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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I apologize in advance for how long this is, it was meant to be short but turned out to be the mess below. I really just wanted to say hello and that I've enjoyed commiserating with everyone from the sidelines until I decided to get an account today.

I'm 32 and live in Canada. I've had social anxiety all my life and it's just been the last few years that I've got to the point where I can function socially to some extent, maybe it's something that comes with age or the nature of my job but at least now I can make small chat when I have to and generally get along in the world. I've come a long way from where I was like probably a lot of people here I've got a long history of social anxiety and depression.

To be honest for a while there I felt pretty good about myself and how far I've come but this last month or so has been rough on me. My 32nd birthday was at the end of May and for some reason since then I've been reflecting on my life and I'm not real happy with where it's at and for the first time in a while I'm starting to feel depressed again like I was for so much of my life.

I am married, my wife is everything to me I don't think she really realizes the extent of how my anxiety cripples me. I work at a mid level government job that I'm absolutely miserable at, there's no challenge and no room for advancement.

My real passion is photography and graphic design but my anxiety and intense fear of failure really stops me from doing either.

It's like I feel so lethargic all the time now, when I come home from work I just want to sit on the couch and watch tv, just like my Dad did his entire life, work, eat, watch tv, repeat. I want to be doing my photography or graphic work but the fear of it not turning out the way I want stops me dead. It's like I'm unwilling to do it because I'm worried that I won't be able to take it if I fail at something. It's been like this my entire life I hold myself to an impossible standard even if I'm just starting out at something.

I'd love to have the opportunity to do portrait photography work but the anxiety of having to deal with the people prevents me from it. I have worked up the courage to do shoots with a few people, mostly they've approached me. It's hard to get good shots, I'm so nervous and shy it's hard to interact enough with them to make them comfortable enough to get good shots. Then at the end when I look at the pictures I only see imperfections and mistakes. I've actually been asked to help shoot a wedding by someone who may actually turn into a new friend and I don't want to let them down but at the same time the thought of having to be able to socialize enough at the wedding as well as deliver good pictures terrifies me, I've been dodging giving them a response on if I'll do it, I'm still not sure what I'll do.

I have a couple good work friends that I talk to at work and go for lunch with, I never do anything with them after hours although one asks me pretty often and I usually make up lame excuses and I'm not even sure why I'm doing it. It's because others are usually invited I guess, I remember one time I was excited to go to his house and watch a game I didn't know other people were going to be there and when I called to confirm and he mentioned other people were there I ended up making an excuse and just staying home and watching it there. I've never really had any good friends my entire life, no one I really have ever spent time with 'after hours' though. I feel like I've missed out on so much in regards to this.

I feel so bad for my wife before I dragged her down she use to socialize a lot, travel, ski, do lots of things, I feel like I grabbed on to her and held her down until she stopped struggling and just fell into my work,eat,sleep routine with me, I hate myself for every time she skipped a party or dinner with friends because I didn't want to go and for every time she turned down doing something and didn't even bother asking me because she knew I wouldn't want to. This is what hurts worst of all and it's something I'll regret to my grave knowing she'd be better off without me just typing this brings tears to my eyes. She's sacrificed way more than anyone should have to.

When I was a kid and into my 20's what enabled me to survive through my depression was the belief that somewhere in me there had to be some greatness, something I would be good at, something that I would love. Now that I've passed 30 I just don't believe that any more and I feel like I'm in for a bad run and I'm not sure what's going to get me through it.

I'm sorry this has been so disjointed and turned into a pity party, it's been hard for me to type it, it's the first time I've ever 'said' any of this out loud and really the first time I've organized the thoughts in my head and it's harder to deal with than I thought.
 

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Hey OutsideIn welcome. :)
 

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Welcome to SAS. I love photography as well. Have you ever thought of uploading your pix to flickr?

You have a wife and a job so you have achieved a lot more than a lot of people with social anxiety. You should feel proud of yourself for achieving what you have achieved so far. I don't even have a job. Too scared of being rejected if I apply.
 

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:wel
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the nice welcome. :D I do have some macro stuff up on flickr I'd post the link but I don't want it turning up in a search and outing me. I know it's something I shouldn't be worried about but I do. If you're really interested I can PM it. :)

I am proud of how far I've come especially looking back to where I was just out of high school.

Can't wait to participate in the forums. :) Thanks again for making me feel so welcome.
 

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Welcome OutsideIn! :)
 
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