Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


(Most of this stuff could be said for my twin brother too, who is going through the same thing and trying to do the same things mostly...but I'll just use "I", I guess, anyway)

I really do not feel like doing anything right now after just getting home from school. I did not want to write anything in this journal I've been doing sometimes (since a few weeks ago...and it has helped in some significant ways I guess). I could work on a sketch for my Art class, but I really do not feel like it. I could study for a Psychology test tomorrow. I could eat a snack. I could play some video or computer games. I could do some cognitive self-talk with these hand-outs that are part of a $300 series called Overcoming Social Anxiety that my mom bought my brother and I (I don't think she should have spent that much on anything...although the better alternative would have been a real therapist, which probably would have ended up being more expensive anyway). I could do some exercise, like some jumping jacks and push-ups or sit-ups. For about the past month, I definitely at least did the self-talk or exercise or snack or something nearly every day, pretty soon after getting home.

But then there are days like this sometimes too. I don't feel like anything's worth doing at all. I didn't want to waste time on the internet. And I really don't like making a post on here...I know people are just going to say stuff that I could have figured out myself...or maybe my mood will improve in a few hours somewhat, and I'll feel like the post was not necessary.

I just had a really really frustrating argument with my mom last night. She didn't understand what the point was of something I started talking about, and so she just started saying really obvious advice, but in a really edgy tone of voice, that got edgier and edgier as I kept replying that I know I have to do that. Then she has to say something like 'if you already knew that, then why aren't you doing it?'. I don't even know why she has to ask...I've said a million times before that it's hard. It eventually got to a point where I was basically saying I hate the fact that we're arguing, and then she says stuff like 'this is why people wouldn't want to talk to you, because you'd just be angry' after I was saying how I wish I could talk so casually like so many other people do around me in classes. I kept saying how worthless I felt, too, but we're arguing and so both of our voices sound angry, and she keeps saying that it was my fault to begin with that she sounds angry, which was following me saying that she is saying good advice but is delivering it in the most horrible tone I could possibly imagine. She tells me to stop acting like everything is her fault, when I'm NOT acting like it's her fault, I obviously said I feel worthless and hate my life, the only reason she thought she had to say something like that was because I have an angry tone to my voice, and because I told her that she's delivering her message horribly. I don't know why she expected me to follow or listen to her advice, and NOT get mad when she's yelling it at me and does not have one inkling of compassion or caring in the tone of her voice when saying it. How could someone NOT get mad in response to someone else raising their voice? She acts like I'm the only one at fault and I really doubt she's going to admit she did anything wrong when she comes home tonight from work. I never, ever, ever, want to apologize when she's going to be so freaking stubborn and not say that she could have done stuff better, when she obviously could have and just won't admit it.

I don't even know how I'm supposed to just 'let this go', like I've had advised to me before. My mom is the only person I've talked to basically about a crush I have on a girl, nobody else. She's the only person I really feel like talking about anything emotional to, so both my brother and I talk about that kind of stuff. For a few years or more now, I've definitely gotten into really horrible negative thinking patterns. So it's always likely that these talks will turn ugly, since I usually only feel like talking about sad and depressing and angry stuff. I guess I should have seen it coming when I start saying how worthless I am. My mom basically said she was sick of hearing me say that, in her continued angry tone, and told me not to threaten her with anything like me saying I wanted to end my life. Wow, way to deliver the message that you care about your son: in a really angry voice and pretty much HER doing the threatening. Then she ended, at the peak of her angriness, saying that I'm a coward if I don't want to fix anything. That was the absolutely WORST possible thing she could say. I AM TRYING AND I HAVE MADE SOME PROGRESS RECENTLY. IT'S HARD AND I'M SCARED TO DO STUFF AND I'VE FELT LIKE A COWARD EVERY DAY THAT I COME HOME FROM SCHOOL. EVERY DAY. Years and years...I can't NOT complain about it sometimes.

