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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to have really really bad SA for as far back as I can remember. And I can actually say now that it's mild, and people don't even know I have it. Some days, I even wonder if I have it at all.

I have recently realized it, because I joined a speed dating site simply to meet new people and share perspectives (not so much even for dating, but simply expanding my social circle) And I've gone and met perfect strangers for coffee. I mean three or four in just a couple of weeks. I told my friend about this and she was absolutely in shock! She said "you NEVER would have done something like that before!" And it's true. I wouldn't even go for coffee with the people I DID know most of the time.

What's more, I was writing up my resume recently, and one of the things I wrote about myself with confidence was that I'm outgoing. I was never outgoing before. Even though I still consider myself largely an introvert, I can safely say I'm an outgoing individual. Especially when it comes to work, I am very positive at work. I used to be the most cynical person you would ever meet, not that you would have ever met me.

In some ways it can feel a little robotic like I have "programmed" myself this way. But when I think about it, I was definitely programmed to be negative and self loathing and terrified of the world in the past. Actually, there is nothing that brings me greater joy than knowing we can in a sense reprogram ourselves to be who we really want to be. It's a really gradual process, but if you've been working hard over the years, you wake up one day and look back and see a magnificent distance which you have traveled to get where you are.

And I see there is still a huge distance to go before I truly am everything I want to be. But I realize I have finally made a dent in my life on the path to getting there.

I really just wanted to share this positive realization with everyone, and I hope that it might cheer someone up, or make them realize they will get where I am someday too. If we trust ourselves, and trust the process, I think we really have nothing to worry about in our lives at all.

Have a lovely day.
 

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Great job on overcoming your anxiety! Speed dating? That is pretty intense :) It must be great to finally overcome your fears and be able to now describe yourself as an "outgoing" person.

You have a lovely day too. I'm sure you are loving life now :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, and I want to say, I always hated when I would hear or read that nobody ever gets over social phobia and that you live with it your whole life. But I think that's BS. I think you CAN live with it forever, but not necessarily. I think everyone has the opportunity to transform.

Mind you guys, I get melancholy a lot, and I still have that tinge of low self-confidence a lot of the time, but I'm miles from where I once was. I'm not ready to date at this time in my life, just don't feel mature enough for what I am looking for in life. But yeah, it's pretty awesome. I do often love life. :) I think we all have this opportunity waiting around the corner for us. We'll come out wiser for it too.
 

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Im guessing you went through CBT? That has a lot to do with reprograming your subconscious thought. Probably one of the most effective forms of treatment for SA, yet also the most work, and with the most subtle results. The people who say you can never cure SA and that therapy rly doesn't work likely got too discouraged by the lack of noticeable results from CBT (sometimes, results can take months). The fact that you stayed with it and didn't give up really says something about how strong you are. These are the stories that make me want to jump into therapy asap. Too bad my first appointment isn't scheduled until june. Ill have to tough it out until then. Anyways, congratulations. you just opened the door to a whole new life free of SA. I can't imagine how you must feel finally being able to do the things you want, when you want, with who you want. Enjoy, and ill see you on the other side ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have no clue what CBT is? Cognitive behavioral therapy perhaps? And no, I did not. I tried counseling recently in school, but I really can't follow what other people tell me to do. I think for people who are good at being counseled they should go for it. If you're good at following rules and steps that other people hand you, do it.

But no, promise this is stuff I came to terms with myself over time. I put myself in social situations. I went through cosmetology school which forced me to work one on one with clients, and they show you respect when you're in that kind of position (services) and I worked in retail for two years, and that was simply a much more natural way of reprogramming how I view the public. But it was very very difficult to pull up the nerve to do that stuff! Still, I think all it is is exposure to the stuff we fear that makes us comfortable with it. That's what really works. We just have to force ourselves out at our own pace. I can't do counseling myself because they try to make me go at someone else's pace, and I don't like that.

But for everyone who is going through therapy, I wish you the best. Because I know that it is really helpful, and some of us really need that little push. I find even if you are like me and go, but fail, you will find that actually the experience was not for nothing when you see yourself applying that stuff later. Just seeing that other people are in the same position can sometimes be enough to give you the push.
 

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I have no clue what CBT is? Cognitive behavioral therapy perhaps? And no, I did not. I tried counseling recently in school, but I really can't follow what other people tell me to do. I think for people who are good at being counseled they should go for it. If you're good at following rules and steps that other people hand you, do it.

But no, promise this is stuff I came to terms with myself over time. I put myself in social situations. I went through cosmetology school which forced me to work one on one with clients, and they show you respect when you're in that kind of position (services) and I worked in retail for two years, and that was simply a much more natural way of reprogramming how I view the public. But it was very very difficult to pull up the nerve to do that stuff! Still, I think all it is is exposure to the stuff we fear that makes us comfortable with it. That's what really works. We just have to force ourselves out at our own pace. I can't do counseling myself because they try to make me go at someone else's pace, and I don't like that.

But for everyone who is going through therapy, I wish you the best. Because I know that it is really helpful, and some of us really need that little push. I find even if you are like me and go, but fail, you will find that actually the experience was not for nothing when you see yourself applying that stuff later. Just seeing that other people are in the same position can sometimes be enough to give you the push.
In that case, you mainly use behavioral therapy, specifically exposure therapy (aka in vivo desensitization) instead of using cognitive therapy (cognitive restructuring). CBT is the combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. For SAD, I've heard that while cognitive therapy and exposure therapy are good, exposure therapy is enough for a lot of SAers. In fact, it has been shown changing your behavior also changes your cognition.
 
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