Share your Personal Story of Change! - Page 8 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #141 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 10:02 PM
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Growing up i was really fat my whole life , never talked to anyone or had friends. No confidence and scared of social situations because of that.

after turning 18 decided i was tired of being fat and got addicted to running. That helped my confidence. Then i got a job making decent dough. 40k a year working 25 hours a week with no bills or rent to pay.
. so my confidence was up. I was skinny , started dressing up. had a 30k shoe and clothes collection.
i then got a girl. I still had social anxiety. never been the type to go talk to females and introduce myself. scared as hell, still dont know how to do that. Was with her for 5 years then I messed up that relationship cause i got caught cheating a few times.
. Lost my job got married to a sociopath. That ish killed all my confidence Then i was left with the kids because my ex wife got tired of my social anxiety and my low confidence and left me and the kids for some other dude. So i felt worthless and my anxiety is back. Now no $ , no job , a few kids solo. No confidence , think people are always judging me and here i am. Havent been able to shake my social anxiety cause of all those issues.
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post #142 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 10:39 PM
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Finally breaking through to living my life after much suffering; really the only way is it starts with complete honesty, the real hunger to not live a lie, working through all of you. I don't want to give away too much but is an individual journey you cannot share with anyone and most can't do it because they can't leave behind being a baby, even a child, and truly mature which requires a person to be alone so much so yes it hurts yet that is the process that leads you to truly living. People have already noticed and I've noticed them notice by them telling me so and they always have but for some reason, I've always thought way beyond just being approved of by the checks. Anyway, it is exciting to keep it to myself because that's really what it is about. Also, I like seeing how I affect people. "WHAT'S GOTTEN INTO HER?" is among the best wonders I've left for people apparently. Yes, we're born into a world that has in all its ability to be truly unique, beautiful and so on yet it is what a waste of so much beauty and talent on destruction and though I've found a person cannot let that kill yourself and lose interest in living your own life all the while doing what you can to help it not be so bad as people I've so often witnessed say yet they have nothing to give to help. Quite the species humans are. Anyway, only the best.
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post #143 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-28-2016, 08:50 AM
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I took a transmission shop to court yesterday. Last year I had them repair my transmission and they botched it up so bad. So I've been building a case ever since. documenting broken and missing parts. and having other shops inspect the car and write up reports.
Court was on the 13th the first time. Judge didn't decide. And so we went back yesterday for another day of court. Short of it. I lost. The judge didn't feel I proved that the shop had done anything wrong. Or at least. The evidence I provided wasn't solid enough. But I did it. and twice. spoke in front of a court room full of people. Presented my case. Didn't go as I hoped. And.. believe me. I don't feel like beat anxiety in any way. But... I feel like I didn't let it beat me. ha. It was a draw. And for me. that's something.
And then I ran up and punched the shop owner in the face at the end of court. And now I'm going to jail. .. no just kidding. that didn't happen. :P
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post #144 of 156 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 08:51 PM
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Confident


I don't know what changed, but lately I have been feeling so much better. I have been more open with my best friend, and she seems to be happier to be around me. It isn't a surprise to me, though. Of course people like being around happy, confident people versus withdrawn, sad people. And it has given me the confidence and encouragement to continue fighting this.
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post #145 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 04:37 PM
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Things are not what they seem


I could write many pages on how my life was an endless existence of suffering in different ways and which seemed to have no possibility of ending.

I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and early onset Dysthymia. I also self-diagnosed Social Anxiety and I thought I might have AvPD too. I often worried, had anxiety, was restless, on edge, bouts of crying, despair, and I was super/insanely sensitive and self-conscious. This was my life for over 35 years, on a gradually worsening degree.

I spent a large part of my adult life alone and mostly, I lived in my head rather than experiencing life for real. I gradually isolated myself more and more and I always sought to hide from the world whenever possible.

At my worst, which was in the last few years, I didn't want to do a single thing. Everything was a chore. I really just wanted to die and be reborn into another life somewhere and start again. No amount of therapy, groups therapy, meds, activities, social exposure tactics and book reading made the slightest difference to me. I did consider suicide but reasoned out of it (my suffering would end but I would not be around to enjoy the new suffering-free me).

I was so fed up waiting for the mental health world to come up with a solution for me (and which it had failed repeatedly), so I looked for my own. And I found it.