And just because I sit down one night and talk about how I'm scared and don't know how I'm supposed to talk easily, and how there are so many other better people than me, so it's not worth it even trying.

I think I know one major problem of my social anxiety that I'd love more than anything to fix, which is me smiling at stuff while in a school environment, like when I'm saying something or maybe even at someone when waving in the hall, or something. I don't do this at home. Which leads me to another thing that I wanted to mention, and that's the reason why I think nobody would like it if I was just "myself" at school.

Here's what being myself while in the comfort of my home involves: I sit around on my computer or studying or doing homework. I talk to my brother. I talk to my parents. I don't make nice compliments or say anything too emotional really at all to anyone. I do not smile or laugh or be lighthearted about stuff, because I have such horrible negative thinking patterns that I just don't see the point in thinking about positive stuff (examples of stuff that I maybe could think positive about: how great some people are, how I should appreciate my parents for raising me, how I should appreciate having a brother to talk to, how my friend with Asperger's sure is in a good mood all the time even if he seems kind of obsessive about stuff, how I really look forward to new challenges...but I just don't know how much of this stuff there really is to think about sometimes). Besides, it's much easier to think negatively about stuff. And another aspect of 'myself' would be crying about stuff. And arguing with my parents occasionally, even though I was avoiding that pretty well until yesterday (and I suppose yesterday wasn't horrible...except for the part that involved my brother screaming and swearing at my mom for calling me a coward).

I don't have a positive attitude or nature at home, I don't smile or laugh at things UNLESS it's something I really find funny. Maybe some funny video on the internet or something on TV. So I smile or laugh at material things basically, because it's hard to force a smile or laugh just for the sake of being kind or whatever. Which means I'm basically selfish I guess, or at least that's what my mom would say. I'm pretty sure it's because I've been conditioned into acting this way because I'm too afraid to be otherwise and be all happy or whatever, I know I started being afraid after starting middle and high school that people would start to think that a guy being positive or smiling about stuff seemed pretty "gay". And if you know what the atmosphere is like when starting middle or high school, you have to avoid everything to be thought of as like that. Only the 'strong' or 'normal' people can re-assert themselves and survive through the hell, and some of them who maybe are actually homosexual may even have the strength to be open about it. And I REALLY hate the thing where I don't want to tell people I'm not gay, because I strongly believe that that shouldn't be necessary to say BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MATTER. And I hate saying this, too, but other people would also think I'm defending myself...which of course I shouldn't worry about, but I have such a low self-esteem and self-confidence that I can't NOT care about that aspect of it.

Back to the thing about people changing when they get to middle/high school...I've seen some take on a personality that they didn't even have before, some kids turn just plain bad, some become the 'preppies' or whatever, some maintain their personality somehow. I had social anxiety disorder probably since forever, so I found the easiest thing to do was to not do anything. Then I would be safe. Don't talk, and people can't make fun of you. I was and am weak. Especially compared to others I see, others who survived it somehow and don't suffer from social anxiety or depression obviously. They are doing good things every day and talking to and generally helping out other people by being positive and whatever. I'm stuck.

I don't even think it's worth it to take 'little' steps forward. What are those little steps going to be? Barely smiling in a class? Making a brief nice comment occasionally? What is the point, when there's others who are just so much more advanced and doing so much more every single day. I'll look like a freaking baby or simple-minded person if I just do small stuff like that. And it is the absolutely hardest thing to smile for me, at least when it's not something that I find 'funny'. Because I've conditioned myself into not doing anything that would make me look 'gay' or somehow weird. Because that'd be "bad". Even when I'm around people who I know wouldn't care much at all (well, besides at home...I obviously don't care when around my brother or parents as much). This is the thing I hate most about myself: not being able to force a smile. I just cannot do it at the present time. I suppose I COULD do it, I mean I have tried sort of, like in my mirror at home. And I know what it feels like, because I have smiled actually pretty big in classes before when something really makes me. But I don't like it being limited to just stuff that makes me smile. Everyone else seems to so easily just do it, like to show kindness or, especially important for me, to show that I'm not really serious and stuff. I have said stuff before and because I wasn't smiling, people didn't know I was just kidding. So that's another reason why I'm afraid to say stuff. I often (more often years ago) feel like saying something funny. But I just cannot get a good enough smile going. So it's just not worth it.

