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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

Initially posted this in the "coping with social anxiety" section, but figured this would be the best place for me to get some feedback

I am a 35 year old Indian male in South Africa with Social Anxiety, and I have been depressed for the past few days
I've been putting off creating an action plan for my life due to being unemployed, and working 6-7 days a week just to pay the bills.
I work long hours and don't really have time to do much else
Currently I'm single & quite lonely
I have friends whom I talk to, but it doesn't fill the relationship void
I stay in my own apartment, but I will be out of cash in 2 months, so I need to find a job asap
I only joined facebook recently because I had to to do some advertising for a business that I started to make some extra cash. Facebook opened up my eyes to how late it is in my life. Seems like most people my age are in a relationship, or married with kids.

I just came up with the following action plan and wanted to ask people here if I'm missing something, or if my thinking is wrong
Following that, I want to post an update weekly with my thoughts and challenges etc.

1. - Landing a job
I've been learning web development for some time now, and I am confident that I could land a junior web developer role. (I would greatly appreciate it if anyone here can help me out in any way with that)
I am almost done with my last project, and will be sending out my cv daily thereafter


2. - My Depression & Anxiety
I am going to do the overcoming social anxiety step-by-step program again. I did it before, and made progress (I've got the tape series with the booklet)
I'm hoping that this, and the other tasks that I listed out here will alleviate my depression


3. - My Social Life
I'm going to reach out to a 1 friend who I haven't spoken to in years on facebook (facebook is not good for my health, but I have to be there for the work that I'm currently doing, and I also want to be part of normal society, so I want to get used to facebook)
I'm also going to make it a point to physically visit someone each week as soon as Covid is over


4. - My Physical Health
I used to workout daily, but with work and the joint and wrist pains that come along with it, I left it since I have been doing nothing but web development
I'm going to workout once a week on a Friday morning.
Im also going to go for a run EVERYDAY


5. - My Physical Appearance
I've been neglecting myself for the past 2 years because I have only been focussing on work. After being retrenched last year, I felt that I had no choice but to just work as much as possible to pay the bills. Im going to take care of my appearance over weekends, and Im also not going to code on weekends despite being unemployed ( I just end up crashing or being stressed).


6. - My Spiritual Health
I Luuv my guitar and will be picking her up everyday with the intention of improving my skills, as well as just enjoying playing her


7. - My Love Life
I have been at my very best when I have followed some sort of PUA inner game book. Theres a few that worked wonders for me many years ago. I think I will go through them daily and absorb all the knowledge in me. I dont want to wait until things are back to normal to get the ball rolling on this one. I want to be ready as soon as we have the post-vaccine/post-covid go-ahead lol


8. - My living space
Im guilty of leaving chores undone and using "too busy with work" as an excuse
I'm going to make sure that my place is in order every day


9 - While doing chores, I will listen to a little-bit of my "bible" audiobook daily (Cant hurt me - David Goggins)
This audiobook has helped me sooo much, but I have not been listening to it recently


From your experience, am I thinking correctly here, or am I missing something?
Please post your opinion because I value all opinions, positive or negative
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What about eating habits?
Not sure what you mean exactly.
I am actually not that bad with my eating
I don't take any sugar apart from ice cream or a chocolate once in a while
I eat an apple & plain oats every weekday, and then just one meal for supper.
It better for me otherwise I crash if I eat lunch
 

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This is awesome, what a great idea! For 6, might I recommend mindfulness? I find setting a few minutes a day aside to get myself in the right mindset works wonders. All the best for your plan - let us know how you get on x
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is awesome, what a great idea! For 6, might I recommend mindfulness? I find setting a few minutes a day aside to get myself in the right mindset works wonders. All the best for your plan - let us know how you get on x
Nice 1
I used to meditate for 3 mins a day, but stopped.
What specifically are you doing at them moment for your mindfulness?
Maybe I can get a few tips
Thanks and I def intend on posting my progress on here weekly
 

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It depends on what I need - sometimes I need to get in the right frame of mind for a day of work; other times, I need a bit of a pick-me-up if I'm not feeling great; yet other times, it can be as simple as thinking through what I want to achieve that day. I'm not a fan of the 'imagine a white wall', as I find having something to meditate on helps me to focus better x
 

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Hi @SAADHD

I’ll preface this by saying your plan’s targets all look good and realistic. As asked, below is some possible options regarding some of them, but even these aren’t intended to discourage.
3. - My Social Life
I'm going to reach out to a 1 friend who I haven't spoken to in years on facebook (facebook is not good for my health, but I have to be there for the work that I'm currently doing, and I also want to be part of normal society, so I want to get used to facebook)
I'm also going to make it a point to physically visit someone each week as soon as Covid is over
Congrats on reaching out to your friend, and also setting yourself a realistic weekly target. Not sure how your social life is currently i.e. if you already have a big enough social circle, but does any of your plan include meeting new people? Also - if Facebook is required for your work then fair enough, but I’ve personally never been on Facebook and during my prime had quite an active social life. This was when Facebook itself was in its prime and now it's on the decline, so I don't think it's completely necessary.

