Social Anxiety Forum

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-   -   Oldest member at 62? (https://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f21/oldest-member-at-62-a-2224307/)

hidingintheshadows63 06-09-2019 01:54 AM

Oldest member at 62?
 
Hi,

Yes, 62 and looking back at how my whole life has been blighted by SA.

Anyone else around my age and STILL dealing with the same problems?
Do you talk to other people about your condition, or do you, like me hide it from friends and family, as if it's a shameful secret?


Looking to "come out" at least to someone here.


Hiding.

Silent Memory 06-09-2019 04:35 AM

Welcome to SAS. :) I hope youíll like it here. There are two or three members who are close in age to you, even if some of them donít post much.

conantheworthless 06-09-2019 05:36 AM

I hide my SA as if it's the greatest sin. The only reason nobody recognizes it though is that nobody knows SA exist.
Anyway I hate when people perceive me as weak ( which is 100% what I am though) so I will never get it out in the open, that's why I'm here.

Paul 06-09-2019 07:54 AM

Welcome! You're not the oldest member, since one of my SAS friends is 63.

Maslow 06-09-2019 10:39 AM

Welcome! There are several babyboomers here, although most members are in their 20s and 30s. Maybe there should be a forum for boomers. :)

hidingintheshadows63 06-10-2019 01:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by conantheworthless (Post 1093737781)
I hide my SA as if it's the greatest sin. The only reason nobody recognizes it though is that nobody knows SA exist.
Anyway I hate when people perceive me as weak ( which is 100% what I am though) so I will never get it out in the open, that's why I'm here.


That's interesting. I feel I'm almost super human strong. I've gone through so many problems because of my SA, and the SA has meant I've gone through them alone, whereas I see that normal people have help and support. Also, despite being frightened, I force myself in to social situations. In the hope (still, at 62!) that it will get easier.



So now I'm wondering why I don't tell anyone about my SA. Different reasons.


I don't tell my kids, because I don't want them to worry about their genes. I don't tell my sister, because she hates any slight deviant from "normal" . I don't tell medical services because experience has taught me they won't understand or help.



I did , once, tell a friend that people scared me and he made a silly face like a monster.


Thank you all for your replies. You're very accepting and kind.

harrison 06-10-2019 02:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hidingintheshadows63 (Post 1093737705)
Hi,

Yes, 62 and looking back at how my whole life has been blighted by SA.

Anyone else around my age and STILL dealing with the same problems?
Do you talk to other people about your condition, or do you, like me hide it from friends and family, as if it's a shameful secret?


Looking to "come out" at least to someone here.


Hiding.

Hi - I'm 60 , so you're a couple of years older than me. It looks really strange when I write that down and it sounds weird when I say it - because I don't think most of the time I feel like that old. I think when I'm feeling okay I feel like I'm still in my 40's or so - until I see myself in a mirror of course.

I feel like my life's been seriously affected by SA - but to nowhere near the extent of many of the people I read about on here. I had a reasonably normal younger life with friends, girlfriends and work - the main thing for me was that I found it really hard to hold down a job for any decent length of time. And I couldn't go to Uni until I was older. I started in my late 30's. I know for a fact that if I hadn't has SA I would have been able to do something much better than the sort of jobs I had.

My wife and my son know about my anxiety - I feel like I can tell my wife (ex really) most things. I know that at least she's not going anywhere no matter what I do - let's put it that, because I've pretty much already done it. She's a pretty amazing person and I'm very lucky to have her. Fortunately she still cares a great deal about me - otherwise I would find things very hard indeed.

I don't think my son likes to talk about the anxiety - but the bipolar is okay. I think that's the case with most people actually and it's how I feel too to a large extent. I would be far more inclined to tell someone I'm bipolar than to admit I have anxiety and especially social anxiety. I know most people have no idea what you're talking about so I just wouldn't do it unless I knew them well and had started to really trust them. Admitting to fear is not something that comes easy to me - and I don't think that's at all surprising considering the sort of blokey/sporty stupid culture I grew up in. It's gradually changing though but in reality I think it's changing extremely slowly and most people would still just think it's weird. So I don't do it.