This really eats me up when I know I walk around and sit in a class and I look so serious and/or depressed and probably like I'm about to get angry at someone sometimes. The only way that someone would know I'm not like this is if they talked to me. And some have; I have a few people like that in my grade. But then there's classes where nobody knows me. And I never talk, except to answer questions. And my voice sounds emotionless when I do that. I might smile sometimes, but I don't know if others notice much (hopefully they do). And after going for more than a semester and not acting any different, any day, at all, nobody expects me to suddenly say something (especially something with a light-hearted intention to it, which is what I usually would like to do, but then there'd be an awkward silence, because I wouldn't be smiling and the tone I use would be my 'safe' monotone tone). I can't even imagine talking like I do at home at school...just a whole different mode I click into at school...I wish I could knock down that wall with a hammer, just all at once...That wall between school and home. Because then I KNOW at least some people would appreciate me for how I am and know me better and stuff. Some wouldn't. It's so hard to not be afraid with those 'some'.

I do see some hope, despite having a bad setback like this. I don't know how my mom's going to act when she gets home from work. I don't know how to avoid talking to her or trying to ignore her, or ignore any negative things I think about her, when she gets home. It's kind of unavoidable when it comes to talking to people who I'm in the same house with, day after day. I never do anything with friends on any weekday after school. I sit at home and then sometimes my brother and my parents get on eachothers' nerves. If I had some more/different friends (I have two, and neither really are the type who 'go out' and do things), then I could easily vent my feelings while going out and doing stuff with them. I don't even feel like ever saying my feelings to the two friends I have. One has Asperger's, and never really talks about very 'deep' stuff like feelings anyway, and the other I mostly talk to about video game/computer stuff (although he's been my friend for longer, so I have talked to him about some stuff that bothers me emotionally occassionally). I could have avoided so many arguments with my parents, which is a major thing I hate about my life so far and a thing I think makes me worse and definitely not worthy of being a friend to anyone new, especially people without these kind of problems. That, of course, has strengthened my negative thinking as well, and everything just kind of piles on and goes in a circle...

I think I was actually doing a pretty good job of ignoring things that led to automatic negative thoughts these past few weeks. Especially yesterday, during the school day. So I guess that's a small step forward. Because then maybe I'll start thinking about things in a more lighthearted way, and maybe even feel like saying something with a smile on my face some time in class. Because I see that, at least right now, things that make me smile or laugh are things I THINK are funny or whatever. Well, if I can start to THINK of things more often as being 'not a big deal' or just plain laugh at things that maybe 'aren't so bad' (these are a couple of the things my self-talk hand-outs in the Overcoming Social Anxiety series suggests), then I could see myself being different.

I think writing all this out even improved my mood. Writing seems to always help me. I hope I can help some others out as well now, because I just feel kind of bad making a huge post, like I'm expecting people to somehow 'fix' the problem or something. That's not what I'm trying to do...The main thing I like is the writing aspect, and I like when other people can hear it too...Because I basically spend every day never saying this stuff, and even if writing it in a journal like I do sometimes is good, it helps a lot more for others to hear it....I think that's why it'd be good for me to talk to a therapist maybe about some of this stuff...maybe even show them what I've written, since it's harder to organize my thoughts when talking).
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 03:38 PM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


so, i've read your novel here. i like your work.

