I'm looking for some change and improvement in my life. I'm pretty fed up with how I feel about myself on a daily basis and need to try something new. To give you all some insight, here is my background.
I'm 26 and have been quiet my whole life. I don't have a lot to say usually and just enjoy observing. I grew up in a loud and outgoing family that would often "talk for me." They pushed me some to develop a personality but mostly wanted to let me be who I am.
I really enjoy people, but I have a hard time engaging with them. I don't know what to say or ask and worry they'll think I'm weird. My face turns red, I act scared and anxious... and it's all very off-putting.
I have a good sense of humor, I make my wife laugh (I'm a lesbian by the way) with my goofy sense of humor. But it's the kind of humor that others tend to find 'weird' or inappropriate in the work place for instance.
I'd say that I am an intelligent person. I'm good with computers, code websites for a living and did well in school... but I'm not very articulate when it comes to speaking. I tend to speak in short sentences and not fully explain myself. I come off kind of air-headish and can't express my intelligence and confidence on some topics. I have a hard time thinking on the spot and expressing myself vocally. I've always had problems with mumbling and recently have began to almost develop a stutter.
I have light to moderate anxiety about buying things at stores, ordering food at restaurants, calling customer service, etc. And intense anxiety about speaking in front of groups. My anxiety response is having a hard time catching my breath, making it difficult to speak, red face, dry mouth, completely blank mind.
Experience with meds
I had to teach a 1 hour class at my job last year and knew that there was no way in hell I was going to be able to do it without some help. My doctor gave me .5mg Lorazepam and 40mg Propranolol (beta-blocker). I took a beta-blocker and 1.5mg of Lorazepam and was able to get through the class. Both drugs make it hard for me to think but chill me out enough that I can get through things without falling apart.
I normally take 1 beta-blocker if I'm going to a meeting I'm nervous about. If it's a meeting I'll have to speak at I'll also take a .5mg Lorazepam. I rarely have to take more than this and I really only take these maybe 3 times a month on a as needed basis.
I also was seriously into marijuana about a year ago. I smoked a lot of it everyday for about 6 months. It helped me get through some depressing times, but I feel like it has permanently increased my anxiety even after quitting cold turkey and being clean for 10 months now. My social skills also decreased when smoking and it's hard to explain, but I just haven't felt the same since. It is no way responsible for my whole anxiety situation because I already had it way before I started smoking.
I have a hard time day to day with answering calls at my work. I have to speak with the public and have a hard time coming off confident and not clueless and scatterbrained. I have a critical boss who sits right next to me which does not help at all. I also have a poor social relationship with my coworkers. I am very distant with them and keep things surface and don't tell them much about my life. I smile and am pleasant but just can't quite befriend them. I would be fine with this relationship but I can tell that they are slightly bothered by it. I'd also like to be able to engage with strangers in stores if I wish and not have a mini-anxiety attack about asking for directions or whatever else.
All in all I can't let go of how I feel about myself. I try to let the situations where I make an *** of myself roll off my back but it always pops back in my head and makes me feel helpless. I'm a fairly positive person but I am depressed about who I am. It's really starting to bother me because I feel at 26 I should be feeling more confident and secure with myself. On that note, I also feel like I have some sort of peter-pan complex as well. I do live on my own, pay my own bills etc... but I'd much rather be a kid. I don't enjoy many adult activities such as dressing up and going out to a nice dinner or going and socializing at a bar. I'd rather play video games with my friends or go to a movie. At family gatherings I still gravitate to "the kids table" and get really bored talking to "the adults."
Advice on how to proceed? Meds? Change of life? Can you relate to this?