4. - My Physical Health
I used to workout daily, but with work and the joint and wrist pains that come along with it, I left it since I have been doing nothing but web development
I'm going to workout once a week on a Friday morning.
Im also going to go for a run EVERYDAY
Appreciate you're getting back into taking care of your physical health. But do you think setting yourself a target of going for a run every day sustainable for the rest of your life? It probably is, but is going from zero 0 to everyday in itself also sustainable? The risk is that as soon as you find you’re unable to do everyday for genuine and practical reasons, your plan is compromised, which risks the whole plan collapsing. Perhaps setting a minimum of a few times a week first, and seeing if you can maintain that for a few months, might be an option to consider - but it's up to you.

7. - My Love Life
I have been at my very best when I have followed some sort of PUA inner game book. Theres a few that worked wonders for me many years ago. I think I will go through them daily and absorb all the knowledge in me. I dont want to wait until things are back to normal to get the ball rolling on this one. I want to be ready as soon as we have the post-vaccine/post-covid go-ahead lol
Having contributed a lot to my own self-development, I’d agree that “inner” game is important. If the PUA inner game this is something that was working for you, and you had no fundamental reason for falling out of it, then go for it. It might be worth knowing that most relationships don’t start by people randomly meeting each other in public. You probably know about dating sites, but people also meet each other through mutual friends or social activities. This probably links into my comments regarding task #5.

8. - My living space
Im guilty of leaving chores undone and using "too busy with work" as an excuse
I'm going to make sure that my place is in order every day
Saying “my place is in order” is quite ambiguous and distinct from “no leaving chores undone”. It’s advisable to actually list out the chores you intend to do everyday, and that they should be direct and measurable, and as non-generic as you can. Perhaps also there are small chores you can do everyday, followed by a weekly “deep clean” day.

So again, overall your targets are good even if you decide not to take up any of the above.

By the way - if you don't mind me asking, what benefits are you hoping to gain through joining this forum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It depends on what I need - sometimes I need to get in the right frame of mind for a day of work; other times, I need a bit of a pick-me-up if I'm not feeling great; yet other times, it can be as simple as thinking through what I want to achieve that day. I'm not a fan of the 'imagine a white wall', as I find having something to meditate on helps me to focus better x
So if I understand you correctly, you use mindfulness as a sort of mental medication for whatever you are lacking that particular day. Sounds like a good strategy. It's great thank you've found various methods to assist you. I'll watch myself and think about what I lack on certain days, and how I can remedy that. Thanks! One thing that I do at the moment is take 3 slow, deep breaths. I do this while checking off my to-do list, and it feels good
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi there Macky
Thanks so much for the feedback!
I’ll preface this by saying your plan’s targets all look good and realistic. As asked, below is some possible options regarding some of them, but even these aren’t intended to discourage.
Congrats on reaching out to your friend, and also setting yourself a realistic weekly target. Not sure how your social life is currently i.e. if you already have a big enough social circle, but does any of your plan include meeting new people? Also - if Facebook is required for your work then fair enough, but I’ve personally never been on Facebook and during my prime had quite an active social life. This was when Facebook itself was in its prime and now it's on the decline, so I don't think it's completely necessary.
My social circle is quite small at the moment. I need to meet new people somehow. My only strategy was to join the regional anxiety support group. Any tips for meeting new people?
A really good friend of mine has suggested that I met him and a few friends of his. i took him up on this offer since it revolves around an activity.
I'm not really a facebook person. I don't really feel the need to post out my life and passions to other people. I generally keep those things to myself, and it has nothing to do with social anxiety. I prefer in-person interaction. I also interact better with women face-to-face. I prefer genuine, authentic connections.


Appreciate you're getting back into taking care of your physical health. But do you think setting yourself a target of going for a run every day sustainable for the rest of your life? It probably is, but is going from zero 0 to everyday in itself also sustainable? The risk is that as soon as you find you’re unable to do everyday for genuine and practical reasons, your plan is compromised, which risks the whole plan collapsing. Perhaps setting a minimum of a few times a week first, and seeing if you can maintain that for a few months, might be an option to consider - but it's up to you.
Thanks for this point Macky. It really helped me out a lot. After reading this point It led me to reading up on the risks/benefits of running everyday. I came across a good comment that explained that I should not take my running too seriously, and look to enjoy my runs. Oddly enough, when I implemented this mentality, I began running at a more steady pace, and actualy managed to complete my usual course without gassing out and stopping for a break. The reason I want to run everyday for the rest of my life is because I leave nothing to chance. Theres not decision to be made, just like brushing my teeth, its something that I do. The benefits to running are amazing, and I can no longer afford to miss out on them by leaving it to a decision. Thats just my mindset