writing has helped me at life hating moments. sometimes i have to get out of bed and search for paper just so i can get it all out of my body and get some sleep. also, and i'm not saying this about your parents but mine, parents are not all- knowing spiritual leaders. they just decided (or not, ahem) to have a baby. i've grown to think of my parents as the best friends i ever had because i could always talk to them, but the advice they seem to give hits me like "der, knew that much". they're good sounding boards sometimes. but they, like any other human, can only take so much negativity. they can't help it if the "be yourself, mama loves you... stop being a wuss (from dad's mostly, but not always)" ghost jumps into them sometimes. i would suggest ( if you're looking for such) that you talk to a counselor. school counselors aren't lesser therapists. they listen, they know perhaps more than any othr adult what's going down at your particular school and that can be good. go see this person not cuz you're insane (yet) or a loser incapable of handling teenagehood, but because like writing itself, it helps to be able to get it out.

lightening up takes some work, it's fun work though. but if you know already or can find out what the kids around you think is funny at least you'll be in on their jokes. watch the lame *** movies they do, stupid youtube videos, etc. you may already do this i'm just throwing it out there. then you can genuinely smile (in disdain at their feeble humor if you must) and that's better than a forced one.

that's all i got. hope i didn't come off as a bore. "der, this is stoopit advice". pace yourself, you know better than anyone else how much you're trying.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 03:52 PM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


you really seem to know what your problem is, which is a good thing if you ask me.....

what i think you should do, is talk to your doctor.....cause you seem to have little to no motivation....and from what you say, its kindof funny, cause you seem to act like me whenever im in a "school" situation (which is work for me)....i never smile, only when i find something funny or if i think of something funny or if im saying something that makes me smile....to be "happy" for me is just way out of the ordinary, unless i have drugs in my system, and maybe you can relate, but i dont know if you mess around with anything like that....but im just pretty much gonna say what ive came to realize...

im just one of those people, i have a very big issue that i really, cant do anything about.....my anxiety just kills me, and ive been able to notice it so much more, which is good if you think.....cause me noticing my anxiety, shows me that there are times when i do not have it.....and me knowing this, just tells me that i do need medication....cause i just cant deal with it....its sad in a way...but it is only me....i cant change the way i am or who i am....im just one of those people, my cards were placed in front of me, and i have to play them the only way i know how.....ive just realized that my life will not be anything like i would have imagined, i really cant sit and talk to people cause i will just have an anxiety attack and start panicing and turn red, get hot, have a loss of breath and my heart beats and i sweat.....thats just what i do, i cant help it, its in my brain....so ive just came to be me, i need these meddys', even if they dont work, and if they dont, i'll just get something to do.....thats the only real way i can live, and if medication lets me break through that imbareable wall, i have to let it.....cause it isnt worth the missory, at least not for me....

im not tryna tell you what to do....but you seem to know that you do have a problem, but you cant do anything about it....the anxiety is impossible to stop, its not like you make yourself get nervous or start to panic....it just happens cause you cant control it....its you....

but im in the same exact boat, ****s hard.....you just gotta figure out a way to deal with it.....

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


Thank you everyone for the replies.

I came to a pretty nice resolution just now with my mom, so that's sort of a weight off my shoulders now. One thing she kind of suggested I start, and sort of began writing down, was a list of positive (as well as negative) traits of my personality that a friend could see in me. And also some stuff I could do to feel better (like exercise, which does make me feel better, but it's tough to get up and get active sometimes when I just feel like sitting down and being kind of lazy :P )

I am also feeling better than I did right after I got home from school. I usually do feel better as the night goes on.

It means a lot to me when I can see people who have the same kinds of things they're dealing with. Even though we're obviously not exactly the same (I don't do drugs or drink) I understand and respect everything you have to say a LOT, bignate. I used to take Prozac or Paxil or something a while ago...for some reason I stopped taking it, I can't remember why. But it's sorta getting to a point for me too where I might need to go back on some kind of prescription drug, too.

I am going to talk to my school counselor soon hopefully...sometimes during the school day I don't feel like it's "as necessary" to do something like talk to a counselor, because my feelings are kept pretty neutral during the day, but hopefully I won't be lazy or whatever, and talk to her somehow.

