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Quartzfiend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ever since joining this site, I've decided that I could either let it let me reinforce what is wrong with me by constantly reminding myself, or using it as a tool to get me motivated to change.

So this week I took some steps. First, I started telling my old friends (since that's about all I have anymore -- people who moved away) about my SA. I'm sure they've wondered at some point what my deal is and why it is taking me 10 years to get an undergraduate degree. So far the results have been mostly great. My friends have been more supportive than I expected and even offered to help me in the future should I think of a way that they could. It was very nice to hear. The conversation only backfired with one person, and he is pretty much a jerk who tries to rationalize everything and pretend that mental challenges are just excuses and really not that controlling.

So there's that. Then I took initiative in my classes this week to walk up to people, talk to them, and eventually invite them to a study group. It worked. We get along well and were productive working together. It is just too bad both of them are commuting students so I cannot hang out with them except for those times they have breaks on campus. But hey, two new friends is two new friends so I am grateful.

Tomorrow I do some geology field work, and since I have those two new friends with me, I feel very little anxiety about the trip since it will be far less awkward than if I knew no one.

Plus, now that I am an upper classman in my major, the workload is keeping me so busy that my SA rarely has time to take over.

All in all, this has been a good development and I just had to share it as another step of success.
 

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That's amazing how you just went and formed a study group. Were you anxious at all when talking to anyone in the group? I feel like forming one would be tough enough, but talking to everyone and not putting so much pressure on yourself would also be really hard. At least for me, I would almost feel like I would have to keep everyone entertained (irrational, I know). Did you get any of these feelings or were you content with how you socialized with them?
 

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Quartzfiend
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was pretty anxious/nervous about it at first because I was not sure if they would be interested. Being told "no thanks" to your face is clearly not ideal and drags you down. Part of the reason I was nervous was because one of the two people I asked was the prettiest girl in the whole department who I have strategically been trying to sit next to regularly. So now we work together in labs even.

But once we got together, my anxiety was there only for a bit while trying to create conversation. I get anxious because I feel like I have to keep the conversation going because I don't ever trust that someone else will and they'll lose interest in me. So I tend to ask too many questions.

But once we got to studying all my SA just washed away and I was acting as "leader" to the group. Quite empowering at that point, really. So I hope that they felt they got something good out of it and next time they want someone to study with they will ask me to join.
 

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Quartzfiend
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447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Continued to grow friendship in today's field work. Sat on the bus with one of my two friends and had some good conversations. Probably the first series of actual good back-and-forth conversations I've had in at least a year. Felt so good and unpressured. The fact that I feel like I belong with this group as a part of the department helps suppress my SA immensely. That, plus staying very busy. Sometimes I don't even have the time to give myself excuses to not do things or to seek a comfort zone.

Had so much fun out in the field today exploring some great terrains and ancient outcrops. Got my hands dirty breaking rock walls to find fossils and such. Destroyed my shoes in the process, but that's okay. Have been overdue for a new pair.

Ahh.... one more step away from SA's dominance.
 
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