If I have to keep shoving this topic down the throat I will.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 25, 2013 9:50 PM GMT
    I have pretty crippling anxiety. My social skills are awful to say the least. "Awkward" is the first thing that comes to mind..... and I tend to drop or bump into things when I am nervous or around people I don't know. I know without a shadow of a DOUBT I have Social Anxiety Disorder. I have been diagnosed and all that jazz.
    With the Holiday Season among us I have been avoiding parties(My birthday was just yesterday Xmas Eve) and for the first time I actually did not go to my annual get together at my families due to my Social Anxiety. I believe it has gotten worse with age(I turned 29). I opted instead to rent a comedy and buy a bottle of wine with some day old birthday cake. It was quite a little laughable sight to say the least. As I lay in my bed eating day old red velvet cake I couldn't help but wonder... why is it I am like this?? Everyone was out enjoying themselves and being all Christmas'y and joyful with their friends and family and here I was watching a comedy about some bridesmaids, with food poisoning shitting in the sink! aaaaaaaand I am by myself eating disgusting day old cake drinking $9.00 white wine but....."happy as a lark." WHY? WHY AM I SO CONTENT WITH THIS???! In truth, I DREAD this time of year....So much so, that I take medication to get through this time of Holidays. Later that night I was on the phone with my mom whom told me that I was missed and everyone asked "was I okay". I felt awful.(not just cause of the wine and cakeicon_smile.gif) In the end though people always tend to think I chose comfort over being social and giving which has given me the label selfish more than on one occasion. My mom also told me that she was very open ,like I told her to be with my family and friends about as to why I choose not to go to the get-together. "He just does not like crowds", "He has a bit of Social Anxiety", "He is just shy" "Its nothing personal". My family has always been the type to sweep things under the rug, so we just have never shared and they never asked if I had the disorder. They just noticed I became increasingly absent over the years. My mom was telling me that a lot of my family was thoroughly surprised about discovering last night about me having Social Anxiety. "You certainly cannot tell" is what a lot of people were saying throughout the night. I will tell you it was shocking to me how many people she told me were so astonished by my having this disorder.
    Which leads me to my next question, I wonder how much of ourselves others notice or pick up on?Something I feel like is so apparent and obvious seems not too noticeable to others. The reason I say this is bc this is not the first time people(some friends) have questioned if I truly have this disorder(which I have had since childhood). My parents have also told me I mask my disorder well so its kinda hard to tell for the average person. Its just I don't see it that way. When I am around people I REALLY am a sloppy mess! I feel like it HAS to be apparent. I lose eye-contact, I trip. I feel faint. My stories make no sense and have no point to them, and I tend to ramble and end with open-ended statements. I feel like I am losing my vision,I start shaking, I think everyone is against me and become fearful.. How can people not see this? I have also been told I am so good with people. I will actually retype that GOOD WITH PEOPLE!??! I also think that part of the disorder has some Narcissism to it...Simply of the fact that you are always focusing on "you"...and in truth most people are too worried about other things and themselves to worry about you..and I know this. I just feel like I am the most awkward person that its hard not to SEE this. The funny thing is that in high school I often go back in my head and ask myself, how the hell did you do it?!?!?... because I was able to socialize(to a certain extent) and go to parties though I was in torture I did in fact still go, I was always a little awkward and shy but able to manage. In my older age its just increasingly gotten worse. I have pushed family and good friends away. The phone ringing literally gives me heart palpitations. I have done some research and it seems as though some kids of different or mixed ethnicity's usually have some communication problems and or anxiety. I was raised by a Salvadorian father and a Sicilian mother. Very strict and very sheltered upbringing. I am not speaking for EVERYONE of different ethnicity's, but it just seems like it usually occurs in children of mixed races. I just have a hard time relating to people:/ In retrospect I am very Blessed, but just a little disheartened in that I cannot imagine myself in a relationship with anybody simply because in my head it seems almost impossible with my communication skills and anxiety to ever have a substantial and meaningful relationship. I WILL remain optimistic thoughicon_smile.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 25, 2013 10:03 PM GMT
    When you are out and about, just realize that everyone is to a degree self-conscious about what others think about them. You have the looks and the smile to HELP others, and in turn, it will help you out as well.

    Years ago, whether I was standing in line at a grocery store, or just around strangers, I'd make a point to just say something. Usually something funny about the weather, or the long line, or something in view. 95% of the time people are open and receptive to talking. I still do that today. So if you do the same, it will take you out your own head, and open others up to speak about themselves. Think of it as you helping THEM with their own anxieties.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 25, 2013 10:15 PM GMT


    Yes.

    Mine was so bad when I went out I took an extra shirt or two as I sweated them right down to the wast, sometimes in a matter of minutes.

    I got a book on anxiety and neurosis and read it cover to cover. I had found that whatever bothered me in life, health or otherwise, the bothering over it usually diminished or ended once I knew why something was the way it was.
    It helped. I also came to the personal revelation that, for me, social and emotional muscles are like physical ones; without exercise, they atrophy.
    So, I set out on a mental fitness endeavour. This was when I was in my 20s. The journey was sometimes difficult to the point I felt I couldn't - but I did anyway. I'm stubborn that way, lol.

    Lastly I developed Doug's rule. This came later after most of my anxieties had faded down to background noise. Every single night I went out. I had to talk to one person I didn't know. Man woman child adult old young fat skinny tall short, it didn't matter. Once done, I could go home, and many nights I was home half an hour after I'd left, lol.

    Finally one fateful night after about 5 years of doing this, I met Bill. I walked up and spoke to him as easily as telling a cashier you're using debit, lol. That was 24 years ago this last November.

    I hope this helps a little.

    Merry Christmas!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 25, 2013 11:48 PM GMT
    I've developed good social skills.
    They call me the mayor of the gym.
    They have no idea how often I'm panicking inside.
    I don't know what the hell is wrong with me!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 25, 2013 11:49 PM GMT
    I try to understand the whole social anxiety thing, but I really don't, to be honest. I don't know what it is about talking to people that creates that kind of inner tension.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 26, 2013 1:14 AM GMT
    You are not alone, hundreds of thousands have this condition. I'm sure you researched it online. Group therapy is a good option. I know it's difficult, but try to avoid alcohol. Be with people you are comfortable with as much as possible. The medication option is there, but you know the deal with that I'm sure.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 26, 2013 1:51 AM GMT
    When I am around people I often feel like I need to do something or say something. It feels like awkward silences have to be filled with activity. I often think about, what do I say, what do I do? Is that ok? Is that action ok? But I genuinely prefer to listen. If I am confident about a topic I will contribute, otherwise I stay quiet.

    I have come to accept my anxiety in general and thinking about it just makes it worse. So I just be. I think actions speak louder than words and if people think I am quiet and shy and introverted, let them, because it's true. I prefer to do good things than do say good things.

    I was doing a maths problem and I know I am pretty good at maths but I was shaking with anxiety and nervousness because people were watching me. When I finished and I knew it was right I was excited and I was still shaking anyway.

    During a swimming competition I was so nervous I was shaking because people were watching and I am not sure how I would do, but I still managed to swim in front of spectators and just did my own thing. I don't know how I managed it but I did. If I raced again I would still feel pretty nervous but I remain focus on my own thing. I remember one time I was doing a race and I was under pressure but it paid off because I managed to do a tumble turn. So happy about that.

    If I am nervous or anxious I just let it be and I think about the good things that may come out of it. We learn about things every day.