Is having an Anxiety disorder a good reason to not consider to myself a coward or *****? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Is having an Anxiety disorder a good reason to not consider to myself a coward or *****?


Is having an Anxiety disorder a good reason to not consider to myself a coward or *****? I was picked on in middle school and high school pretty bad and really regret not standing up for myself back then. Im 41 years old now. Was not diagnosed with social anxiety disorder until around 25 years old so Im pretty darn sure my disorder is the main reason I could not stand up for myself. My symptoms in school were pretty bad. Trembling and shaking in class if I had to give a class presenatation. Or I would simply try to skip class to avoid doing it. Had few friends if any.


Didn't help my mindset any that my dad would call me a ***** and coward for not standing up for myself. Wasant an overall bad farther but on this particular issue he had no sympathy or understanding at all. Guess environment he was raised in you were expected to fight or it was the worst thing ever. Not that I think about it Anxiety disorders have a big genetic component so a lot of it can be blamed on the bad genetic hand he dealt me.


Anyway so I have accepted that with my disorder was the main reason I did not deal with these bullying issues better. Say 75 percent of it. But I still feel that last 25 percent is on me and my fault and that I am a coward. Having a pretty severe social anxiety disorder does not completely let me off the hook. Im sure there are some people who had as had or worse anxiety disorders were able to handle it better. Guess I look back on it now and im still dealing with a lot of guilt and self blame. Any thoughts and can anyone relate. Thank you
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 03:11 AM
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The past and your genetics are out of your control.

If you don't want to be a B, that's in your control, so try to accomplish that.

I feel like b/c of your early life and negative talk from your dad, you have this idea that you're a big B, and that idea defines how you interact in the world possibly.

I've realized that you can redefine yourself. You need to prove to yourself that you're not a B with actual facts. So B is someone who doesn't stand up for himself and gets bullied (or whatever criteria you might have)? Then be a tough guy and learn to take a punch. You know George St Pierre as well as a lot of MMA fighters were bullied as kids? The hurt/rage they felt as kids after being made/feeling powerless probably was what pushed them hard to reach their current fighting abilities https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mma...-up/ar-AAvljkQ . I was bullied too so I hit the gym grew taller and no one has robbed or bullied me since. I would recommend trying a beginners Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or boxing class. No expectations on you cause it's beginner. Just get in there, take hits, learn techniques, be okay with striking someone and getting struck and feeling the intensity of a 1 on 1 spar. That's a good starting point IMO

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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisinmd View Post
Having a pretty severe social anxiety disorder does not completely let me off the hook. Im sure there are some people who had as had or worse anxiety disorders were able to handle it better. Guess I look back on it now and im still dealing with a lot of guilt and self blame. Any thoughts and can anyone relate. Thank you
so your dad is kind of an ***hole.

on the one hand, its a good thing that you wish you had stood up for yourself at the time. that means you have enough self-respect to believe you deserved to be stood up for, and that you think standing up for yourself is the right thing to do. those are good things.

as for looking on the past, the most important reason to be angry at yourself now (and its ok to be angry at your past self) is to forgive yourself and move forward. which i believe youre trying to do, and would encourage you to try.

the percentage thing is a red herring. you did your best, or you believe you could have done better, but whats important now is the lesson that you can do better in the future. thats a good lesson. make the most of it, the point is not to beat yourself up, and i hope your life improves because of these choices youre trying to make. all the best.
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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The past and your genetics are out of your control.

If you don't want to be a B, that's in your control, so try to accomplish that.

I feel like b/c of your early life and negative talk from your dad, you have this idea that you're a big B, and that idea defines how you interact in the world possibly.

