Went on two dates.
My girlfriend left me 2 months ago, and before I met her I had social anxiety, and during our 5 year relationship I obviously never had any need to ask girls or go on dates, so my already bad skills at this were even more rusty, and it was ten times more terrifying than before not doing it for 5 years. So basically I hit up some dating sites, managed to get two girls phone numbers in a week, and two dates, one flaked, another one i actually met, I was so nervous I was trembling, literally, heart beating so fast I thought I would die, muscle tremors, the works, couldnt sleep the night before. Thought of cancelling like 20 times but i decided if i dont force myself to do stuff like this im doomed to be alone forever and never have another girlfriend, never have sex again, any of it. So i simply powered through it.
When I met her and started talking I actually calmed down, and managed to talk for about 1 hour having coffee with her, with not many breaks in the conversation, using some conversation techniques I read about online. She later said she didn't feel anything with me and only wanted to be friends (she didn't she was just being nice with the rejection). However I felt it to be a great victory.
About two weeks later I got another date, this girl was wanted to meet at her house, for tea, I was super nervous driving there but this time had some calming herbs which took the edge off, didn't feel as bad as the last time, had tea and pretty good conversation for like 2 hours, then she invited me to the movies with her friends. I didnt talk much while with her friends and then went home. Turns out she is super religious and I don't have much in common with her, however she wants to be friends (actual friends not just rejected me nicely) and we have made plans to hang out again. I feel this is alot of progress that I've simply just brute forced my way through the wall of anxiety and terror that i feel while going on dates, and I intent to do more regular socialising to keep it up, keep making progress. I've also been on webcam with a girl I met in a chat room for like 2 hours, and wasn't really that scared at all this time.
I think ultimately exposure is the main key to beating this, even though it feels literally like you're about to be sent to the firing squad, if you force yourself to do it, it gets easier everytime. Also using conversation techniques to keep the conversation going and calming herbs, breathing exercise and a good diet takes the edge off enough to make it less brutally horrible. I think in a few months I'll be well on my way to being able to ask girls out, have a regular social life, and have a chance at having another girlfriend.