I discovered that the cause of many so-called mental health illnesses and troubles is not what I was told it was. In fact, there is no such thing as mental illness, mental disorders, syndromes, etc., and also, I came to discover that psychiatry is not based on science.
Suffering for sure is real but there is no underlying biological cause for that suffering. Ergo, there is no mental illness nor is there such a thing as a "chemical imbalance" in the brain.

So why was I suffering? My thoughts. Yes, just thoughts. But thoughts can be made into incredibly powerful things when we believe them and in a nutshell, suffering is belief in thoughts which are not true. That is the cause of any human suffering......and nothing else.

I discovered many truths on my "journey of discovery", such as that much of the human world is defined and controlled by opinions and not facts, as I used to believe was. And furthermore, that opinions when reinforced by compliance is what can make an opinion seem like a fact and a real thing, when it can never be so of course.

I realized that I had given the power for me and my life into the say-so and opinions of other people, whether these were people I knew or the "wider society" and that my trying to "fit in" with what had been deemed to be "normal" and the judgement of others as to whether I was "OK" or not, was part of the cause of my suffering.
But no person's opinion is worth more or less than anyone elses and an opinion can never actually be right or wrong.
And all opinions, I came to realize, have no inherent value or power
Opinions only have power/validity when we give it to them. Otherwise, they are worthless and can evaporate instantly at any moment.

And there are so many things in the mental health world that are just opinions and nothing else, but they are passed off as facts and truths when they are, at best, guesses.

We are not dealing with facts here. Just opinions, ideas and beliefs about life and people. And for those who suffer with what is known as Social Anxiety its opinions by others about what is normal and what isn't and how we measure up to that idea that is big part of the problem. But even "normality" is just an invented idea of how every person should be, from a certain biased viewpoint, and its through this defective idea of normality that all humans are judged.
But humans have enormous variations for many aspects of their being, so why are we all judged on a narrow invented set of criteria and forced into a narrow way of behaving and living?
And why do we all accept these arbitrary opinions and definitions of ourselves from "unqualified men in white coats"?

When I realized all of this and much more, I concluded that;

I am not ill.
I was never ill.
There is nothing wrong with me.
I do not need to change anything.

Ditto for everyone else.

All the mental health world's names for how we suffer are just made up by people with biases and narrow ideas about how everyone should be and live. So people who are deemed outside this invention called normality are judged as "ill" and "defective" and need 'fixing". But none of us are actually broken so we don't need fixing. We are all just being in different ways, many many ways.

I think I know why we are forced into being all the same, because we live in a system that requires us to be alike, for the purposes of production and consumption - glorified cogs in the wheel. The system cannot tolerate differences/variances in people because those differences/variances interfere with the efficiency of the system and so if you can't fit into the system, its "your" problem as the system doesn't care about you, as many millions of cogs are being made each and every day.

So since the Summer of 2015, I have been free of all my suffering. Yes, its all gone and its gone all the time too. Once the suffering left, what remained was what we all seek - happiness, calmness, peace....all the time. Its quite unbelievable how I am now, I must tell you and I would not swap my state of mind today with anything, not even all the wealth in the world.

Something that many people don't know is that we all actually already have happiness, which we have from birth. So we can't "get" it or "find" it and it does not exist external to ourselves. Happiness is what is left once all the suffering is gone. That's it.

I found various resources that helped me reach this state of mind but I would especially like to mention, for those who still suffer, to look up Noah Elkrief on youtube. He has a video on what social anxiety is and how you can end your social anxiety. He has also made many videos on other issues and troubles that are commonly experienced. Noah has been pivotal to my transformation.

I can send anyone links to other articles and info I found helpful.

Other people who helped me by with the knowledge they have shared;

Leo of actualized.org
Eckhart Tolle
Alan Watts
Buddha
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post #146 of 156 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 01:55 AM
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I write my stories in the forms of blogs on my profile. I write how I overcome my everyday social anxiety amongst other things. If you're interested in my story feel free to read them under the blogs titled Journals .
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post #147 of 156 (permalink) Old 05-20-2016, 05:04 AM
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Hi, I've been wanting to share my story somewhere on this site. I had social anxiety my entire life, but my treatment only started when I saw a psychiatrist and began meds. Two years later, I want to share my results with everyone. But I'll begin from the start.

Before meds, I dropped out of college because it was too overwhelming. I had no friends. I couldn't go into stores. I barely survived high school and always skipped school. Etc. etc., normal things for people with SA, although I did somehow manage to keep a job.

We found meds that worked for me. I have been taking Paxil with doses on and off ranging from 10 to 40mg, but finally I've stayed at 20mg. I also have Ativan (spelling?) for anxiety but the Paxil works fine for me because I discovered that I really was more so depressed than anything else.

