My name is Daniela Grazia. Thank you for visiting my website.
Between 2008-2009, I was one of the millions of Americans who lost their job during the recession. I was off work for nearly a year. During that time, I sat down at my computer and started writing things down that I had kept to myself for over 30 years. Once I started, the words kept coming. It was incredibly freeing and therapeutic. I had at various times attempted to do this but this time I knew I was ready to let it go. I had written in a journal over the years when I was at my lowest points and had no one I felt understood (or wanted to understand) my troubles.
For many years, I lived with the secret of being uncomfortable around other people. By saying it this way, I am understating the level of inner turmoil I experienced. I'm sure what others saw was that I was "shy" and "backward" but they really didn't know the extent of my troubles. They didn't know the extreme level of anxiety and anguish I experienced everyday. It was difficult being around people and yet I hated being alone. I didn't know where to be.
For many years, I didn't know there was a name for how I was feeling. Social Anxiety wasn't yet widely known about or treated. I thought it was just me and who I was. Feeling ashamed and humiliated, I beat myself up on a daily basis. I didn't want my family, and the several close friends I did have, to know this person I was out in the world nor did I want anyone to know about the feelings I had towards other women. I lived a life within myself. The best I could do was pretend to "fit in" and go through the motions of living if I was to in any way feel part of my surroundings.
Some people who deal with the same issues are lucky or fortunate enough to have access to resources which can help them get better. I wasn't one of those people. I tried unsuccessfully many times to seek treatment from local therapists and did not have the financial resources to get treatment at the few in-patient clinics around the country.
And yet, I was determined to not waste my life. I bought books and read articles on-line on how to get better. Eventually, I did find a therapist who was knowledgeable about S.A.D., but I only had access to his help for a limited time. In that time with medication, and coming to grips with my sexuality, I did make progress. I can say I am better today than I used to be.
I hope you'll take the journey with me to present day as someone living with Social Anxiety Disorder. I hope to relay how debilitating this condition can really be by finally being open, honest, and giving much detail about my own experience. I hope that others dealing with the same issues don't just give up and disappear (the way I wanted to for a very long time) and realize they're not alone. I hope to draw more attention and understanding to this disorder.