I've realized that you can redefine yourself. You need to prove to yourself that you're not a B with actual facts. So B is someone who doesn't stand up for himself and gets bullied (or whatever criteria you might have)? Then be a tough guy and learn to take a punch. You know George St Pierre as well as a lot of MMA fighters were bullied as kids? The hurt/rage they felt as kids after being made/feeling powerless probably was what pushed them hard to reach their current fighting abilities https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mma...-up/ar-AAvljkQ . I was bullied too so I hit the gym grew taller and no one has robbed or bullied me since. I would recommend trying a beginners Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or boxing class. No expectations on you cause it's beginner. Just get in there, take hits, learn techniques, be okay with striking someone and getting struck and feeling the intensity of a 1 on 1 spar. That's a good starting point IMO
Great advice thanks. By the way the B word you referenced I meant as the P word meaning part of the female body. I am starting to take up your advice.Took a boxing class recently. Got a pair of boxing clubs a couple weeks and been working on hitting the bag. I think my goal is to eventually step into the ring in a sparring match against a live opponent. I figure at this point in life ( im 41) this is the nearest thing I can do to prove I wont run away from a fight and fight back. Probaly not a good idea to start a random street fight with someone! Boxing ring makes much more sense. Not the same thing as a street fight but close enough. Thanks
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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so your dad is kind of an ***hole.

on the one hand, its a good thing that you wish you had stood up for yourself at the time. that means you have enough self-respect to believe you deserved to be stood up for, and that you think standing up for yourself is the right thing to do. those are good things.

as for looking on the past, the most important reason to be angry at yourself now (and its ok to be angry at your past self) is to forgive yourself and move forward. which i believe youre trying to do, and would encourage you to try.

the percentage thing is a red herring. you did your best, or you believe you could have done better, but whats important now is the lesson that you can do better in the future. thats a good lesson. make the most of it, the point is not to beat yourself up, and i hope your life improves because of these choices youre trying to make. all the best.

Thanks for the advice. I would agree my dad was a A hole on the bullying issue. He had his good points and his flaws like everyone does I guess.

One question so you said be angry at yourself but forgive yourself. Are those not 2 different things your trying to do? I guess I could be angry at the past and how I handled bullying (which I am). But if im angry isn't it hard to forgive oneself at the same time?
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 02:49 PM
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Great advice thanks. By the way the B word you referenced I meant as the P word meaning part of the female body. I am starting to take up your advice.Took a boxing class recently. Got a pair of boxing clubs a couple weeks and been working on hitting the bag. I think my goal is to eventually step into the ring in a sparring match against a live opponent. I figure at this point in life ( im 41) this is the nearest thing I can do to prove I wont run away from a fight and fight back. Probaly not a good idea to start a random street fight with someone! Boxing ring makes much more sense. Not the same thing as a street fight but close enough. Thanks
I was definitely not recommending you got all-out fight club . I was referring to BJJ gyms that practice sparring and street fight techniques in a controlled setting. Boxing is great b/c the practice allows you to get comfortable in those physical situations , which helps against anxiety, which IMO comes largely from a lack of control and knowing what to do in the situation. Hence, the redefining of who you are in your mind. For me, trying different things physical activities and excelling in them have also helped me redefine myself b/c i was very unathletic, short, skinny as a kid.

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 04:20 PM
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Like one person said if you dont want to be a B or P ... you can fix it..

even though i never been bullied i feel the same way you do.

Ive often thought of taking self defense classes and perhaps assertiveness therapy.

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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisinmd View Post
Is having an Anxiety disorder a good reason to not consider to myself a coward or *****? I was picked on in middle school and high school pretty bad and really regret not standing up for myself back then. Im 41 years old now. Was not diagnosed with social anxiety disorder until around 25 years old so Im pretty darn sure my disorder is the main reason I could not stand up for myself. My symptoms in school were pretty bad. Trembling and shaking in class if I had to give a class presenatation. Or I would simply try to skip class to avoid doing it. Had few friends if any.


Didn't help my mindset any that my dad would call me a ***** and coward for not standing up for myself. Wasant an overall bad farther but on this particular issue he had no sympathy or understanding at all. Guess environment he was raised in you were expected to fight or it was the worst thing ever. Not that I think about it Anxiety disorders have a big genetic component so a lot of it can be blamed on the bad genetic hand he dealt me.