I hope we can all keep moving forward. Thanks for the replies and advice again.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 10:44 AM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


Alternatively, try my Challenge (the 3yeah Overcoming SA Challenge). If you're detrmined to change then its as good a place as any to start

Ross

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


In reply to "You": Yes, I know...that's one of the things that makes me so depressed...

In reply to "Yeah": I read your topic...I do have cognitive self-talk exercises that I read in 'slow-talk' every day, although I haven't read it for the past couple of days (hopefully I'll feel like reading it today...although it's actually about time to listen to the next audio CD in the series, so maybe I'll do that if I feel like it). I also have written probably at least fifty pages or more over the past 1.2 months in a notebook journal. It really really helped me out a lot in terms of making me think of certain things more rationally. A lot of it is just me saying stuff too like "I wish I could do this more than anything", and saying what I wish I could tell this girl I like, but can't.

I came home today and felt just as bad as yesterday right after school. This is getting really annoying, how I feel like this every single day, at least right after school. As usual, it's because I couldn't bring myself to say something I wanted to. And today, I even had it sort of planned and was all ready to say it...until more students walk into a class, that is. I still had thoughts of perserverance, saying 'I'm going to just do it and too bad, self, if you mess up or something, because you'll finally feel better and not have to go home feeling so depressed like every other past day. Then I just sit there and feel so miserable and just know it will sound way too awkward for someone to talk who hasn't spoken like anything the entire year, and my brother is nearby and I know he'll share in the awkwardness of me trying to do something and possibly messing up... but I know I'm going to beat myself up for not saying something right after the last bell of the school day rings.

I actually tried making myself wear a small smile while sitting around today, at least after lunch (I had looked in a mirror in a school bathroom and found out that I didn't need to put too much effort and I could do a decent pleasant expression). I don't know how visible it was, but at least I was trying, and I know it had to be at least somewhat visible. I really don't want people to think of me as being so serious and stuff, even if it looks like I'm smiling at myself or something...but I got tired of doing this eventually, especially in the last class of the day. I just sat and looked like my usual depressed self, not interested or caring of anyone else. I had thought of saying something funny to my teacher before coming to class, but just felt so afraid to do it when I was about to maybe try it.

I'll definitely probably feel better in a little bit...and writing about this stuff has probably made me feel better too, I guess. I never felt like it was urgent enough to talk to my counselor today at school, because I thought 'it's not that bad' or whatever. I never feel like it's that bad until the end of the school day.

Recently I (and my brother) have sent some messages over Myspace/Facebook, just little things like commenting on a user's page (like one person who has a TON of music, and is obviously interested in video games like us), and complimenting some people on organizing a rally. We never ever feel like doing this usually though, because it just seems so weird to go to school and look and act so much different than we sounded in the message. But is that a good thing to do or not? Part of me thinks it's good, because people actually know that we're not necessarily unfeeling unhappy depressed statues, and they see what we're like more. But then I just go to school and freeze up, partly because I'm so nervous about what the people who we sent the messages to would think about us. Then I feel so bad. I am constantly worried after sending these messages. I definitely am depressed about that at the moment...
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 02:52 PM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


Hey Grey

I sat down and did a 'CBT Nuke' on talking to girls the other day. I'm gonna scan it and post it up for you in the hope it helps!

Ross

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 03:09 PM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


OK here it is. This is the contents of my mind on overcoming my difficulty with talking to girls. The idea is to say a negative belief or prediction, then put the opposite positive belief. Then if there's doubt, you argue the doubt. Then you argue the positive. You keep going until you can see that the positive, rational alternative actually is viable. You can see the point I got there when the smiley face appears.

