Originally Posted by dotingly
... And it's pretty terrible.
Because of my acute anxiety, I lost the ability to leave go to conventions awhile ago. I was never very fond of them though, being extremely quiet and shy and never letting myself make any friends while at conventions for the constant fear and paranoia of them secretly judging me/hating me/whatever. While I'm at conventions I obviously get very nervous and tend to hold my friends back because I'm afraid to pose for pictures, go to any panels, or do just about anything that's fun. The last time I went to a convention (two years ago), I made my friend sit on a bench with me for hours because I was too afraid to move.
I love cosplaying. I love cosplaying and I love being able to dress up and take pictures for myself, but I feel terrible about wasting so much money on things I'll never be able to show other people and go have fun with.
I want to go back to conventions and try to have fun there because I'm jealous of my friends that can do such things, and they're all very supportive of me, but I'm just wondering if there is anybody else who likes to cosplay but doesn't like/chooses not to go to conventions? I feel like such a minority, haha!!
I'm also sorry if this was completely misplaced, gaaaaah.
Like everyone else is saying, the best thing you can do is break things down; step by step, till you feel comfortable going to conventions again. I'm also shy and get really nervous when talking to someone I don't know. It's a good thing that you have friends that you enjoy cosplaying. I'm sure your friends understand you and your anxiety, so don't think that you are holding them back. A friend would never think that.
The first thing you should do is write down what you just told us in a journal/diary or even a piece of paper and keep it somewhere were you can look at it time to time. Writing this on a paper will help motivate you and give you a reminder. Also, on the same piece of paper write down the steps that you will take to help achieve your goal. Step one should be something you feel comfortable doing like go around the neighborhood/block in cosplay or take cosplay pictures with friends. Step two is something you still feel comfortable with but a little bit out of comfort zone like go for a walk with a friend or perhaps go through a drive-through in cosplay. And so on until you are comfortable going to convention once more.
Also it's not a bad thing rewarding yourself either. Let just say if you go around the neighborhood in cosplay you should treat yourself with your favorite food or maybe something small like a new accessory for a cosplay.
Other idea is you can do is go to the convention in normal clothes and not cosplay for the first half of the convention. Once you feel up to it or the atmosphere is to your liking change into cosplay.
And if your are going back to conventions try to start off with some small ones. That way you don't feel like you are being surrounded. ^.^
The first convention I went to was Zenkaikon (Pennsylvania, US) it's in the middle I would say. It isn't too big nor is it to small. But I didn't cosplay because honestly I didn't even knew cosplay existence till I got there. I brought a camera to take picture and man was I nervous. I was so shy and only took picture when other people where taking pictures of the cosplayer (I still ask the cosplayers for pictures). I probably only took about seven pictures total. >.<