Anyway so I have accepted that with my disorder was the main reason I did not deal with these bullying issues better. Say 75 percent of it. But I still feel that last 25 percent is on me and my fault and that I am a coward. Having a pretty severe social anxiety disorder does not completely let me off the hook. Im sure there are some people who had as had or worse anxiety disorders were able to handle it better. Guess I look back on it now and im still dealing with a lot of guilt and self blame. Any thoughts and can anyone relate. Thank you
I got into a fight once and had performance anxiety, so I didn't hit back. The guy hit me as hard as he could in my face like five or six times. I was afraid that I would look weird when I threw a punch, so I didn't. I just kept moving towards him, and then finally I walked away.

The next day, my face was all swollen and black-and-blue, and I had to go to work like that. The guy who hit me was on a college football team. He was a pretty big guy. I don't know if I could have beat him if I would have fought back, but I wish I would have tried instead of just taking a beating.

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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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I got into a fight once and had performance anxiety, so I didn't hit back. The guy hit me as hard as he could in my face like five or six times. I was afraid that I would look weird when I threw a punch, so I didn't. I just kept moving towards him, and then finally I walked away.

The next day, my face was all swollen and black-and-blue, and I had to go to work like that. The guy who hit me was on a college football team. He was a pretty big guy. I don't know if I could have beat him if I would have fought back, but I wish I would have tried instead of just taking a beating.
Sorry about how the fight turned out for you. Wish I would have fought back as well. I never thought of the term "performance anxiety" as it relates to the situation. But I guess it makes sense. If your to fearful to engage in a performance such as a speech in class you would also be to fearful to perform in a fight when others are watching and judging you.
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 10:08 PM
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One question so you said be angry at yourself but forgive yourself. Are those not 2 different things your trying to do?
i meant that its ok or understandable if youre angry at yourself. but dont let that stop you from forgiving yourself.

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I guess I could be angry at the past and how I handled bullying (which I am).
right.

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But if im angry isn't it hard to forgive oneself at the same time?
at the same time? probably. but if youre angry at yourself, eventually (hopefully) youre going to stop being angry at yourself and forgive yourself.

you might not stop being angry about it, until you forgive yourself.

also, some of than anger could be misplaced anger that started out as being at your dad, which being kept and not expressed, eventually became anger at you.

however, thats not where i was going with my comment. i was really saying "its important to forgive yourself, its ok to be angry." work to forgive yourself either way. until you do, the rest will be confusing and more difficult.
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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 10:56 PM
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Being a human being is the reason not to call yourself that. You are not a label. You were a child in a scary situation, that most children and many adults wouldn't know how to handle. A situation that is universally considered one of the most difficult, scarring experiences to go through. Having to face pple who are tormenting you daily that you're unable to escape from is hell on earth. Especially if you're also being bullied (abused) at home by parents or siblings. And let's be clear- a parent calling their child any derogatory name is absolutely abuse.

It's difficult if you're not used to doing it, but try to have compassion for yourself. Imagine a child in the situation you were in. Would you call him names or would you try to comfort him? Help him figure out solutions? Try to bolster his confidence to help him stand up to the bullies? Apologies if you have an ok relationshp with your dad, but at least in that instance, your dad was a cruel POS.

We all have instances in our lives where we wish we had reacted somewhat differently, but we were doing the best that we could at the time. Bullying is terrifying and pple live with lifelong scars from it. You are not alone in that experience, though I'm sure it felt extremely isolating. Anywho, I'll stop going on and on. Point is be gentle with yourself and attempt to have some compassion towards the young, hurting child you were.

Also, I hesitate to belabor this point, but how dare your dad. You couldn't stand up to your bullying dad. You couldn't push him or call him a coward or ***** or whatever he called you. There he was, demonstrating that you can't and shouldn't stand up to bullies, while punishing you for not standing up to bullies. What a mind****. Disgusting behavior on his part. Apologies if this is too far. The cognitive dissonance is just mindblowing.