THIS CONTAINS SOME SWEARING. I'M SORRY I COULDNT FIGURE HOW TO EDIT IT - I'm posting it to help. Hopefully reading my thoughts out to yourself will help you see how silly some thoughts can be.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf FiBurns0002.PDF (61.1 KB, 10 views)

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


I've sort of done something like in my journal writing...kind of...usually just some negative stuff, then maybe near the end of my entry I might say some positive stuff after realizing some more rational thoughts.

I don't know I can ever get rid of this one really bad feeling/fear, though...which is how it will be so, so obvious if I talked to this girl that I probably like her, since I don't talk to practically ANYONE else. Just that stupid action of talking to her would be be so dang awkward in that way...so embarassing for her, especially if there are others nearby. So bad...and then there's the feelings of how it's too late, why didn't I do this sooner if I was going to do it at all? She'd definitely wonder that, and probably wouldn't like me for that. I can think of a lot of things she wouldn't like me for if I ever did get to know her better. Fine, whatever, I guess there are some positive things about me, but nothing that others don't have, including her, in spades...

Like I said, I tried doing some 'little' things today, I guess...but it always gets kind of overwhelming by the end of the day, with the negative thoughts and anxiety. I am tired of this happening every day...always regretting that I didn't do something I wanted to do. But I don't even want to just 'accept' that I'll be quiet or whatever and not do the stuff I want to do, like I sort of used to, and like I'm guessing my brother does right now. Then I don't think I'd make any progress. But it sure sucks being so depressed about it every single stinking day after school.

I guess a few good things did happen today, like a couple conversations I had with a couple people I used to be closer to friends with. I guess I did OK talking to them, and they probably liked it too. I said "have a good day" to a few people within the past few days as well, which I don't usually do. I said "thank you" instead of just a quick "thanks" to my school librarian for borrowing something, which I thought sounded much nicer. Like I already mentioned, I sat in the library, too, and sort of tried to have a pleasant expression on my mouth while doing some artwork.

I just wish I could talk and say something, preferably something lighthearted or funny, in some classes, so others know I'm not that weird or whatever. That's also why I want to work on the smiling thing too.

Why does it always change in the morning, though...every morning I get up and just care about being tired, because my body wakes me up after barely 7 hours of sleep every night. I wonder how or why I felt kind of different the previous night. I go to school, and am just with my brother for the first 90 minutes, and sometimes I dwell on neutral, sometimes positive, sometimes negative thoughts for a while. Sometimes I get on my brother's nerves. Then I go to Art, where there are some kids who I have to ignore sometimes, because otherwise they'd make me angry and frustrated in how they act. Then I go to Psychology: nobody except one person I barely know. I haven't talked in there yet. Then I go to Commons and then to Spanish. Much nicer end to the day, in terms of there being no annoying students around me. But I'm frozen in those classes..
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


Thanks for the good advice, though. I might try it out. But it is probably the absolutely worst fear I have...embarassing them because I'm so weird and different and then me talking to them is really obviously suggesting that I'm interested in them...because I don't talk to anyone else really...
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 04:31 PM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


That there is journal writing with a purpose. Its Cognitive therapy, might be worth a go. Gives you some pep to try out your experiment and then something to come back to and rework. Like a work of art!

You seem like you are making progress. Its tough when it feels slow, but I can sense something in you - I think you're going to be ok

Ross

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


Thank you...

I sort of hold onto the hope each night that tomorrow is another day where there could be more opportunities. I've probably become a little too obsessed with just wanting to make progress in the area of talking to this girl, although I'm pretty sure there are millions and millions and millions of people who have experienced the same thing (maybe not with the social anxiety, but the love thing). So every day I just come home and focus on how I didn't make progress in that area, because I really really wanted to...other areas don't seem to matter as much. But that's really the only reason I'm not down in the dumps for the rest of the night usually (although tonight it's lasting kind of long...I didn't do any exercise or slow-talk like I usually do, though...although I don't know if they'd help a whole lot).

But then, as I said before, I keep thinking tomorrow will be different, then I wake up and feel sort of different and not as motivated really at all, then I get through the day and I end up not doing stuff I wanted to...

