after discovering the differences and similarities between social phobia and avpd i now realize that i have both of these disoders together
ive had avpd since i was 5 years old. i started off my life as a fairly shy child becasue i was born into a family were most of them were shy and some even had social anxiety themselves. i also beleive i inheretited a few shy genes.
then when i was about 4 1/2 i just went through this drastic spell of misary were i encountered negative experience after negative experiecne of rejection, ridicule, criticism and disaproval from the people who were meant to be closest to me and who were meant to love and accept me. every single experience was highly emotionally charged and overwhelming and there must have been about ten of them in a row that seemed to happen in such a short space of time between age 4 1/2 to age 5.
i remeber after that period i just felt lost. i felt like id been clobbered from pillar to post and i didnt know what to do. thats when i must have developed the beleifs that i couldnt handle negative emotions becasue after that i became really lazy. i started procrastinating everything. even when id get out of the shower id just sit there with a towel round me and wait for 20 mins to actaully start rubbing myself dry cos i simply couldnt be bothered cos the cold was too uncomfortable.
from the age of 5 onwards my life was a nightmare. i avoided everything, i just wanted to be on my own all of the time. when i was around people i didnt really feel panic symptoms, ive never had a panic attack in my live and i never used to show signs of anxiety like blushing or anything. i used to just feel really vulnerable and overwhelmed and i would feel really weird and sort of spaced out sort of thing. i did feel anxious too but it was never to the point of panic and there was never any physical symptoms.
growing up i always knew i was odd and different but i just thought that was who i was and thast was my personality. i just thought i was weird and miserable. i never used to like myself at all, i thought everyone was better than me. i never actaully realised that i had a problem that could be changed.
looking back now i can see that i developed social phobia when i was 18. it was around that time that i started blushing frequently. it got out of control and would happen everywere i went. i started to escape sitauation when i felt myself about to blush. i started taking ecstacy every week when i was about 17 so maybe that is what casued the blushing and social phobia
i also developed agoraphobia when i was 18 too. i was a victim in a nightclub incident that shook me up. after that i feared for my safety in situations
it was actually a holiday in aiya napa when i was 18 that made me realise i had a problem. the holiday was spent frequently trying to hide my blushes from people and frequently running from nightclubs back to the safety of my hotel out of a fear for my safety. i remeber being unwilling to attend a booze cruise that i had already paid for becasue i knew if i was on the ship i wouldnt have access of a safe haven to retreat to, like the hotel, if i began to feel unsecure
after the holiday i said to myself ''i cant live like this. somethings not right. everyone else my age had a ball out there and i missed out . i need help''
from that day forward i began looking for help, asked my doctor for meds and a counselling session.
one day i was reading a newspaper about paul mckenna who was curing this womans social phobia so she could attend her wedding day. after reading about all the trouble see faced it sounded exactly like the troubles i had in my on life, so i began thinking maybe ive got social phobia
i went to a bookstore in town and purchased gillian butlers overcoming sa book. that was hard enough. i felt so embarassed buying it that i almost put the book down and ran out of the store. stupid really i havent got a probelm buying anything like that now years later. reading the book made me feel so much better. it desribed me too a tee and i realised 2 things 1)im not wierd or odd , there are millions of people like me out there going through the same thing 2) i can change
from then on i went to see lots of hypnotherapists, counsellors, psychiatrists etc... and took meds but nothing worked mainly becase of a combination of them being useless and me being unwilling to take action
anyway i began printed pages and pages of information off the internet about social phobia and agoraphobia and how to overcome them. and i bought myself loads of books about nlp and hypnosis and i promised myself that i would read all of them and create a plan to finally overcome this problem and change my life .
but i always found myself procrastinating. i was just so lazy. id been that way since as long as i could remmeber. id begin reading and then next minute id say right im going to watch tv or im going the pub (i could handle the pub as long as i was pissed) and ill just do it next week
anyway 3 years past from the age 18-21 and i still hadnt read the books or the information or created a plan to change , never mind actaully took action to face my fears. i now realize why. its becasue im avpd and i have a low tolerance for dysphoria. id wasted those 3 years going out to pubs and clubs and getting pissed out of my skull and taking ecstacy so i could drown out my agoraphobia and sa enough to enjoy myslef a tiny bit. most nights id still find myself hiding in the toilet cubicle in clubs , or running back to the safety of the local pub or my house.
anyway at the age of 21 i lost touch with everyone and became a full time hermit. my mates never really like me anyway and it was inevitable that we'd eventaully drift apart. so apart from my 9-5 job i was stuck at home 24/7 with nowere to go and no excuse not to read my books and and create a plan to change my life. i actually purchased some more books during that time . kabbalh books and personality disorder books.
even though id knew since 18 that i was social and agoraphobic i still felt like something was missing. i couldnt explain why i was so lazy or why i used to fantasize all of the time or why i looked so young or why i felt like i couldnt expresse myself. i told my doctor about these concerns and i think it was him that mentioned personality disorders. it was then that i found out about avoidant personality disorder and i realized the description fitted me even more than sa. that really made my day and finally made me understand everything.
i didnt come across the dysphoria thing back then therefore i still just thought i was lazy
from the age of 21-23 , 2 years i finally managed to read all of my books simply becasue i had so much time on my hands. i still wasted a lot of that time procrstinating and watching tv but it took me 2 years to read the books.
when i was 23 i was on cloud 9. i understood everything about myself and my past and i no longer hated myself. i knew exactly how to change. i had created a plan in my head of how to change using kabbalah, cbt, nlp and hypnosis and id actually met someone who had achieved what i wanted to achieve, he'd transformed himself from a shy stammerer to a confident man.
so i was 23 and i was ready . all i had to do was take action and face my fears but i kept putting it off and putting it off. im 27 now , im been procrastinating starting my life for 4 [email protected]
years , how crazy is that? and its not
from a lack of motivation or a lack of desire. i want to change , im willing to do anything , ive got motivation but for some reason i just cant seem to take action, i always, always , always put things off. i hated myslef for the last 4 years cos ive felt so guilty for wasting so much time. i keep calling myself a lazy [email protected]
but now i know why im so ''lazy''. its becasue avoidants avoid uncomfortable feelings and even uncomfortable thoughts. it makes sense now cos i remember in the past trying to use cbt to uncover my irrational beleifs but everytime i tried to do it my mind just went blank and i got irritated and felt the need to just go and watch tv. it was driving me round the bend and up the wall, i just couldnt understand why i couldnt do it. but now i know why
all i have to do is get rid of these irrational beleifs that i have about not being able to handle dysphoirc emotions. and i know exactly how to do that. so i am so optimistic about my future. i know im late to start my life cos im 27 but i dont care , im just happy to be alive and actaully have the chance to change my life. all of the avoidants from history didnt have a chance like we do. there was no cbt or therapy back then , hell there was not even a recognision of the existance on avpd. ive missed out on 27 years but im just so gratefull that ive got the chance to make the most of the rest of my years cos thats a chance that past avoidants did not have. im just grateful to have the chance to start my life now wether it be late or not. i would have prefered sooner but ill take later.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER !!!!!