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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 11:01 PM
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Disgusting behavior on his part. Apologies if this is too far. That **** is just ridiculous.
yeah, i mean first you screw up your kid. then you blame him for being screwed up. theres a lot of things i can say about people like that, but we are already on the same page.

you can get sufficiently unscrewed up from that sort of thing, but it takes years, and seriously **** that guy. no offense.
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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 11:51 AM
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No


For me, I don't think so. In fact, I see it the other way around. (TL;DR at bottom)

I feel that my main issue for having anxiety is because I'm a coward.

I always come to the same conclusion when I conduct root cause analysis for my many, many failures.

My anxiety has definitely dealt a hand in my failures but ultimately, it's been my cowardice that's prevented me from achieving many things in my life.

I didn't miss out on my high school life because my social anxiety prevented me, I wound up that way because I didn't even try to make the most of it. I didn't miss out on building my career early because of my anxiety, I did it because I didn't have the guts to pick up a phone or even make phone calls. I didn't fail to ask out my crush because of my anxiety, my cowardice to even talk to her all 4 years did. Did all of these things trigger my anxiety? Yes, they did, but ultimately it was due to my cowardice which prevented me to even try any one of these things when I had the chance to.

I suppose one could say that it isn't solely due to cowardice, but in my eyes, I am a coward. It's for that reason why I avoid confrontations.

The anxiety definitely makes it worse, but the only way to get better is to keep trying and push through the experiences in order to get better at whatever it is we want to become.

The anxiety will always remain and it isn't likely to go away just because we succeed at one thing. The issue then is not attempting to do anything after having failed once. In my eyes, this exemplifies cowardice.

I didn't say what I did to offend anyone, but this is how I see it. If I weren't a wishy-washy shmuck, I would probably be out of my parent's house by now and making a decent living.

I've muddled through life not attempting things because I'm afraid of the outcomes (anxiety) and for that which I don't even attempt to improve myself for (cowardice).

So, as you can see, they can kind of go hand-in-hand for us. I tell my folks that I make the effort of applying to jobs (which I am doing), but I never follow up with inquiry phone calls after submitting my applications.

TL;DR:
Yes, anxiety makes it harder for us to commit to things or even attempt things but ultimately what harms us more is not having the confidence to continue what it is we're doing in spite of the anxiety.

I will not delude myself and make excuses however, as I am in fact a coward. I don't like it, and I don't value this trait. It's not easy being unemployed and finding nearly zero positions that I would be fit for. The reality remains, however, that I'm just being picky and not choosing the jobs that are available. There are plenty part-time jobs I could pick up but refuse to because of my anxiety and cowardice.

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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 01:36 PM
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If I am being honest, I dont think its an excuse.

Nobody gives a **** about you having an anxiety problem. When I say this I mean that the general populace will just view you as incompetent or "weird". A person I was once close with just cut contact because I was honest about my anxiety and how crippling it had become, but he just thought I was being a p**** about it. Then again, he is ex-military, although sometimes think he might be right, lol.

Ultimately, you are aware that you have an anxiety problem. You are the only one who is capable of change, and only you care enough to decide whether or not you want to change or live in the shackles of anxiety. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done.

I think if you are actively trying to change and get out of your comfort zone, you are making improvements. Its when you lose all hope and give up on ever breaking free when you lose to cowardice.

But, you're in your early 40's. You've made it this far, which is definitely something.

Care to elaborate on that further, like what its like being your age, your life experiences, jobs, relationships since your 20's?

Uh, imagine a dark alley, and you see, you see someone come up behind you. You start walking faster, you don't know who it is. You turn around, it's just you. It's you, you're the shadow
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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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If I am being honest, I dont think its an excuse.

Nobody gives a **** about you having an anxiety problem. When I say this I mean that the general populace will just view you as incompetent or "weird". A person I was once close with just cut contact because I was honest about my anxiety and how crippling it had become, but he just thought I was being a p**** about it. Then again, he is ex-military, although sometimes think he might be right, lol.

Ultimately, you are aware that you have an anxiety problem. You are the only one who is capable of change, and only you care enough to decide whether or not you want to change or live in the shackles of anxiety. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done.