Having contributed a lot to my own self-development, I’d agree that “inner” game is important. If the PUA inner game this is something that was working for you, and you had no fundamental reason for falling out of it, then go for it. It might be worth knowing that most relationships don’t start by people randomly meeting each other in public. You probably know about dating sites, but people also meet each other through mutual friends or social activities. This probably links into my comments regarding task #5.
The kind of Inner game PUA books I read were never the manipulative ones with tricks or "7 secret patters" b.s. They were usually the ones that helped you create a higher self worth and confidence so that you naturally attract people by being yourself. My brain knows when I'm tricking it, and it will beat me up for performing tricks or anything that goes against my values

Saying “my place is in order” is quite ambiguous and distinct from “no leaving chores undone”. It’s advisable to actually list out the chores you intend to do everyday, and that they should be direct and measurable, and as non-generic as you can. Perhaps also there are small chores you can do everyday, followed by a weekly “deep clean” day.
This helped. Listing down specifics helped me out, and made me feel a better sense of accomplishment.
I have specefics listed out, and in the spare time I do deep cleaning on one area of my apartment. This leaves very little cleaning for the weekend "spring cleaning" day. This is allowing me to enjoy more of my weekend.

By the way - if you don't mind me asking, what benefits are you hoping to gain through joining this forum?
I'm looking to journal my journey here. I intend on writing up a weekly update on my progress. Its also great that there are empathetic people here that can assist me with guidance. I also have a goal of replying to at least one person who is looking for advice. I want to contribute to this community and help wherever I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Week 1 Update

My depressive episode started because of a woman. I know... this is the part where you roll your eyes and stop reading. I keep thinking about his woman who I had been talking to last year. We dated many years ago. I won’t go into the details, but lets just use the old “its complicated”.


Landing a job
I’ve been cleaning up all my portfolio and have set a deadline for the 15th to start handing out my cv.

My Depression & Anxiety
In the beginning of the week I couldn’t sleep well. I had no appetite, and I still don’t have that much of an appetite, but its not as bad as it used to be. I think that could be what one of the other members was getting at when he asked “what about diet”
I broke down one of the nights but luckily I have good friends that I can talk to. They kept me copany and offered up advice.
I started to open up about my anxiety to more friends and found that it took away some of my anxiety. I didn’t really go into much detail, but being vulnerable creates connections with people, and more connections are good. In the past I felt too ashamed to share about my SA, but I regret not opening up earlier. I also started deliberately slowing down my words and actions. This has helped in the past, ad it is helping now. I just keep telling myself to “chill” whenever I have a fast twitch or any fast movement. Its so odd that I started to notice how many people around have this fast movement. When you chill out and try not to care what people think of you, then you start to notice how bad it looks when people move about in a rushed manner.
I read my therapy in the morning when I get back from my run, and it makes a difference. Doing therapy when my brain is flooded with endorphins is a positive benefit of going for a run. The therapy will have a better chance of working since I am in a more relaxed state mentally. I'm on week 2 of the"overcoming social anxiety step-by-step" audio series
I put my audiobook on to play throughout the night at a very soft volume. To an extent, It helps me not think about this woman.
I have been making progress, and I believe that everything that I do plays its part. I keep thinking, what part does "regression toward the mean” play in all this? But knowing my negative brain, I would of been worse off this week if I hadn’t put something in place

My social life
I managed to visit my creative this week, and I also took a friend with me for the cover vaccine. That counts as social interaction for me. I’ve also been cognisant of my thoughts and what I genuinely want to say. If I catch myself wanting to say something for neediness or egotistical reasons, then I don’t say it. I just sit there relaxed. If there’s something that I genuinely want to communicate, and its not necessarily feeding my ego or neediness, then I say it. Funny thing is that people are so much more receptive to this, and my brain is too because it knows that none of what I am doing is b.s.
This turned out to be one of those “less is more” things for me. I still need to get out there and meet a woman that I’m interested in. Im stuck on this one, and to be honest, I’m not even trying because I am focussing on getting employment first. I keep telling myself that I need this sorted before I start meeting people again


My Physical Health
I wake up early every morning and go for a run. This has truly been a game changer. Firstly, its low risk. There aren’t many people out since its not yet at full light. Darkness has become a friend of mine over the years. I remember being so afraid of the dark when I was young. It was only as my social anxiety grew, and I was forced to work a night shift job in my early twenties, that I became friends with the night. What was once terrifying for me, turned into peace. No one around, no one to look out for. Sometimes you can find peace in darkness. Itaking a smoke break and walking in the dark was usually the only time I felt truly at peace during this years. The day after taking the vaccine I felt weak, so I rested up and took a mild paced jog in the evening once I felt healthy enough.