At the start of taking meds, I began to feel happier. I still didn't talk to people or anything so I didn't really know what to do next. I was just happy for some weird reason. But that was good news! Little by little, I eased back into life. I took college classes a little bit. I ran into a friend from high school there and became friends with him. From there on, I started making more friends from school on my own.

By one year I was feeling spectacular. I was going out, attending college full-time, flirting with a few boys, and eventually started dating my current boyfriend I met in my class. I was doing so good, that I needed more of it, or else I felt like I was failing. I put so much pressure on myself to be more social. But you can only go so far, and for me, it wasn't even really that far. So I was disappointed, but I still felt very decent.

I spontaneously stopped taking my meds like a [email protected] because I thought I didn't need them anymore. I regressed really bad. It was a hard time for me, but I went back on meds and everything was fine again. Finally, I got exhausted trying to force myself to be social. It was a nice little fantasy life for a year, but I was the only one really making an effort to have friends and I will always be introverted, so eventually I got sick of it after a while. Now I've calmed down a lot and still have my boyfriend and one friend I see regularly. I'm still happy, and I still feel better about myself overall. Since then, that's how I've been living.

Basically what meds did for me was make me feel better and less intimidating by normal life scenarios, so that if I WANTED to take action (talk to someone, text, etc) I could more easily do so. If I wanted to. But on my part it still takes a lot of mental "effort" that I just don't really have a lot of simply because I'm naturally introverted and like being on my own more often. Go figure. Even though being with people can also be a blast!!

Overall, so far so good. I hope things continue to be fine. Sometimes I have my really bad days. I'm still very SHY in many scenarios, but I don't feel like the world is going to crash in on me. Sometimes I think I changed LESS than I actually think, but the whole point is about feeling better. I feel good, and that's good. Thanks for reading if you read this entire wall!! I hope it inspires you!
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post #148 of 156 (permalink) Old 05-25-2016, 05:13 AM
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Things can get better


Hey,

I've just logged in after 5 years away from the SAD forum.
Wow - it sure got busy round here, good to see so many reaching out to each other.

My update is this;

Things do improve..... or our view of it does.
I turned myself around - I realized that there was more to life than socializing (or worrying about not socializing) and that the departure of my wife may be a good thing, rather than focusing on the 15 years spent trying to compromise with someone with different goals.

It was as if a switch was flicked, I changed me. I began not to mind being alone, I made it work for me. The day I stopped worrying about being alone, it all became OK. I was much more relaxed and people wanted to be around me more.

5 years later, I have a much better job, a fantastic girlfriend (Who happens to be a CBT Therapist!) and kids (3 between us), I divorced my ex and bought her out of the house. We got a dog. We go on holiday and for weekends away. We have the same goals/desires/needs and are happy just to be with each other.

I don't have a wide circle of friends, I have a handful of old friends who visit rarely but I can deal with that. I enjoy time alone and enjoy work again.

Life is pretty good.
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post #149 of 156 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 04:11 PM
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There is huge variation in people but not only is that variation not allowed to exist in society, it is also labeled negatively and with terms that claim there is some sort of problem with differences. But there is no actual problem. People are simply different in a wide range of ways and if anything, its "the system" that is defective because it is trying to force everyone to behave in a narrow and arbitrary set of ways (and which is commonly known as "normal") and which everyone then tries to comply with because they are led to believe that this is what will lead to them being accepted and that this is what they need to be happy. But it doesn't actually mean that at all. Why people are liked or not liked, accepted and not accepted is multi factorial question and the formula is unknown, much like attraction/chemistry between people is unknown.
Those in white coats and with letters after their name claim to know why we suffer but they don't actually and we should stop giving deference to these people who approach human suffering from a defective basis and who ignore knowledge that has been around for thousands of years and which provides the answers for why we suffer.

Social Anxiety does not really exist (as an illness or disorder etc) and just because some people choose to spend their time differently to others does not mean there is a problem or that there is something wrong with them. Trying to fit yourself into and complying with what you have been told is what you must have in your life and then not finding it working for you, is what causes the suffering that all who have self-identified with SA endure and as I had done for many years.

There is nothing wrong with you or anyone else on this forum. This also goes for all forms of depression, anxiety, bi-polar and many other made-up conditions.
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post #150 of 156 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 11:28 AM
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My Story: How I Overcame Social Anxiety


Hi guys

I would like to share my story of how I overcame my 15 year struggle with social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and depression.

