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Hi all, I am a new member hoping to find solace and better life. Here is my little story.


I am the last born in my family. As a child I was a bit shy, and got nervous when called on in class in grade school. I was at times bullied and teased by classmates. I had little friends too.

In high school I never felt much anxiety in class except a little when on the first day the teacher had each one of us introduce ourselves. I was a Good student and participated in sports and extracurricular activities without much trouble. I was shy with girls and felt inferior in front of rich kids. I could read, answer questions and present in front of the class on subjects which I liked and was good at.

I hated literature and the Arts subjects and would avoid classes where we would have to present our essays. I would feel a bit anxious/shy. However, I did not relate any of these feelings in High school to Social Anxiety Disorder.

After leaving school I joined college and dropped out because I was selected to pursue a degree program not of my choice. I joined a CPA college after I was forced by my family (as a last resort) and dropped out of that as well because I really didn't want to become an Accountant.

At this point I didn't know what to do as my choices were limited. I felt a bit devastated of not being able to choose a career of my choice. I felt like a looser at this stage. I was mentored by my family to continue with the CPA course via a home study pack.

While I was studying for the CPA I applied and got a job in an Audit firm. I felt very energetic and full of enthusiasm in this new job which filled me up with confidence.

A year into the job I began taking more workload that demanded communicating with clients/managers/boss over phone. I began to become self conscious as I realized that this and more interaction was required and yet my colleagues at the same and higher levels were able to successfully handle their chores and communication.

I began to feel like I was competing with others and the phone calls, interactions was a norm yet I found it like a mental block to overcome. I would feel like I was losing and others were gaining ground. It made me feel incompetent, stupid, inarticulate and a failure.

One day during normal course of the day the boss went round in the room asking each staff on what jobs/projects they were handling. While he was doing that I dreaded when my turn would come. I began sweating, having palpitations, dry mouth and literally wanted to flee that place at that moment – it felt like terror had struck and it was like a life and death situation. The anticipatory anxiety I experienced in that brief moment culminated into a panic attack when the boss asked me what job I was working on. I tried to respond but words just could not come out of my mouth, I was feeling short of breath and was full of sweat. I managed to respond in a couple of words though.

After this episode my negative self-belief was reinforced and I felt a lot of shame, sense of humiliation, guilt and upset at how stupid I made myself look in front of others and the boss.

After that I missed work for a month and visited a General Practitioner who put me on Medication. I returned back to work with some level of relief, but I did not last much long after that.

I continued with my CPA course but eventually dropped out because the demands were great from my family on gaining employment of any kind then sticking to full time study.

I got a job as a part time bookkeeper with a law firm where i have now been stuck for the past 17 years. Over this time I have risen through the ranks to become head of finance as the company has rapidly grown with multiple offices.

My type of anxiety is now somewhat more related to attending seminars, meetings that would potentially require me to speak and make presentations. The anxiety levels would rise through the roof if the meetings would have many people and especially higher authority figures like lawyers and partners. I have reached a stage where I feel like I have now passed my threshold as the number of staff at meetings is too many and too many higher authority figures.

For fear of embarrassment I have begun avoiding such speaking situations but I wonder with my job commitments and rigorous demands if I will ever be able to cope and continue with myself in this manner.

I have seen many doctors and taken prescribed medications such as Alprazolam in situations I have had to face in the past.

My job is demanding and when my staffs in the department do not perform, irrespective of my own good performance, I have to take the blame and responsibility. This demoralizes me and worsens my anxiety at times. My bosses have been hard on me in the past too for no fault of mine.

I support my Uncles, Aunts & Mum and have pressures on the family front as well.

I only hope God helps me through this and I find a better Doctor/Professional to treat me once and for all.

I am now 40 and married too to a wife I love so dearly and we are expecting our first child, God willing. I wonder whether I ever will be able to give them a good life.

I wish all out there with Social Anxiety the best and based on what I have and am going through, will never wish my kind of miserable life to anyone.

Best Wishes.
 

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Welcome, HAM511! :)
 

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Hi Ham511,

I like your story, but what I LOVE, is that you have that integrity and desire to not quit! To keep on moving, even after you felt humiliated when the boss asked you what project you were handling and you only responded in a couple words and had a hard time responding. How even after that, you came back and faced your work and your fear.

That is really inspirational, how still to the day you keep on moving forward.

Listen, I have only been suffering of SA for 2 yrs. and I know how tough it is, believe me..

When you're in that SPOT you can't get out of .. and you just want to ESCAPE..
or cry..

But listen.. This life is ours for the taking.. you have to realize that THIS time.. THIS MOMENT.. IS YOURS .. That YOU are your OWN BEST FRIEND!

Keep on moving man, you can beat this, it's all in our heads. and with the power of GOD.. he will help you through it.

PROVERBS 3:5
Trust in the lord with all your Heart.

Congratulations on your baby by the way.. :) You WILL give him a great life, if you keep on MOVING :)

Good luck my brother.. Much love and respect ..
 

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Hey HAM511 welcome. :hyper
 
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