Erroll 06-10-2019 06:03 AM

Ole Errol here just turned 68. Social retard - Call it what you like, anxiety, autism, and homosexuality. Got 'em all and don't know which caused what problems. Piss on it. Just living the life I've been dealt.

lily 06-10-2019 08:51 AM

it's ok that you're the older folks. Hi and welcome~

sabbath9 06-10-2019 09:09 AM

I'm a boomer too but I'm still 18 :p


My SA hasn't really been a problem since I found Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) about 15 years ago.




Welcome to SAS!

conantheworthless 06-10-2019 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hidingintheshadows63 (Post 1093738477)
That's interesting. I feel I'm almost super human strong. I've gone through so many problems because of my SA, and the SA has meant I've gone through them alone, whereas I see that normal people have help and support. Also, despite being frightened, I force myself in to social situations. In the hope (still, at 62!) that it will get easier.



So now I'm wondering why I don't tell anyone about my SA. Different reasons.


I don't tell my kids, because I don't want them to worry about their genes. I don't tell my sister, because she hates any slight deviant from "normal" . I don't tell medical services because experience has taught me they won't understand or help.



I did , once, tell a friend that people scared me and he made a silly face like a monster.


Thank you all for your replies. You're very accepting and kind.

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 .

hidingintheshadows63 06-11-2019 02:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by conantheworthless (Post 1093738875)
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.

hidingintheshadows63 06-11-2019 02:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harrison (Post 1093738487)
Hi - I'm 60 , so you're a couple of years older than me. It looks really strange when I write that down and it sounds weird when I say it - because I don't think most of the time I feel like that old. I think when I'm feeling okay I feel like I'm still in my 40's or so - until I see myself in a mirror of course.

I feel like my life's been seriously affected by SA - but to nowhere near the extent of many of the people I read about on here. I had a reasonably normal younger life with friends, girlfriends and work - the main thing for me was that I found it really hard to hold down a job for any decent length of time. And I couldn't go to Uni until I was older. I started in my late 30's. I know for a fact that if I hadn't has SA I would have been able to do something much better than the sort of jobs I had.

My wife and my son know about my anxiety - I feel like I can tell my wife (ex really) most things. I know that at least she's not going anywhere no matter what I do - let's put it that, because I've pretty much already done it. She's a pretty amazing person and I'm very lucky to have her. Fortunately she still cares a great deal about me - otherwise I would find things very hard indeed.

I don't think my son likes to talk about the anxiety - but the bipolar is okay. I think that's the case with most people actually and it's how I feel too to a large extent. I would be far more inclined to tell someone I'm bipolar than to admit I have anxiety and especially social anxiety. I know most people have no idea what you're talking about so I just wouldn't do it unless I knew them well and had started to really trust them. Admitting to fear is not something that comes easy to me - and I don't think that's at all surprising considering the sort of blokey/sporty stupid culture I grew up in. It's gradually changing though but in reality I think it's changing extremely slowly and most people would still just think it's weird. So I don't do it.


Your ex sounds lovely. That's all we want I think - acceptance. My son, who also has SA has been lucky too and all his wife's family understand, accept and make efforts to make him feel at ease - for instance at family get-togethers they say he can go and read in a bedroom if it all gets too much.


I too missed out on a career. I went to a good school where nearly everyone is high achiever which makes me feel even more ashamed. I tried university and couldn't cope at all. I feel I had opportunities and failed to make the most of them.


Strange , how bipolar is more accepted than SA. I dream of a world where one could just explain it like any other handicap. As if I said "look I'm deaf" and others understand, accept and support.



Part of me would like to put an ad in the local paper suggesting meetings or social events for anyone with SA.

harrison 06-11-2019 04:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hidingintheshadows63 (Post 1093739331)
Your ex sounds lovely. That's all we want I think - acceptance. My son, who also has SA has been lucky too and all his wife's family understand, accept and make efforts to make him feel at ease - for instance at family get-togethers they say he can go and read in a bedroom if it all gets too much.


I too missed out on a career. I went to a good school where nearly everyone is high achiever which makes me feel even more ashamed. I tried university and couldn't cope at all. I feel I had opportunities and failed to make the most of them.


Strange , how bipolar is more accepted than SA. I dream of a world where one could just explain it like any other handicap. As if I said "look I'm deaf" and others understand, accept and support.