I recently wrote a book about my journey and the things i did to get over it.

You can download the kindle version for free on Amazon for the next 2 days. (edit: you need to click on the link that applies to your country)

USA - https://www.amazon.com/How-Overcame-...n_swatch_0&sr=

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EXTED56

Canada - https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01EXTED56

Australia - https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01EXTED56

(Other countries please search for the book in your amazon store and it should be free.)
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post #151 of 156 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 04:48 AM
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The key to overcoming social anxiety is creating that belief in yourself. This is actually easier than it sounds. Instead of constantly criticizing yourself and thinking bad of yourself, change the conscious and active thinking to good qualities that you posses and those that you could posses. And this is something that you can actively do. I am not talking about passive thoughts here. For example most of you probably keep saying in their mind "Oh I suck at that, I suck at this, I'm so bad etc.". Change that to the opposite. That's all there is to belief, that voice in your head that keeps negatively criticizing yourself is what creates that lack of belief. It is you actively doing it. It is your own fault. You cannot control emotions or what you passively think. You can however control what you actively think so change that to positive things. Believing is not some kind of mystical emotion. It is your own active voice in your head that says how good you are or can be. Once you stop being so hard on yourself you will realise it is ok to be afraid. It is all right to be embarrassed and many other things. Those are all normal things of life and all people have them, the difference is that you brood on them actively. Your belief will carry you into the unknown, and it will illuminate it. The more unknown you conquer, the less fear you will feel. But it won't matter to you because in the end once you start believing in yourself you will know that no matter how afraid you are or whatever happens in your life it will be okay because you know can handle it.

Anyway, if you have any questions on this or how to think in specific situations feel free to ask.
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post #152 of 156 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 04:32 PM
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A lot
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post #153 of 156 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 11:03 AM
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My Story so far...


Well up until recently I was agoraphobic. I also have a history of depression and anorexia. What can I say? My former classmates hit hard. But I hit them harder by going to the university of my choice, while they stayed back in my hometown doing nothing with their lives. Now as a university student I have the chance to put my life together piece by piece, by actually trying to communicate with others. It's been a long time since I talked to others except my family, but I did it and it wasn't so tragic as I thought it would be. So hooray?
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post #154 of 156 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 10:20 PM
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Creativity, Depression and SA




(Note: I've posted this on my blog, but I think posting it here would have been more appropriate.)

My creativity has always had a ceiling. In my manic creative phases, all my time, energy and thought is focused on my art. Relationships become almost impediments. Work, an interruption. Eventually, significant problems arise because of this, which shuts down the creative will. Sometimes just until the next work budget materializes. Sometimes it remains asleep a lot longer.

After a two-and-a-half year creative marathon recording my eponymous album, released in 2007, a series of events converged in my life ending my high artistic plateau, plunging me into severe depression. The album never found an audience or generated much income. Big cracks formed in my marriage, putting it in serious peril. The Great Recession hit, bringing about the demise of my company. My best friend died too young at age 52. I suffered anosmia after a concussion. This convergence became my dark tunnel that lasted 7 years.

The Great Recession arrived in 2008, and a personal decline began to feed on itself. With my income dwindling to a trickle, there was no possibility to continue with my music. Anxiety crippled my creative spirit. As my business opportunities dried up, my self-doubt was sensed by potential new clients, sending them elsewhere. I felt like I had somehow wrecked my creative process, been found out as a fraudulent interactive programmer, and invalidated myself as a family member. It made me feel like I had to walk away from being an artist, chuck my old job skill-set, and start from scratch. The things that used to work for me were failing.

I went through the motions of doing everything I did when my interactive business was doing well, but there were no projects materializing. Before, when one project had concluded, I would get on the phone and make calls off my lists, and eventually there would be another one. The projects came to an end, and didnít resume. My calls led nowhere. No one had budgets for content development, and there was nothing on the horizon.

Waking up became torturous. Re-emerging from unconsciousness, I would resume The Endless Loop of:

1. You are not bringing in money.
2. Your business*went under.
3. You have no relevant job skills.
4. You are in your fifties.
5. Your marriage is failing.
6. You have embarrassed yourself and your family with your Ďartí.
7. You have no-one to talk to about these things.
8. There is no reason to believe any of this will change any time soon.

I tried to keep myself distracted. Immersing myself in a sports broadcast would provide temporary relief from The Endless Loop. Watching a film as I rode my stationary bike was a pause in the dark pressure. But for every savored lull came a jarring re-emergence into the ever-present swirling dark self-doubt.

