My Thought process and curious of what you guys might think?
I recentley joined the Social Anxiety support forum group just wanted to kind of post my story and share my problems and kind of get advice and help from people.
So basically my problem is the fact that I have Extreme social anxiety as well as extreme fear of appearing Extremeley awkward in various social situations which I wasnt aware of until I began digging up my subconscious through the TM videos.
Before I narrate on how I got to this state I want to first as kind of a disclaimer
tell u guys that I became like this not solely due to a traumatic experience but also due to the fact that I was just naturally prone to anxiety. I remember in elementary school I was that kid who was very very stubborn, was very self-assertive on my own opinions and i would always insist on my own way to do things. I was a perfectionist and would naturally catastrophize and had a lot of worry and fear for all the possible scenarios that could go wrong. I was called a scardy- cat and would avoid fights or brawls since i was thinking what happens if lets say i get into a fight and something goes wrong and i suddenley die?, etc catastrophization thoughts like that.
I would have layers and layers of protection thoughts that would prevent me from feeling those emotions of having extreme fear and shame towards my socially-anxious self, and these layers and layers of resistance literally prevented me from KNOWING that this part of me exist. So basically I wasn’t even conscious of it. These protection layers have been on auto-repeat for the past 7 years because I would always prevent myself from feeling those emotions and the protection layers are (when i come to think about it) what literally kept me alive. Back then I didn’t know how to deal with emotions therefore didnt have a choice but to keep suppressing **** into my subconscious. These protection thoughts are thoughts of like how I would try to act like a different person, acting out like someone who i thought was really cool and tried to just ignore or basically pretend that all the extreme social anxiety in me is a completely different person or didn’t exist.
This all started when I was in Middle school, where I went thru a very traumatic period during my middle school years where I had a period of extreme social isolation. I went to a public middle-school in South Korea (thats where I am from) and during recess I would sit down frozen all alone at my desk while all the other kids are playing around and I wouldnt MOVE a SINGLE muscle. I was so scared that they might see me alone and was just so embarassed by the fact that I was just so Awkward. During lunch time I was too embarassed to sit alone in the cafeteria that I would eat at the bathroom secretly. This went on for about 2 years. No FRIENDS, No Counselors, no parents to talk to or anything and everyday I was scared to move a muscle or even leave my seat at school. But I think that most importantly, due to this experience I developed kind of an automatic thought process of having EXTREME fear of appearing self-conscious while catastrophizing all kinds of thoughts of what other people think of me.
Fast forward to high school and I went to an international school in Singapore. For such a long period I endured these emotions of extreme shame, fear, anxiety, and self-consciousness that my brain literally was wired this way. I would catastrophize all kinds of thoughts of appearing self-conscious in front of people. I developed automatic self-conscious thoughts and self-sabotaging thoughts. During my first year of high school my social anxiety was so INTENSE that I literally could not walk the streets at all. Could not take public transportation, Was too scared to even look at people in their eyes, and I dont know HOW I managed to go to school everyday. It would have been literally a MIRACLE that every day somehow without panicking I was able to get thru the whole day.
When I talked to people I literally stared DOWN the whole time and I would have all kinds of paranoid-like automatic thoughts from shaking, fear of people seeing my reactions on my face and of having inappropriate reactions, i had intense fear of having inappopriate or extremeley awkward reactions (ex. When I went to my high school orientation and a upper-classmen kind of introduced me to the school and was talking about the school I was afraid of like just my eyes-watering and fear that he might think I am getting emotional (?) or crying because i am a ****ing *****(?) i know this doesnt make any sense but basically you can grasp how paranoid+self conscious+socially anxious I was)
Right now I am in the Korean Army and my social anxiety has definitley gone better than in high school. I am able to maintain conversations and hold eye contact and just be normal, but however I just suffer from automatic continous thoughts of catastrophization and I just feel like I can NEVER recover from being completely normal. Like since I am used to a lot of my fellow teammates in my squadron I dont feel as self-conscious or have socially anxious thoughts among people i know or get used to, but the problem is whenever I meet new people my heart starts to pound and I get nervous and feel THREATENED like hell because I fear like going back to my middle school years. I get super-self conscious, i’ll have continous thoughts of shaking, my eyes-watering and just mumbling and not being able to express my words cuz i literally fear showing my true awkward self. And I keep thinking about this, i ruminate on these thoughts whenever i meet new people and these thoughts appear automatically almost like an ocd patient. Sometimes I just feel suicidal and feel like I should kill myself to end all this **** cuz I have been traumatized too deep that I can never recover, like the only way out is death. I have obsessive rumination thoughts of these socially anxious thoughts as well repeating a social situation in my head and I would “fantasize” myself being just super-cool, super-muscular and how all the white girls love me and like me and just appearing cool, thinking of social situations where I would lets say “act” something out and all the girls think i look super-attractive and fall in love, etc and how i would feel super-high almost like a drug. I feel like I am literally an addict to these THOUGHTS that gives me initial pleasure but inevitably leads me pain. I cant control these thoughts and is powerless therefore feel suicidal. I know its been a really long post and I kind of narrated every thought and background of me but I want to know what do you guys all think? What do guys think I should do to kind of recover from all this mess? Should I just feel all those emotions of extreme shame & self-hate& denial, fear, anxiety, self-conscious, insecurity, and vulnerability that is fueling these automatic thoughts? I am trying to but it is so hard to do since i have all these “protection” thoughts, aka resistance as julien would call it in his videos that would prevent me from directly accessing all the subconscious emotions. What do you guys think?