My Physical appearance
I have a beauty appointment at my bathroom mirror every Sunday now. It feels good to know that I’m taking care of myself now.
I can already see results, but I think its more the running than this


My Spiritual Health
I’ve been playing my guitar daily! I love her so much that I have to force myself to put her down. I caught myself enjoying the same led Zeppelin song over and over for an hour
If I didn’t have social anxiety I would just busk on the weekend. Maybe this should be a goal. Joining a band this year definitely is though.


My love life
Non-Existent. Ok, I’ve been reading Models by Mark Manson. He talks about becoming a better man who is more vulnerable and less needy. Sounds counter intuitive, I know. But this is my kind of PUA book. It dives straight to the core of the problem and forces you to work on it. This is the only way for lasting change. So far this boo is great. Its honest.
I’m already implementing some of what I’ve read. It motivated me to be more vulnerable with a female friend that I have been speaking to now and then.



My living space
My place looks great!
Im so proud of myself. I make my bed and do the dishes like a good boy!
I just need to keep it up.

Overall I think I've made good progress. Just need to stop thinking about her, and take it one day at a time..
I just keep telling myself that as long as I do all the above, I will find some peace, and hopefully someone to love someday soon
 

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My social circle is quite small at the moment. I need to meet new people somehow. My only strategy was to join the regional anxiety support group. Any tips for meeting new people?
A really good friend of mine has suggested that I met him and a few friends of his. i took him up on this offer since it revolves around an activity.
I'm not really a facebook person. I don't really feel the need to post out my life and passions to other people. I generally keep those things to myself, and it has nothing to do with social anxiety. I prefer in-person interaction. I also interact better with women face-to-face. I prefer genuine, authentic connections.
Sure. Well in this thread (hyperlink) and this other thread (hyperlink), I’ve share my observations regarding meeting people, and activities in particular – and I don’t often suggest limiting oneself to anxiety-based groups unless if they are really struggling. Even with these groups, I think many underestimate the potential social barriers but… with you I’m sensing you already have some social competence, and that you’ll probably thrive in the group more than others.

It’s also good you’re actively going out with your friend and his group, thus expanding your own social network. I’m sure you’ll make a good impression, and so if you haven’t met them already, I hope that when you do it will go well.
Thanks for this point Macky. It really helped me out a lot. After reading this point It led me to reading up on the risks/benefits of running everyday. I came across a good comment that explained that I should not take my running too seriously, and look to enjoy my runs. Oddly enough, when I implemented this mentality, I began running at a more steady pace, and actualy managed to complete my usual course without gassing out and stopping for a break. The reason I want to run everyday for the rest of my life is because I leave nothing to chance. Theres not decision to be made, just like brushing my teeth, its something that I do. The benefits to running are amazing, and I can no longer afford to miss out on them by leaving it to a decision. Thats just my mindset
You’re welcome. Playing devils advocate - Brushing your teeth is ingrained at an age when we are most receptive to new habits – and so ideally you’d want to ensure your daily runs are part of a new habit, and goes beyond the initial motivation boost you may currently be going through. Even saying “I can no longer afford to miss out on them by leaving it to a decision” downplays the fact that you are making a decision, which would actually be the most important aspect for me....

But whatever works for you: if as you say, you’re confident you will do it forever, now that you’ve set your mind to it, that’s all that counts.

Personally though, I would have set myself a target of doing it for at least a 12-week period, and setting an allowance of missing one day every 2-4 weeks. One reason is that I'd need some sort of milestone to aim towards and get a sense of accomplishment - and waiting until I'm dead for that to happen does seem a bit deflating. Also - rules are not meant to be broken, and so would include the allowance of one day off per fortnight/ month, to account for days when I genuine would be unavailable for running, without compromising my overall running plan (which is the biggest cause of these goals falling apart).

3 months of consistency is also where it does indeed become a natural habit, for which it will be automatic, like brushing one’s teeth. But i And that’s all I think I can contribute to this so good luck – you certainly seem motivated!
I'm looking to journal my journey here. I intend on writing up a weekly update on my progress. Its also great that there are empathetic people here that can assist me with guidance. I also have a goal of replying to at least one person who is looking for advice. I want to contribute to this community and help wherever I can.
That’s good. Remember that if you are looking for advice regarding these goals, it’s potentially more effective creating a new thread for that particular talking point. You’re more likely to get more focused and effective answers that way and you also can keep this particular thread focused on your overall journey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sure. Well in this thread (hyperlink) and this other thread (hyperlink), I’ve share my observations regarding meeting people, and activities in particular – and I don’t often suggest limiting oneself to anxiety-based groups unless if they are really struggling. Even with these groups, I think many underestimate the potential social barriers but… with you I’m sensing you already have some social competence, and that you’ll probably thrive in the group more than others.

It’s also good you’re actively going out with your friend and his group, thus expanding your own social network. I’m sure you’ll make a good impression, and so if you haven’t met them already, I hope that when you do it will go well..
Hi Macky! Thanks for the response man! I want to use the social anxiety support groups as a start. In fact, I want to become a leader in those groups and help others. I've come a long way with my anxiety and I feel I can contribute to the support groups.