Zoloft knocked down the depression at first, but eventually facts on the ground called the shots, and its effectiveness waned. I settled into a routine where any little ebbing of energy would be taken as a welcome opportunity to sleep and escape again. I had no idea how to productively spend my waking time. I was left with this vast blank black slate to scribble my Endless Loop over and over again in my head.

My wife had a good job in a bank, but it wasnít enough to cover our bills. We went on public aid, with our kids eligible for free lunch cards. I repeatedly had to go to my family asking for help with the shortfall. It was embarrassing to be so reliant on others, but I had absolutely no visible route out of the awful maze I was trapped in. The thought that I would always be dependent on others, no longer employable, from my early fifties on thru my old age made me wish for an early death. The idea of being utter dead weight for decades longer was intolerable. The darkness that started in 2008 went on and on with no signs that an exit from it was possible.

By early 2013, my un-employment benefits were long gone. I found a brochure for a training facility that taught CNC machining in some of my paperwork from the state. I called the un-employment office and spoke with a counselor, who thought that it was a good idea to check into computerized manufacturing, where there were jobs, because of my computer skills. With the smallest creative spark, I visualized a way out. My family helped me with tuition, and I signed up. Starting in the fall of 2013, through early 2015, I sailed through the courses, all the while wondering how a guy my age was going to adjust to a new career working a manufacturing job on a factory floor. An instructor told me about a 3D modeling program called Solidworks used in engineering offices. This was more what I had in mind when I thought about computerized manufacturing. I realized that I was more CAD than CAM. I bought a student version of Solidworks and studied online tutorials and lessons from June, 2014 until April, 2015 when I tested and got my certification. By June of 2015, I had a job as a mechanical drafter in an engineering office in Schaumburg, IL, and the fever finally broke.

Almost immediately the dark place I was trapped in ended. My life finally, blessedly resumed a normal rhythm. A healthy, mildly dull but soothing beat of normalcy has come to sustain me again. I am grateful every day to be able to go to a job that I enjoy. Wounds in my marriage have faded. We are still together as a family. My children are healthy and doing well in school. The door of the long, black tunnel is behind me in the distance and closed now. Life has resumed.

Eric Schuurman

Eat your vegetables.
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post #155 of 156 (permalink) Old 10-30-2017, 04:15 PM
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Hello! It's been a long time since I've posted. So many memories here, good and bad.

I'll write a brief summary of my experience with social anxiety.

During my time at uni my SA during my early twenties was so bad I could not maintain eye contact with people, I had only one friend, went to extreme lengths to avoid meeting people and saying an awkward hello, I had low retention of memory and failed multiple units of University. I found this website and met a few people from here and thought... 'hey! I'm not alone' and you know what.. it was good for a time. Thinking that others also felt the same anxiety meant that I was 'normal' in a small sector of society and I didn't need to fit in. I already fit in within that small community. It was an excuse to remain stagnant despite the misery.

Then I realised the one thing people had in common here, they are too self absorbed with their own problems to listen to others. I was no different. When despair was greatest it's easy to push people away without realising. It's easy to cut contact with potential friends when each person has their own problems to deal with. It's hard to connect when you feel no one understands.

I had spent maybe a year or two on this website and have no friends to show for it. Meanwhile I was drained from university and being around people I don't connect with. Somehow I came across a breaking point where I thought.. **** it, I don't care anymore. I don't care what people think of me.
It might seem like an easy thought but to truly believe in it is something else. Once I stopped caring I didn't feel anxious.. I didn't feel anything, I just existed and felt no need to make friends.

I started playing games and specifically MMOs, and had fun simply playing and meeting people naturally. It was the first time I had connected with people and even though it was entirely behind a screen I enjoyed the feeling of belonging to a community for once. I am still friends with some of them today and met quite a few of them in real life. Being behind a screen helped meeting these people as I enjoyed the interaction, without feeling the anxiety of facing them in real life.

The next few years after that I started working, nothing too eventful.. it was a job that involved talking to people everyday and only for a few minutes at a time. It was very good practice but since I don't really need to connect with patients it wasn't a huge challenge. Connecting with coworkers was a chore as I wasn't ready to completely open myself up to my past yet (I graduated late due to multiple failures and have a nonexistant real life social network? I wasn't proud of myself)

Slowly, very slowly, I made a few friends outside of work, not super close.. but enough that I started to feel.. almost normal. Aside from being a massive recluse.

