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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had zero self-esteem since the age of 12, did not have a support network since the age of 13, developed social anxiety towards the end of high school (16-17). Been a recluse for pretty much my entire adult life although I've tried to do what I can to reverse that, but without much success. I attempted work when I was 21 (taxi driving) and attempted university. I started a course at TAFE (technical college) when I was 26 and finished that at the end of 2008 when I was 28. Have not been able to look for work due to my belief that the global economic downturn has made the job market competitive.

At the beginning of this year I found about a place locally called MIFSA that offers activities and I have slowly built up some social skills through being game enough to go there and do more and more activities. I am the only one there with anxiety. Also been attending a fortnightly evening anxiety support group since that started late last year.

A book called "Power Over Panic" by Bronwyn Fox, also from South Australia and who founded this state's anxiety non-profit organisation PADA in 1986 that runs the above support group, convinced me that recovery might be possible. I also started dropping in once a week to speak to one of the support workers (they don't advertise that you can do this though) which after nearly 20 years has given me someone to talk to, and the fact that they have gone through anxiety themselves makes all the difference (unlike every other counsellor/psychologist I have spoken to). So at age 30 I seem to have finally found a path to recovery although I have much more to do than just overcome anxiety in order to rehabilitate myself.

At the moment I feel that I really need people to speak to and unlike before where I had grown accustomed to not speaking to anybody (for more than a minute or two), now I miss it and want to try to get myself to the point where I can converse without losing my train of thought, becoming mentally fatigued, giving irrelevant details etc. I have a big problem with eye contact but have been making slow, painful progress now that I've set my mind to it.

I did the forum thing in the early part of 00's and don't think I gained much from it, however I would like to try Skyping strangers which brings me to this place (the only people I've Skyped so far are my parents who live in Brisbane and an uncle and aunt who live in Los Angeles). If anyone's game.

I'll leave it at that for now and although the recovery process can be dark and scary for me at times I at least want to face it properly and not lose my future to low self-esteem, anxiety and depression like I have lost my teenage years and 20's.
 

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Onkaparinga,

Another dude in the 29-plus category. Don't worry, man, we'll get the years the locusts have eaten. 2010 has been a breakout year for me and it is only seven months through!

Welcome to the forum - I look forward to getting to know you around here :yes.
 

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Welcome Onkaparinga, I relate to how you feel, I think low self-esteem is at the root of my problems, I just wish I knew where to get some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think low self-esteem is at the root of my problems, I just wish I knew where to get some.
It's a tough one, mine's improved a bit as I've done things like meditate regularly, eat better (and lost weight), not worry as much about what others think of me, gotten things done that I've been putting off for months/years etc. but the events that led to my low self-esteem in the first place still need to be examined. I've been looking for good books on self-esteem, Bronwyn Fox mentioned a book called "The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem" in her Panic Anxiety Management Program.

A great free resource is the Centre for Clinical Interventions, they have a series on Self-esteem, I have worked up to module 6 http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=47.
 

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Glad to have you with us! :wels
 

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Existence is purpose
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That's really great to hear that you have improved your self-esteem yourself, all alone, it gives me hope :).
That's a great achievement, well done!!
 

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Hey Steve, welcome to :sas
 
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