You’re welcome. Playing devils advocate - Brushing your teeth is ingrained at an age when we are most receptive to new habits – and so ideally you’d want to ensure your daily runs are part of a new habit, and goes beyond the initial motivation boost you may currently be going through. Even saying “I can no longer afford to miss out on them by leaving it to a decision” downplays the fact that you are making a decision, which would actually be the most important aspect for me....

But whatever works for you: if as you say, you’re confident you will do it forever, now that you’ve set your mind to it, that’s all that counts.

Personally though, I would have set myself a target of doing it for at least a 12-week period, and setting an allowance of missing one day every 2-4 weeks. One reason is that I'd need some sort of milestone to aim towards and get a sense of accomplishment - and waiting until I'm dead for that to happen does seem a bit deflating. Also - rules are not meant to be broken, and so would include the allowance of one day off per fortnight/ month, to account for days when I genuine would be unavailable for running, without compromising my overall running plan (which is the biggest cause of these goals falling apart).

3 months of consistency is also where it does indeed become a natural habit, for which it will be automatic, like brushing one’s teeth. But i And that’s all I think I can contribute to this so good luck – you certainly seem motivated!
I found that leaving a rest day always led me to taking one even when I didn't need to. Then I would start taking 2 days off and so on.
Running everyday keeps me disciplined. If theres a day that I fall ill, and it would be dangerous to run, then I'll have to walk the route instead. Things like being hospitalised, jailed etc. are the only excuses I'm giving myself for this one. I hear you on feeling a sense of accomplishment though. My sense of accomplishment comes daily from the fact that I get up and run everyday no matter what :). Thanks Again Macky. I really appreciate the time you took to help me reflect on my goals
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Week 2 Update

Definitely seeing some progress!


Landing a job
I've been joining recruitment sites and finally updated my cv. Tomorrow is my cut off day for stating to apply but sadly my portfolios are not ready :(. Since I'm actively working at it, I'm going to give myself a break and start at the end of the month.

My Depression & Anxiety
I've still been bothered by negative thoughts, but I'm starting to catch them, and they don't have as much power anymore. This is due to me listening to my theraphy tape for a few hours each Saturday and then practicing my therapy each day. I still feel lonely though. I'm actually grateful because it's this loneliness thats going to motivate me to find someone:) I remember when I used to have this void in my heart for years because of the anxiety and other issues I had. Being able to feel a longing is actually good, and I have to keep reminding myself of that. I'm also happier (I'm suspecting that its the daily running thats playing a big part in this).
Something I remembered this week that I read some time ago from "The Heart of Buddha's teachings by Thich Nhat Hanh":
"If you plant corn, corn will grow. If you plant wheat, wheat will grow"
I am going to plants seeds of success & positivity etc. I remember a time when I practiced not saying negative things if they didn't need to be said. It actually helped me so much. I found myself starting to do this again. It's funny how sometimes you just have to go back to what worked before and grow from there, instead of trying to search for something else, or something better.

My social life
I spent some time at a new friends place last weekend. I met him through my neighbour. We just hanged out, and I did have negative thoughts the entire time. I just kept on trying to focus on the moment and managed to enjoy myself. I also visited my cousin and enjoyed the time I spent with her. I got in touch with the anxiety call centre in my area. They were quite helpful and are going to call me in the week :).


My Physical Health
Still running everyday.
I can already see changes in my running times without me even attempting to beat my times. I just go for a run and focus on enjoying the open sky and trees.
I started working our again. Just started with a 30minute weight session followed by a 30min bag session


My Physical appearance
A friend of mine came to visit in the week. She mentioned how just having a good haircut helps her. I agree with this. All the small things add up. I missed my bathroom mirror appointment last week :(. I'm def not missing this weeks appointment tomorrow.


My Spiritual Health
Still playing my guitar and singing daily. Really enjoying it! Wish I could do more of it. Whenever negative thoughts visit me I remind myself to focus on my main goal of getting a new job.


My love life
Still non-Existent. This weeks reading thought me how I made excuses for not going & meeting certain women, and how I have been putting things off. I also learnt how negative I have been with my attitude and judging certain women before even getting to know them properly. I'm going to make more of an effort going forward
Personally I used to feel like such an underachiever because social anxiety has set me back so much. Now I just honestly think I'm a great catch!


My living space
I managed to keep my place in such good condition this week.


