I'm in such a dark place with this I could use some support - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in such a dark place with this I could use some support

I'm in a really dark place because what I feel like is probably social anxiety is really robbing me of almost everything.

I wasn't always like this, I was always a bit socially awkward, but about a year or two ago I started having real trouble. It started after I got really self critical of myself and was wondering why I didn't fit in anywhere, so I started comparing myself to everyone constantly.

After a while I just started to get nervous when talking to people and extremely self critical in every social encounter. As it has gone on and on and on and I've gotten embarrassed over and over again, now I get no enjoyment out of talking to anyone, I just get frustrated. There is no joy whatsoever left in talking to people, in fact I hate it most of the time.

Furthermore, now when I talk to people, my mind draws a complete blank whether I'm anxious or not. Its like I have completely forgotten how to talk to anybody or enjoy it for that matter. I used to just have natural conversation with people, I didn't have to think about it at all and that is completely gone! I can't remember the first thing about how to talk to anyone. I've even thought about trying to find a book that would teach me how to talk again because its like everything I learned growing up about social interaction is just gone.

Sometimes I fear I have brain damage because its like my brain just doesn't work at all anymore when it comes to conversation anymore. Its like I can't remember how to talk, the conversation just isn't there. I just never have anything to talk about, it won't come. As soon as a conversation starts I start thinking about this problem and how stupid I must look to everyone and the anxiety just takes over.

I try to remind myself its probably the anxiety draining everything out, but I have so much anxiety from also having OCD its hard to even tell sometimes whether I'm anxious or not because I just deal with it so much. I feel like the anxiety has just cause a vicious cycle where I can't tell what's going on anymore.

I'm loosing it because I feel like I will never enjoy the company of another person again and I will never have any friends or a wife or kids or anything. I had to drop all of my old friends because we all got addicted to drugs and I decided to get clean (and then this started), so now its just me, I haven't been able to make new friends, and I'm SO alone.

Any support, thoughts, ideas anyone could offer would mean a lot. Thank you all!
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 01:10 AM
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Comparing yourself to others is a great way to sabotage yourself. People almost always do it in a self-denigrating way, noting someone else's good traits and comparing them to their personal failings. It's not a fair comparison, because all those people have bad traits as well, but those bad traits become invisible to the person doing the comparing. There's nothing rational or objective about those kinds of comparisons. You're just applying a halo effect to other people. Everyone has problems. Everyone is messed up in some way. Everyone has failings. If you just suddenly stopped comparing yourself to other people, you would stop being so self-conscious and you wouldn't be any different from them; just another schmo with good and bad traits. It's the one-way comparison that's screwing you over.

I think the problem wrt SA people and conversations is often just a byproduct of the fact that they're worried about it at all. You worry about what to say, how to avoid looking like an idiot, how to avoid offending the other person or whatever. And because you're up inside your head worrying about all the things that could go wrong, you short-circuit what would otherwise be a spontaneous process. I think you can make a really solid comparison between a SA person not knowing what to say and a man with erectile dysfunction not being able to get it up. Both people are so worried about their performance that they lose the ability to just go with the flow.

Normal behavior: someone says something, something occurs to you in relation to that, you share it spontaneously because you're not thinking about how it's going to sound. Normal people don't put that much thought into what they're saying; they just talk. Listen to them sometime. Really listen to how ordinary people talk. They're all over the place. They say stupid things, they're rude, their conversations meander, they ignore what other people are saying and just talk about themselves, etc. Normal people don't have superior social skills; most of them are lousy conversationalists. They talk about boring ****. The weather, something in the news, sports. They're goofy and thoughtless. They're not conversational wizards, they're just not up inside their head worrying about what they sound like. They just react spontaneously and let the chips fall wherever. Guys who can get it up aren't great lovers; they're just not worrying that they're bad lovers.

Anyway, yeah. Don't project your present into the future. You have no idea what's going to happen. Just focus on making the best of each day and let the future take care of itself. Good job on getting clean. That's a tough thing to do and something you can be proud of.

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