Originally Posted by conantheworthless
Telling someone won't change a thing, they won't understand as you said or they will pretend to understand. Anyway you have kids etc so you've done pretty good considering your anxiety! No wonder you feel strong!
I've pretty much stopped forcing myself into social situations. Till my 30th anniversary or so I went out every weekend, lived as normally as I could but I never felt good about it. It's nerve wrecking when you have the feeling that no matter where you are or what you're doing you think people are watching every single movement you make. I remember the days very clearly, the whole club/bar was dancing their feet off and I stood still like street light, tense face, people asking me if I was high or something, never ever at ease, natural, unless I was stone cold drunk ( which is also not recommended). And then the fact that I can't understand what people are shouting in my ear, while other seem to have normal level conversations standing in the same noisy surroundings. Odd! Just thinking about it again makes all my muscles tightening up .
Yes, I remember those feelings and can totally understand.
I've looked for social situations that are easier to handle, though still difficult. They're based on activities , joining a choir, doing painting lessons, also volunteering to teach english (I'm an ex-pat).
Exercise does me a lot of good, but I find walking groups difficult, I prefer doing it with just one other person. Same with cycling.
If I really want to do an activity and enjoy it I just think sod 'em really, if they think I'm weird.
It's true to say I've forced myself to do things that scare me all my life. I kind of didn't want to miss out.
Maybe there's a case for saying I haven't been true to myself, I've acted out a part. But without any social contact I would be very unhappy.