"Operation Brute-Force" - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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"Operation Brute-Force"

This will be a long one, but it is a good story.

First lets go back a bit, two and half years will do. Around this time, I was "suck", I didn't leave the house unless I needed food. I was working from home (all online, via e-mails and IMs) as a freelance web developer. I couldn't talk on the phone and I barely was able to talk to anyone in-person, that didn't matter anyway because I had no friends. Only working for a few hours a day, I filled the rest of my time watching TV shows. I always wondered why wasn't I out at a party or out with friends, like other people my age.

Operation Brute-Force was a codename I used for my last attempt at curing anxiety on my own. The plan was thought up in early 2010 with planning and preparations continuing until early 2011. The main goals were, to become normal, to overcome my fear of being around people (I didn't know what it was called at the time) and to find then maintain friendships.

After a six-month delay, the plan started in the middle of 2011 in dramatic style. I enrolled into Uni and moved 126km (78mi) to another town to live on-campus with over 200 other students. I was freaking out, and I didn't sleep for the first few nights. I barely ate because that required me to go to the dining hall and sit with 200 people to eat. But after a few months, I was going to the hall every night for dinner and I was actually talk to people. In fact, I was invited a number of times to play games. But even with all those wins, I still had that same fear.

The plan failed, I moved back home after the term finished and while I took a break I reassessed. The room I was staying in had its own bathroom and I was far away from other students. So, I switch to another college and returned early this year. This time the room is about one metre (3 feet) from at least five other students with shared bathroom and kitchen. Again, despite some success, the goals wasn't met. In late April, I officially called it a failure.

After which, I starting researching and I finally found social anxiety, later this forum and made an appointment with the on-campus psychologist. Dubbed "last hope", I put myself in the hands of the psychologist. After a few weeks of doing everything I was asked to do, I was frustrated with no progress. I quickly developed depression and in the words of the psychologist I "deteriorated" to the point where the hospital was called. I was put on meds, which caused more problems. A few days later, while I was washing my hands, I came within seconds of smashing my head through the mirror.

While moving towards the mirror, I was pulled back. I entered into "zombie" mode while I packed and admitted myself into Hospital. I wanted desperately to end my life, but apart of me stopped any attempt including pulling me back. I dubbed this part, "hope" because it always spoke hopefully. It pissed me off. While I was laying in bed at the Hospital, with the stalemate ongoing I ask myself one question, what now? I got no answer, until the third night where I found the six things that occupied my mind. One was that, I was worried about my family and friends (the ones I made here), another was missing TV shows, another was wanting to write a story and finding the stories, among others.

I checked out and continued with "last hope", giving me time to process everything I went through and try to come up with an answer for the question, what now? A month later, I had my answer. With the stalemate still ongoing, I attempted to break the impasse by putting together a peace plan. In June, the peace plan was agreed to by all parties and the inner conflict that has been ongoing since my age was in single digit, stopped. The quiet was deafening, at first, but I got used to it.

That brings us to the current date, but I realised that between June and now, I lost my fear, I have great, close friendships and I now know that there isn't a "normal", which thereby meeting my original goals. It just goes to show you what will happen when you least expect it. That said, I still have issues to work out, but I just know that I'm happy where I am and I can't wait to see what the future holds. If you still reading this I hope you enjoyed the story, and for reaching the end you earned a slow clap.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 12:16 PM
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congratulations dude!!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 10:14 PM
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Awesome story! I'm excited to hear about where you'll be a year from now!

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 06:38 PM
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I like this idea of brute force because it plugs into your background in IT: like a brute force hack, you exhausted many permutations of solutions to SA, and you cracked it. Good job congrats bro. Not enough people visit the positive threads and "support" actual progress.
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