I don't want to be "let down and hanging around". I want a fulfilling life. Doing what I'm currently doing is the only way I know how to try and achieve that.
I think I'm doing great so far! Guess I'm going to just try and keep this all up and see where it leads me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Week 3 Update

Stagnation or Regression


Landing a new job

Still working on it. Progress is slow

My Depression & Anxiety
My depression has gone down a little but the loneliness is getting bad. I feel so fortunate. I always find someone who is willing to listen to my stories. I have a few friends and family members that I share my current feelings with. I cannot imagine not having someone to talk to about my issues. I have no clue how I'm able to open up to people now. I used to be so ashamed about all my issues. Being vulnerable and not caring as much as I did is working for me I think. Its like I can connect more with myself now and accept who I am

My social life
I don't really feel like being social in this state. I have a lump in my throat a few times a day because of negative thoughts around a lot of things that have transpired this past 2 years, or that I am currently facing. I just don't feel like visiting or meeting anyone because of my current mood. I never contacted my facebook friends like I said I would. Something is stopping me. I think its all the shame and telling them that I am still single or that I haven't made progress in life. Maybe because I have nothing positive to say at the moment. Ive always been the type to be around friends when I feel good, and stay on my own when times are tough.


My Physical Health
Still running everyday.
I am still seeing progress with my running. It's the one thing that has transformed many aspects of my life.
Just the fact that I have to wake up early and go for a run has brought so much discipline and order in my life.
I used to be a night owl my entire life, but Now I go to bed at 10 and wake up around 5 every day. Looks like I'm on my way to becoming like the general population


My Physical appearance
I just cant seem to keep to my target of taking care of my appearance. I'm going to have to set an alarm or something.


My Spiritual Health
Singing and playing my guitar allows me to connect with myself. I feel amazing after playing each day. Talking about my feelings to friends also helps me connect with who I am somehow.


My love life
Still working on it. This weeks reading reminded me of how I have been in my shell and haven't been able to be the man I know I am. I'm usually funny, friendly, and physical. When I'm at my best I'm also easy going and very giving.
Social anxiety really took a lot away from me. But it also gave me a lot. I remember a scene from Avatar legend of Kora where she says that she needed to go through her suffering so that she could truly understand it and be more compassionate to others. Unfortunately I feel like I have been suffering for too long even after I learnt all the lessons. But thats my doing as well. I am taking more action now and putting myself first


My living space
Looks like I let things slip this week. I have been so caught up with my negative thoughts that it has been eating my energy. having ADHD doesn't help when you have negative thoughts because you get distracted by them so easily, and they will make you loose so much of focus. It takes so much energy just to get back to a task that you were performing. This becomes extremely difficult when you have so many negative thoughts each minute. The only way I have learnt to deal with this is to try and stay calm and just keep trying to work. I'm going to try and do better this coming week.


Maybe I just need to give myself a break because I am currently facing a family crisis that is out of my control.
I am trying to be positive and optimistic. I do have hope. Hope has been the only thing that has been keeping me going all these years. At least now theres more action to go along with it
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Week 4

Internal changes


Landing a new job

Working on it. I'm a perfectionist so still polishing my projects up

My Depression & Anxiety
I seem to have come completely out of my depression. I'm trying to have a positive look on life now. I catch myself dwelling on the past, but I think that since I'm taking so many steps toward breaking free from anxiety, I have hope.
I actually had 2 great days this week! This almost never happens in the same week. Maybe there are some internal changes. Since last week, I can sleep with my own thoughts, so I don't need to softly play an audiobook in the background to drown out my negative thoughts. The fact that I have to actually say “go away” when I’m by myself is not cool. It helps get rid of the negative thoughts though. My negative thoughts have a mind of their own, and I have treated them as such for years now. I keep reminding myself about this teaching of buddha's.

Buddha: "There
is a cow with such a terrible skin disease that her
skin is almost no longer there. When you bring her
close to an ancient wall or old tree, all the living
creatures in the bark of the tree come out, cling to
the cow's body, and suck. When we bring her into
the water, the same thing happens. Even when she
is just exposed to the air, tiny insects come and
suck."


I think this of negative thoughts, and my mind is like the cow with the skin disease. I can't allow my mind to veer toward, or be willingly exposed to negative things. I remember when I actively practiced this for some time and felt great. I actually became a positive person after some time. I'm still doing my therapy series daily.

My social life
What social life? I have a friend that I chat to daily. He is such a blessing in my life. He is like minded and supportive, and looks to me for support whenever he needs it. We support one another without judgement and we have been friends for donkeys. Apart from that I talk to as many people as I can whenever I'm at the shops or wherever. I'm not that great at social media. Can't stand it actually. Never feel the need to tell anyone anything about my life or post a picture of anything even if its positive. I'm happy not posting and just laughing at funny things people post, so thats what I'll continue to do.


My Physical Health
Still running everyday. It's got to a point that I have accepted that I will be running forever. I know it looks like I'm committing too soon, but to be honest, I already committed to this from day 1.
Once I commit to anything theres no stopping me.
I started doing a full body workout once a week, and hitting the bag twice a week.
I have always been athletic. My body craves physical activity


My Physical appearance
I figured out that I wasn't holding myself accountable for not taking care of my appearance. I think this is because I didn't consider it that important. Thats dangerous thinking and I've changed my mindset. This entire plan is holistic, so taking care of my physical appearance is as important as any other aspect of my plan.