Also, another little 'realistic' thing I suppose I hang onto as well is that I could someday in the future probably say something nice in a situation that "comes up"; i.e. something that happens without me making it happen, like either someone asking me something or I find something maybe I can really comment on well. This probably isn't a good thing to really hope for, though, since it probably makes me feel less motivated to bring up those opportunities myself. Another thing I have a faint hope of doing someday is sending a message over the internet to this girl maybe that says what I think about her. I am so much better at writing than talking. In fact, I guess that's a positive thing about me: a ton of people have said I'm good at writing, especially teachers. The only time I think of actually doing something like that is either when I hear some music that's kind of inspirational...but that usually subsides...I really think I could just do it after school ends, as soon as summer starts... so I wouldn't have to deal with going to school and being scared out of my mind...I don't think I could even bear being near her, I'd probably just freeze up and act like I always did before. That'd be the most awkward of anything I could do...
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 05:37 PM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


Ah. You seem a good candidate for the old exposure method. Talk to as many girls as you can - ones you dont have a crush on - over the next week. Find out they are human beings and not alien monsters. Get used to talking to them. It doesnt matter what you say, just try to relate to what they say. Have you had similar experiences? Stick to how you feel about stuff and relate to the emotion - thats nore fun than facts. If you can get in the swing of conversing normally with the other girls, it will be a bit easier.

She's NOT the only girl you will evr like, She's not Lady Diana, and she is not a High Court Judge. She's a girl, who has boogers, farts, poops and burps. She's human like you, so if you can stop yourself from inflating her real big, and speak to her exactly like a buddy (at first) then it will be easier. Connect over simple things and see if there's chemistry. If there is, THEN you might want to sugest going for a starbucks after school. But just talk to her normally at first. It will be easier for her to feel comfortable with you.

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


Your advice is very appreciated...but, uh, I don't really know how to say this...that's kind of the problem...I'm scared to talk to ANY girl, or even any guy for that matter, because I think they'll wonder why I'm talking to them. It seems like the only time I ever talk to someone else much is when they initiate conversation...and I could maybe do that to some people I know relatively well, although unfortunately some of those people are the people in my Art class I mentioned, and they're sort of narrow-minded sometimes. I know they for sure probably think my brother and I are "gay" or something, and it just seems awkward trying to talk to them in my own way or whatever, without me being really self-conscious of what they or other people think.

And then it comes to girls...God...I can't imagine why they WOULDN'T think I like them, when I never talk to anyone (I kinda already said this), and it's like I'm singling them out. Others have already said before when they notice a rare smile from me, "Oh, look, you (the person who maybe made me smile) made him smile." That's another reason I'm sometimes afraid to smile, because somebody will point it out like it's some major event, and then attention is drawn to me and it makes me anxious...which leads to automatic avoidance of that action for the most part, in the future.

So if I...(sigh)...talked to girls (somehow?), fine, I guess like my mom has said sometimes "I'm sure they'd just appreciate it". Yeah, they'd also think it's weird. Especially if I don't speak clearly enough or too fast, which I have a really bad problem with. Then it ends up being something they couldn't understand, and I end up walking away, and they're left with a situation where some weird quiet person just tried to say something, singling out a girl maybe, wondering why I would just talk to that one girl, talking for the first time in their recall-able past knowledge of what I'm like. Like there's some big reason for it. I think an adult or teacher one time 'joked' that when I said something out loud (I think it was my Chemistry/Computer Science teacher, one of my favorite teachers actually) that you know it must be something important. That kind of sent me a message that "This is what everyone is thinking, but he just said it out loud in a lighthearted way...but it's still what everyone is thinking". So other people near the girl would attach even more significance to this 'event' because of that...

OK, I acknowledge that was probably overanalyzing. At least I got it out in writing instead of keeping it in my head. I'm not necessarily analyzing things this much, in fact I'm definitely not most of the time during the day. But this kind of stuff definitely has formed the foundation for my automatic 'avoidance' and 'not doing uncomfortable stuff' behavior.

