drop a number of things from my life, this site included. After that I started taking medication for my anxiety, a grand six month experiment that further delayed me getting involved with anything and that I have recently ended. After therapy and medication at various dosages my anxiety issues are as bad as they have ever been. Still, pessimistic and cynical I may be but I will never be a defeatist. I may not be able to resolve my anxiety problems but I refuse to let them keep putting my life on hold. Posting this is the first step in getting back involved here and posting with my usual irregularity and this is just one of the steps I'm taking. Not a new beginning, perhaps, but forward motion nonetheless. I've always hated talking about my anxieties. I don't want to be judged by them, to be graded softer because of them or set against a softer standard, but if there's something I've learned these past six months it's that this disorder may always be with me and hiding it or refusing to talk about is just another way of letting it restrict me. I do have to struggle against something most people never will, in terms of severity, at least, and it's time I started trusting people to be able to treat me as a person who has anxiety as opposed to fearing they'll see me as an anxious person. And if people judge me softer for it so what? I'll always have my own impossible standards to fail against and that will always demand that I improve. Refusing to trust people and refusing to take responsibility can form a powerful sort of protection but if you grow too much as person it becomes quietly stifling. I've known that for a while but it's time I took it to heart.