Part of me would like to put an ad in the local paper suggesting meetings or social events for anyone with SA.

I couldn't make the most of my situation either. I went to a private school and did very well - I was always at the top of the class, but I left when I was 16 because I think I'd just had enough of all the study. I went to technical college for a year just to calm my father down a bit and everyone was wondering what the hell I was doing that for. I wasn't expected to just be studying at that fairly low level.

I did manage to do 2 more courses - one at what we call TAFE here - like I think what they call community college in the States, and then a degree in my late 30's. I couldn't use the degree much though because even though I got quite a good job not long after I couldn't handle it - much too stressful. I was also taking a huge amount of Xanax just to deal with it - which was working less and less the longer I used to it for - plus it caused memory loss and reduced my cognitive function in general. Things that I would have studied without hardly any effort before became more difficult. I found that very upsetting tbh.

I'm not really sure if bipolar is more accepted - I think it's maybe just more like a mental illness people may have heard of. (or maybe not) I just don't think the normal everyday person can relate to being socially anxious - not to a significant level. They might understand being a bit shy when they first meet someone new - but this is different. This stops you from progressing in life.

Maybe you could try a meetup group for SA - I used to go to one for people with anxiety/depression and I still occasionally go to a bipolar one. They can be good - it depends solely on who's there though obviously.

needendorphins 06-12-2019 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sabbath9 (Post 1093738635)
I'm a boomer too but I'm still 18 :p


My SA hasn't really been a problem since I found Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) about 15 years ago.


Welcome to SAS!


Could you explain how ACT actually works? Did you get over SA by accepting you are going to be anxious?

sabbath9 06-12-2019 08:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by needendorphins (Post 1093740315)
Could you explain how ACT actually works? Did you get over SA by accepting you are going to be anxious?


Accept your reactions and be present
Choose a valued direction
Take action


Yes, accept that I'm human, use mindfulness and values to commit to being response-able.


ACT has helped me a lot. You can learn ACT from self-help workbooks. One of the best is "Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life" by Dr. Steven C. Hayes.


Meds did nothing and had bad side effects. CBT had me debating my brain and paralyzed. ACT allows me to notice all the crazy things my mind and body go through to stop me from doing what I want / need to do.

hypestyle 06-12-2019 09:30 AM

to the original poster(s) how did you manage to meet any significant others, and/or spouse? How much did SA alter your social and interpersonal navigation?
I'm still a 45-year-old v_rgin who has never had a girlfriend.

hidingintheshadows63 06-13-2019 01:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hypestyle (Post 1093740353)
to the original poster(s) how did you manage to meet any significant others, and/or spouse? How much did SA alter your social and interpersonal navigation?
I'm still a 45-year-old v_rgin who has never had a girlfriend.


Hi.

When I was young I fled from at least 2 quite nice men that asked me out. I couldn't imagine having a close relationship.
Then I met my husband-to-be at my work. I wasn't scared to get into a "relationship" with him and I saw a way of living my life. So I did. Later, he turned out to have a serious personality disorder and became very abusive. I kind of accepted this as the price I had to pay to have a life. I know, it sounds crazy and I'm not proud of it. On the contrary, I feel deep shame. Shame I still feel every day.



I can see now I chose this man over the nice ones because he never wanted emotional intimacy.



I had kids. A big family in fact. I had a social life through my husband as he was a person who had to have people around all the time, loved drama.



When the kids reached adolescence his behaviour was getting crazily dangerous. I think he couldn't stand them becoming their own personalities.


I managed to leave, with the help of the police. Since then I have brought my kids up alone. In my heart I knew I owed them everything as I feel I had them for selfish reasons. So I can honestly say I have done a good job of bringing them up. They are all good people with good values. They all have good relationships. At least 2 have SA and I'm able to support them as I understand their problems.



So, there's my life. The good and the bad. I'm left with feelings of shame.


I'm afraid I haven't been able to help you. I wouldn't recommend anyone do what I did.



Now, I'm still living with the same SA. I live alone. Kids not very close. I have to go out and meet people. I'm retired so I do "activities". I join clubs based on shared activities - if my interest is strong enough I force myself into uncomfortable situations.I recognise I don't make friends, but I have social contact.



I try not to be sad.


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