I think if you are actively trying to change and get out of your comfort zone, you are making improvements. Its when you lose all hope and give up on ever breaking free when you lose to cowardice.

But, you're in your early 40's. You've made it this far, which is definitely something.

Care to elaborate on that further, like what its like being your age, your life experiences, jobs, relationships since your 20's?
Yep I have made it to 41 so that is at least something. Right now in life I guess I would say im doing ok. Not great just ok. Good news is at my age you don't need to worry about bullying anymore. That **** seems to stop in your early 20's at worst from what I have observed.


Jobs wise I feel I never reached my potential. For behind a lot of my peers with professional jobs. I have a solid 9 to 5 blue collar job but nothing special. Never developed that elusive passion everyone searches for I guess. Lot of the problem was I could never make it through college with my social anxiety so bad. Dam colleges pretty much all make speech class a requirement these days! lol Got around that one by doing an online degree.


Female relationship wise I must say I am much better then I was in high school to early 20's. Could barely say hi to a woman at that point. Now I can at least be adequate in conversation with a woman and on a date. Managed to pull off a few one night stands with some attractive women and had some semi serious GF from time to time. Makes me seriously regret all the fun I could have had in high school and college with the ladies if the social anxiety was under control. Always wanted to be the guy that could talk to anybody and be the life of the party. Not in the genetic cards for me however.


A lot of things I missed out on in my younger years im trying to make up for now. Always regretted not playing high school football. Cant change that now but I have joined a adult flag football league now so that is the closest I can come to making up for that. Bought me a pair of boxing gloves and plan on taking a few lessons. I figure if I step in a boxing ring and fight its the closest thing I can do not to making up for not fighting back when I was younger.


So trying to make progress where I can. Life is a struggle but im certainly in a better place then I have been at other times in my life.


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post #16 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Being a human being is the reason not to call yourself that. You are not a label. You were a child in a scary situation, that most children and many adults wouldn't know how to handle. A situation that is universally considered one of the most difficult, scarring experiences to go through. Having to face pple who are tormenting you daily that you're unable to escape from is hell on earth. Especially if you're also being bullied (abused) at home by parents or siblings. And let's be clear- a parent calling their child any derogatory name is absolutely abuse.

It's difficult if you're not used to doing it, but try to have compassion for yourself. Imagine a child in the situation you were in. Would you call him names or would you try to comfort him? Help him figure out solutions? Try to bolster his confidence to help him stand up to the bullies? Apologies if you have an ok relationshp with your dad, but at least in that instance, your dad was a cruel POS.

We all have instances in our lives where we wish we had reacted somewhat differently, but we were doing the best that we could at the time. Bullying is terrifying and pple live with lifelong scars from it. You are not alone in that experience, though I'm sure it felt extremely isolating. Anywho, I'll stop going on and on. Point is be gentle with yourself and attempt to have some compassion towards the young, hurting child you were.

Also, I hesitate to belabor this point, but how dare your dad. You couldn't stand up to your bullying dad. You couldn't push him or call him a coward or ***** or whatever he called you. There he was, demonstrating that you can't and shouldn't stand up to bullies, while punishing you for not standing up to bullies. What a mind****. Disgusting behavior on his part. Apologies if this is too far. The cognitive dissonance is just mindblowing.
Thanks for your response. Great advice. I need to work on having compassion for myself and not beating myself up for the way I handled things. Nothing I can do to change the past now.


Yes my dad had his issues. He passed away about 10 years ago so cant address the issue with him at this point. I think he was really a hell raiser and troublemaker in his younger days. His philosophy was being a snitch or a coward was the worst things you could possibly be in life. So I really could not ask for help either and tried to hide the situation and not tell anyone about the bullying. In his defense he didn't know I had anxiety disorder at the time so he wasant aware it was a medical issues. I do remember him trying to talk to me and boost my confidence. Trying to make me believe I could fight back. His mindset it was the only way to stop the bullying is to punch them in the face so to speak. I think he had this idea that if he made things so bad for me at home I would have no choice but to fight back to end it. Kind of give me no other option. He also said bullying is good for you. Makes a man out of you. Teaches you to stand up for yourself. If you run away now people will be screwing with you your whole life.