My Spiritual Health
Working out and singing & playing guitar really fulfils me. Just playing what I love is an unbelievable feeling. I think that I didn't place enough value on this previously in my life.


My love life
My friend told me to heal up completely first so that when I give, I can do so wholeheartedly. I rarely take anyones advice. Im stubborn and think I know too much, but I'm definitely taking this advice. I'm going to continue working on myself, and when I'm at my best I will naturally get into a relationship. It's happened in the past, it's just that this time I will maintain all these things I do for myself before I give my time to anyone else.


My living space
I've done very well this week. My place is tidy. I'm going to keep it up. I know it's early days but I'm so proud.

Hope that these changes aren't just mind tricks. I'm humbled by my past and have to keep reminding myself that I'm a better person because of all that I've gone through. Odd thing though is that I think I was a decent person to begin with. 4 weeks ago I wouldn't have thought I would make this much progress. I'm really starting to value myself more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Week 5

Hoping that this is the new norm


Landing a new job

Still working on it. I've started visualising best case scenarios for my interviews. I'm not even nervous. Thorough preparation and being completely honest = less nervousness

My Depression & Anxiety
Lots of negative thoughts this week, but I've managed to not let them get to me. One thing I picked up is that due to my ADHD, even when I’m trying to do therapy or whatever, there will be thoughts that pop up that want me to respond or think of a good response to say to someone in future event. Sometimes it’s a positive thing or what my mind tells me is an important thing. I’ve now learnt that it is, and always will be, a distraction. When I’m trying to do an important task, everything else is just a distraction. If its that important, I will remember once I’ve done my task. And if I forget, I won’t beat myself up about it. I’ll be proud that I resisted the urge to leave my task and respond. Due to having a face mask on when I go to places, I cant fully gauge my social anxiety level. Not only does the mask protect me from covid, it acts as somewhat of a social anxiety filter.


My social life
I didn't crave any social interaction this week, so I didn't go and visit neighbours as much. I think I'm making a mistake. I need to keep visiting people and make connections with them. i always do this. Whenever things get a lil better, I get back to my old habbits. I need to be cognisant of this and strive to keep doing what works.


My Physical Health
I can see a noticeable mental, physique, and fitness change. My morning runs are not even hard anymore. I want to increase the intensity/distance but I think I'm not going to until I am sure


My Physical appearance
Still not taking this seriously. What the hell is wrong with me! Maybe I think I'm pretty enough :p. My new strategy is to do my necessaries before I eat. That will teach me!


My Spiritual Health
For some reason, music is as spiritual as I get. Don't care much for ay meditation or anything else spiritual atm. I didn't feel that lonely this week, my guitar kept me company. I recently noticed how you can sing with the body of the guitar placed on your diaphragm while playing, and allowing the resonance of the guitar strings and your voice go through the body of the guitar. It's quite interesting. Feel like I'm connecting with my guitar even more. I've had an on and off relationship with her for ages, but we're going steady now :). Just like my running I'm never gonna let a day go by without me picking her up.


My love life
I want one, and I find myself not rushing. I'm trying to make my life add up to something good. I don't need to rush. I don't feel like rushing. A relationship can wait. This seems like progress to me. I don't need a relationship, I want one.
I'm so self sufficient that the only thing I'd need from my other half is her company. Currently I feel like quite a good version of myself. I guess I can say I'm in a good space, and I'm only expecting positive outcomes wherever I go.
This week I experienced my neighbours new boyfriend stare at me in an aggressive/rude manner when I greeted him. I found myself not caring or being agitated at all. I even find myself looking him dead in the eyes and letting him know that how he was behaving wasn't okay by me, and I don't scare that easily! After the interaction I rationalised things and said to myself that there was most probably a million reasons why he behaved like that, and thats his problem, not mine.


My living space
New attitude. I am a king, and this is my palace, so I treat it as such. Everything's neat and tidy. But not only am I the king, I'm also the cook and the cleaner. And I do my duties to the best of my ability. No quick and fast meals or speed cleaning. Whatever amount of time it takes for me to do my duties in a relaxed manner, that's what I'll do. Even if I have to even sacrifice some of my 90min tv time to clean before bed, I do

The biggest lessons I learnt this week is eliminating distractions and not rushing no matter what. I've been able to perform better at tasks by being more disciplined and slowing down.
 

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The biggest lessons I learnt this week is eliminating distractions and not rushing no matter what. I've been able to perform better at tasks by being more disciplined and slowing down.
Not on this site but I was rather blunt with someone about my lack of social experiences in a lot of ways. His advise to me was slow and steady wins the race.

Seems you might be proof of that
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not on this site but I was rather blunt with someone about my lack of social experiences in a lot of ways. His advise to me was slow and steady wins the race.