I don't know how I could talk to other girls...all I can think of is complimenting them on their art in Art class, I thought of doing that. But then I got to class. And it was way too hard, so I just forgot about doing that...say something funny? I never could do it with enough of a smile to let them know I'm not serious...I could if maybe THEY said something really funny, but otherwise forcing a smile is so anxiety-producing that I just can't seem to do it well..
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


Also, the frustrating thing is...this girl is way more down-to-earth and stuff than any other girl I've ever known of. She's calm and not obnoxious about stuff and has a great positive attitude about things, and is probably the most accepting of all types of people and behavior of anyone I can think of, but I can see she's 'human' too. But I still don't think I'm good enough to talk to her. She's done way more good than I ever have; she hasn't been trapped in a shell for most of of her life. I'd just be so monotone in my voice and I'm so depressed about stuff and I'm too afraid to act like how I do at home at school, or say what I think, or smile or laugh. THAT is a HUGE thing holding me back from talking to her.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 06:03 PM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


Only one way to get over it dude. Make the mistakes while you're younger and you won;t be still trying to overcome anxiety in bars when you're 30.

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


OK...guess all I can hope for is a better day tomorrow...and that I feel motivated enough to do something. I should probably talk to my school counselor whether I feel like it or not, I guess...
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 06:13 PM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


My recommendation. Go watch a war film. Something like Saving Private Ryan. As you watch it, remember that it really happened, and that men aged 18 were sent into battle against machine guns, tanks and AA guns. Just try to imagine yourself doing that, how scary it would be walking across a field knowing that any moment, a 2.5 inch shell could rip the side of your head off. Loiter on that image for a moment. How much respect do you have for those guys? US GI's went into a war to help the brits and faced a formidable enemy. Those same guys are the basis of your genes - somewhere within you are the genes of a World War II hero. Let that pride fill you up, and at the same time put the thought of having your head ripped off next to talking to a girl and it not working out. Does it bring any perspective?

Talk to her. If you take a bullet, so be it. It will heal. You can ask yourself what you might do different next time. YOU'VE NEVER DONE IT BEFORE and so you must learn. And you can't learn without making mistakes. That is a deeply human trait - not a weak one.

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


You're completely right. I know that nothing I'm moping about is as scary as what nearly any soldier in a war has had to go through. I've definitely seen plenty of war movies/TV series...and...my dad's father actually was a solider in World War II...in the Battle of the Bulge, in that horrible winter...and took a couple bullets, including one in his face I know I'm sort of digressing and didn't really need to say that stuff, but it sort of drives it home to me a little more now that I think about it...he did that, I'm pretty sure I can manage to keep moving forward with my life and get rid of my fears.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 06:54 PM
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Re: Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA


You can do it dude. And it IS OK to take it to the extreme. When you actually look at what the worst thing that could possibly happen is, and see that life very rarely if ever goes that far, suddenly its less scary.

Dont try any lines on her, dont try to be someone youre not. Dont put on airs and graces or act like a pimp. Just talk to her like you would a friend at first and show that you enjoy her company. Build the relationship over about a week and then ask her if she'll come for a coffee. Dont go for some big dinner or anything fancy - just a low profile thing to get to know each other. At the end if it seems to have gone well, just say "hey I enjoyed that. I'd like to see you again sometime - well you know, outside of school". She might chuckle at the comment and then you get your answer - she knows you like her (like that) and now must either say 'ok' or 'well maybe we'll just keep it to school'. If its the latter you have lost NOTHING - you just had your first romantic lesson. The dude has to put his pride on the line in these things and you just performed admirably. Just say "Ok I understand. Still, it was fun though. Catch you at school". If you handle it well she will have respect for you, and may even tell her buddies theres this cute guy who's quite cool and single in her class ...

Ross

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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