I don't know I think that philosophy is pretty common among men of his generation and even today. This kind of brings up another issue but Im not sure he was not correct that you have to fight your bully. Proper way to handle bullying? Fight or not? Anyway I kind of think he may have been correct on the bottom line that I had to fight back. Would have saved me a lot of problems with bullying later on. Then again with my severe anxiety disorder I don't think I was physically able to at the time.
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post #17 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 03:25 AM
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"Coward" is generally an insulting bullying term that tends to be used to coerce people. It is rarely used in a way that isn't intended to be pejorative.

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post #18 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 11:49 AM
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Yep I have made it to 41 so that is at least something. Right now in life I guess I would say im doing ok. Not great just ok. Good news is at my age you don't need to worry about bullying anymore. That **** seems to stop in your early 20's at worst from what I have observed.


Jobs wise I feel I never reached my potential. For behind a lot of my peers with professional jobs. I have a solid 9 to 5 blue collar job but nothing special. Never developed that elusive passion everyone searches for I guess. Lot of the problem was I could never make it through college with my social anxiety so bad. Dam colleges pretty much all make speech class a requirement these days! lol Got around that one by doing an online degree.


Female relationship wise I must say I am much better then I was in high school to early 20's. Could barely say hi to a woman at that point. Now I can at least be adequate in conversation with a woman and on a date. Managed to pull off a few one night stands with some attractive women and had some semi serious GF from time to time. Makes me seriously regret all the fun I could have had in high school and college with the ladies if the social anxiety was under control. Always wanted to be the guy that could talk to anybody and be the life of the party. Not in the genetic cards for me however.


A lot of things I missed out on in my younger years im trying to make up for now. Always regretted not playing high school football. Cant change that now but I have joined a adult flag football league now so that is the closest I can come to making up for that. Bought me a pair of boxing gloves and plan on taking a few lessons. I figure if I step in a boxing ring and fight its the closest thing I can do not to making up for not fighting back when I was younger.


So trying to make progress where I can. Life is a struggle but im certainly in a better place then I have been at other times in my life.


Thoughts?
Sounds like you've done alright for yourself. Doesn't it seem like things will be fine at the end of the day?

Blue collar work ain't too bad, sure beats being thousands of dollars in debt. College is overrated anyways, but it is a good investment, depending on discipline.

What was your anxiety at your worst, and has it eased over time?

Uh, imagine a dark alley, and you see, you see someone come up behind you. You start walking faster, you don't know who it is. You turn around, it's just you. It's you, you're the shadow
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post #19 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 12:16 PM
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I've been thinking about this thread for a few days.


To me, cowardice is having an opportunity (to help, to develop a relationship, whatever) right in front of you, and being unable or unwilling to take it despite truly wanting to.


Anyone (SA or not) who claims they have not done things through fear is a liar. I just think people with SA put themselves in less situations to be able to make a "choice" than most other people. For me, that is a kind of cowardice, but only if you are sitting there really wanting something and you sit on your hands.


Personally for large parts of my life i haven't craved that much social interaction. Or at least i have convinced myself i haven't. I don't even know. I like to believe that when the time comes, and i really really really want something, i will do whatever i can to make it happen. Of course the truth is it is never entirely up to you, particularly when it comes to relationships etc
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post #20 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 05:34 AM
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I got bullied pretty badly in hs. I did stand up for myself. Constantly. (One might say too much, since I would mouth back to whole groups of guys.) It just led to worse and worse bullying and by the end I was getting credible death threats so I just had to call it quits. Dropped out of school and just hid from everyone. I've been terrified of humans ever since.

So standing up for yourself wouldn't necessarily have solved your problems. It might have made them worse. I now have all kinds of phobias, nightmares, and other issues with anxiety.

For forty-seven years I've put up with it now. I must stop Christmas from coming ... but how?
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