Seems you might be proof of that
Hey Dan

Seems to be the case for me

It's so counterintuitive, and I have to constantly fight my urge to speed up. My body tenses up and goes into "fast mode" on its own. Thats an autopilot mode that has fooled/failed me for a long time. It also speeds up my racy thoughts.
 

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Song and action man
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Hey Dan

Seems to be the case for me

It's so counterintuitive, and I have to constantly fight my urge to speed up. My body tenses up and goes into "fast mode" on its own. Thats an autopilot mode that has fooled/failed me for a long time. It also speeds up my racy thoughts.
I get this. My advise is to surround yourself with people who complement this nicely.

I hadn't. But that could be my own fault as well
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Week 6


Feels like I've been doing this for longer than 6 weeks


Landing a job

Landed a freelance project so I’ve been putting all my time into it



My Depression & Anxiety

Ive been kind of stuck with my therapy. It seems like the time I allocated for it isn’t sufficient any more. I can’t just read material and move on. The way my mind works is that I have to constantly remind myself about all the material in my workbook otherwise I forget. I I think I’m going to have to increase my therapy time. I’ll try further revising my notes and see if it saves time. 10 more minutes should suffice for the next 2 weeks, so it’s no biggie. I’m definitely making progress. I’m being more assertive and standing up for myself and it feels really good. I sometimes think. "Be careful. You’ve been here before where you think things are getting better, but you start letting things slip and before you know it, you’re having some breakdown". Thats precisely the reason for my discipline. I remember Jako Willink saying disciple equals freedom. In my case, I believe that. I also have to be careful about what my anxiety has morphed me into. In which ways am I subconsciously still avoiding people? Is my apathy mostly a result of my anxiety even though I believe it isn’t. I suffered from anxiety from such an early age (from about 9 years old), that I can’t genuinely say which personality traits are due to anxiety, and which ones are truly me. I think I have to challenge the traits I have developed over the years. I’m starting to journal moments that I feel awkward, or am not sure how to respond etc. Why do I feel this way, what are the thoughts and reasons behind this? I need to figure it out. Once I do, I can try and wipe the tape and tape over it so that it becomes the new automatic habit. This is going to take years I think, but I’m willing to put in the work obviously.

But my weaknesses aren’t just one thing to work on. Each weakness comes with its own insecurities, layers of resistances, belief system etc. In order to overcome certain weaknesses, I will have to break these things down and make progress on each of them. A weakness is like a broken part in a car. That broken part may cause the whole car to not function properly, and having that part in there will put pressure on other parts that are reliant on it, eventually cause the relying parts to become defective. How much of my own b.s am I believing? And since I’m such a know-it-all, I hardly find people who to call me out on it. Lucky I have a friend who’s on the lookout for me not keeping a balance. His big on “life balance”. I totally agree with him. Living this new “balanced “ life has made such a difference.


Seriously, where is my b.s hiding? I know it’s around here somewhere. I’m on the lookout for it. I’m not gonna let it fool me. What false beliefs do I have that I am going to regret in the future?
How can I counter my resistances to change?
Now that I feel a bit better in what ways have I become comfortable compared to week 1? I know that I don’t read my therapy handouts with as much focus, but what else?


One thing that I’m still trying to figure out is, when I start to think that someone is looking at me, I begin to get "performance anxiety". Its like I have to be walking properly or doing things in a proper manner. The fact that I think that someone is watching me makes me “act”. So now I’m unable to freely express myself. Even when I catch myself “acting” I don’t know what to do once I am aware of it. It’s like it too late, every action I make after becoming aware that I think I’m being watched gets questioned until I forget about it and start doing things normally again.




My Social Life
I haven’t reached out to friends on facebook like I said I would. I don’t think I want to because I don’t really feel like I have anything positive to share about my life apart from the progress I’ve ben making with my anxiety. I have been meeting up with friends though. I just had such a great day with a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while.



My Physical Health
It doesn’t even seem like that much effort anymore running everyday. I also feel more confident in my clothes because I can see the changes in my body. Maybe its also coz I know that I am fit.



My Physical Appearance
It feels good taking care of myself. Grooming is a caring act in a way.



My Spiritual Health
Just going deeper with my singing and guitar is all the spiritual connection I need. I don’t feel like Im missing out on anything


My Love Life
I got asked about this recently. The answer that came to my ind is I want one, but I’m not ready. So let me just be honest with myself and keep doing everything else until I feel that I’m ready.



My living space
Still in good shape. I’m no longer embarrassed about my place.




I feel proud of myself. I have less shame. I can openly say vulnerable things and turn it into a joke without it being at the expense of myself. This is because I genuinely don’t care what the other person thinks of me.
I can’t believe that I don’t fear judgement as much anymore. Hoping that this is not just another temporary mind trick. I going to put in so much work on myself that even a setback wont take me back to where I was at week one.

Archilochus — 'We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.'
 
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