Hey guys, I posted this in the newbie forum but wanted to know what some of you think about this idea of moving cross-country with SA.
Thanks much in advance for your help!
Hi everyone. I've been reading this forum off & on for awhile & finally decided to join today. I guess social anxiety can even exist on the web
Just to give you a little background about me: I'm 23 & just graduated college. I have suffered from extremely horrible social anxiety since I was 13, but I remember being extremely shy/quiet even as a young girl. When I was 13, things got bad & then worse. I was clinically depressed & hospitalized for it when I was 16--I was big into self-harm. I numbed myself with drugs, alcohol & the like for many, many years. I never even really understood that I had SA until a year or so ago. I just remember feeling extremely afraid of people (talking on the phone, writing on exams in front of people, performing ANY task in front of others actually, driving a car & thinking everyone in the other cars hated me, the list goes on & on). I got into a car accident when I was 16 & didn't drive for about three years except on one street to & from school. My anxiety was literally out of control. I kept the same friends in my life from when I was 10 years old, and somehow kept most of the friendships, though sometimes I'd even have a hard time answering calls from friends I had known for 7+ years.
However, I've always been very book smart, so I went to college. It was a nightmare. I shared a bathroom with 40+ people I didn't know & a room with various roommates all year. Eventually I made a few friends but not many--& I would rarely talk to others in my dorm. I also skipped any class in which I had to speak in class or give a presentation in class. I even changed my major from Journalism (my DREAM job) because I had such awful anxiety before having to interview people. I started dating a guy who I clung to & when we broke up all hell broke lose. For the past two years, I suffered from INTENSE depersonalization disorder. I'm sure some of you know about it & it's really too weird/intense/ridiculous to explain in depth, but basically I felt like I wasn't real for extended periods of time, couldn't concentrate, felt VERY disconnected from others & in general very confused & thought I was going insane.
Now, I've been on Lexapro for about 8 months & my depersonalization has pretty much gone away, but now the social anxiety that was beneath it has started to resurface. I find it VERY hard to feel connected to others still because I have such bad anxiety about people hating me (I think all connected to events in the past, including the breakup with the most recent boyf). I also still have problems reading/concentrating (which used to be one of my favorite activites!) About 10 weeks ago I started Dr. Thomas Richards "Overcoming Social Anxiety" & it has helped TREMENDOUSLY. But I'm still in a predicament. I just graduated & moved home to my parent's house about a month ago. Now, I've been offered an internship in San Francisco & its my dream internship in my dream city....so I really want to go. I'm just so confused because I'm just now starting to feel better & I don't want to ruin my progress if I move cross-country with no friends. Dr. Richards constantly stresses moving in small steps, but I don't want to give up this opportunity! However, the job will probably stress me out, too as it includes phone calls, interviews (even celebrities!) & dealing with people "higher" than me--which is always an anxiety-causing situation for me.
If any of you can offer any advice, please do. My only hope to make it work in SF is that 1) it's temporary, so I can come home in 6 months & 2) I just discovered there is an SA group in SF I can attend which I think I might be ready for.
Can't wait to get to know some of you