Call me Zelazek. I am 62 years old. You could say I suffer from social anxiety although for most of my life I would never have called it that. I would have called it just plain shyness and it was regarded as a curse that would prevent you going places and fulfilling your potential - you were regarded as a sort of hopeless case if you exhibited any signs of it. And while I can see that my life might have been a lot different if I didn't have it, I have come to accept that it is just a part of who I am - I don't regard it as a curse or some kind of sickness anymore.
I am relatively happy today but I suppose by some people's standards my life is empty - I don't have any close friends or a significant other (although I have had both in the past). I work in a job that is way below my educational level. On the other hand, I am very close to some family members and I spend a lot of enjoyable time pursuing my interests and hobbies. I feel I am doing okay.
When I was much younger I was very sensitive to criticism. I could fall into black moods of depression lasting days if others drew attention to or made fun of my reserved nature. But those days are gone. I just seemed to outgrow that kind of thing.
I am looking forward to hearing about the experiences of others, sharing a few stories, and maybe offering advice if I can. I have rarely broached this topic with anyone before, so the future may hold some interesting and wonderful surprises.