I was still living at home and felt as if I wasn't living to my full potential, many family problems arose. And a year ago I decided to move to the opposite side of the world for two years! This is where things turned around, I met some friends whom I see on a regular basis and we've even travelled together multiple times. I have been to roughly a dozen countries so far since coming here and still counting. Through these new friends I also met some of their friends, people who come and go but that's fine because that's how life goes. I'm not socially anxious anymore but I'm still uncomfortable around new people and find that I'm a massive introvert sometimes, refusing to get to know new people because it's so draining, lol. Logging back into this site now I think back and reflect on how much I've changed, even if it's just a bit at a time, and I'm grateful. I'm still single but I'm happy that I'm able to do all this on my own. Independence is wonderful.

This post will probaly be buried over time but for anyone wishing to change my main advice will be:
-Stop caring about what others think of you and start caring about them(individually), when you understand others they.. in most cases.. well understand you. If they don't, then don't give up on humanity just give up on them(the individual).
-Take it one step at a time. And do it repeatedly so it becomes routine.
-Don't overthink, in fact don't think at all! just do it.

I hope this helps someone.

If putting things off is so easy why can't you put off procrastination?


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post #156 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 12:41 PM
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I don't think I was the worst case when reading some of the stories here, but back when I was dealing with SA as far as I was concerned I was the most socially inept person on the planet. I was always told I was quiet, I did have friends but we would always be classed as the nerds, I was bullied a bit, I would spend recess hiding in the toilet in high school sometimes and din't have girlfriends for the longest time.

At some in my twenties I decided I was going to deal with it. I joined a sports club, which was great because you wouldn't have to socialise all the time, you could also just focus on the sport. And I just started doing more and more social things, such as going on a skiing trip in uni, going on a camping trip to a campsite with a lot of young people and it was all pretty painful, but I started have moments of relative 'success'. Then half way through my twenties I decided to try and put an end to my 'problem' once for all. I signed up for a comedy course (where you had to perform in front of crowd), theater, dancing and went out as often as I could. I had a couple of friends I'd go out with, but I'd also go out alone. To really get rid of the anxiety I'd try things like saying ridiculous things to people and purposely try to get people to dislike me just to expose myself to the fear. It all got pretty weird. Anyway after having done that for 3 years I was probably more social than almost anyone.. I was dating a lot of women also. But the thing was; I was still not happy about myself. There were still a couple of people I knew that had even less fear than I did or even more success with the ladies and I actually experienced a couple of very real bouts of depression amidst all of this. Also despite being so social I would still out of nowhere 'regress' into my old socially anxious self. The whole thing was very strange..

At some point I settled down with a girl and got a steady job and stopped all the over the top socialising. I focused more on my job and spirituality. And surely some of my anxiety started coming back again. Like I'd become anxious while talking to the cashier at the supermarket and I would just think "how is this happening?! I've done the scariest things I could think of for three years and this still happens!???".

I would also all the time be working on the social anxiety still in the background. I'd always have some new gimmick in my mind that was going to cure it, but it never would.. I must've come up with hundreds of gimmicks, ranging from positive thinking, to affirmations, to mindfulness, to profound spiritual insights.. and nothing would really help. Like sometimes it would help for a while, but then it would just stop working. One of the gimmicks was also telling myself that there was nothing wrong with myself, but that also never fully worked.

Lately, after having some time to do nothing.. all of a sudden this feeling that I was actually okay just started coming up out of nowhere. And just this feeling of helplessness; like I had tried everything and I knew already that it would ultimately fail and I just got sick of that idea. The idea of doing all the social exposure things I did, just to be okay, started to seem ridiculous to me. And I started to hear how critical I was of myself.. and it's not like I overcame my problem or something, it's like I just became to lazy to try anymore.. to evaluate myself against my criteria for success. And it's just like everything isn't real anymore. Like I do not know what will come, but it's fine. And here's the thing, I was very relaxed and calm with everyone I spoke to the one day.. even with very senior people at my job that would usually make me nervous.. but the other day I met a bunch of new people and I felt rushed and nervous.. but I didn't care. I just stood there feeling that way and talked to them awkwardly and then left. And I didn't try to fix myself afterwards. I'm fairly sure that next time I see them it'll all auto-correct.

So like a lot of you here are saying; don't be so hard on yourself; there is no problem, there's nothing wrong with you.. we were all meant to be this way.

People that helped me on my track were:
- Eckhart Tolle
- Jiddu krishnamurti
- Buddha
- Random people I met along the way
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