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12/09/2009 06:00 AM

I'm new and am in need to relate.

Sobriety24
 
Posts: 13
Member

Hi my name is Lisa. I have not been official diagnosed with sa but I have been with alcoholism, chronis ptsd, bipolar and most likely borderline. We are still looking into that but the evidence is almost unquestionable. I am here now thogh because my social anxiety is so great that I do not go to friend houses, families houses and no way in hell will you catch me at a social function. The mall? Only if I absolutely have to. It is so bad I do not attend parties my son is invited to and I start activies with him like cubscouts, baseball and then quit on soon after because the fear and anxiety are sooo strong. So I am here in the hope to find people to relate to. Thanx.
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12/11/2009 12:25 PM
sharone
sharone  
Posts: 3449
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Hey...I can relate. My SA was so debilitating that hey, I sounded like you. Couldn't go to parties and hang out and classes forget it! But if you let it, it changes over time! Smile Hang in there, sobriety24, you're not alone!

12/13/2009 04:43 AM
ohfaithful

Hey Sobriety...nice to meet you...welcome to the group.

My anxiety is similiar to yours...haven't been to my best friends house in years...did visit my mother the other day and everyone was shocked, including me...it was a 5 day!

Heres to getting out more...


01/06/2010 07:42 AM
FrancisDawn
FrancisDawn  
Posts: 21
Member

Hey! I'm new too and can relate to your story and like you am in need of someone to relate to. I am just SO SCARED!! A couple months ago I decided to go back to school this january. And great timing (not sure if coincidental or not) but my panic attacks started re occurring a month ago and now every day is 10x(100x??) the struggle it was before. I have several other mental illnesses, including schizophrenia. But this one (social anxiety/panic attacks) Might be the most debilitating for me. I am SO scared of starting school tomorrow I just want to cry and hide where no one can see me. I went to the campus the other day to buy textbooks and it's only then I realized how bad it might be going back. I walk through the halls terrified someone will recognize me and stop me to "chat" because I really don't want to have a panic attack in the middle of the fucking hallway in front of some old classmate who doesn't understand. I don't want them to fucking judge me. In fact just don't fucking look at me. oh man, i don't know what to do. Need someone to talk to who understands, i'm hoping this site will be the answer to that need. Take care all of you. Thanks for reading. PEACE

01/06/2010 11:36 AM
ohfaithful

Hello FrancisDawn and Welcome to the group!

What a beautiful name that is...I LOVE IT!

I know how difficult it can be with starting school. I remember walking down the halls and being just as frightened. In order to "make things happen" I had to start reading motivational stuff to help me with my self-esteem...something positive that I focused on EVERY DAY! I repeated that positive stuff to myself every day...and told myself that no matter what I would be okay...no matter what I could do it... I know it sounds...a bit wierd...a bit strange, but I know that a smart person like yourself has heard, "We are what we think. Our thoughts become our actions." I want you to think about that today...think about all of the negative stuff that you are telling yourself..and then think about why? Then think about how will you survive if you keep telling yourself those things???

I always say that "the devil is in the details." Get outside of yourself and look at yourself as if you are your best friend...what would you tell your best friend who was coming to you with this problem. You would say think positive, you can do it and that is exactly what you have to do... Start keeping a journal of your thoughts and for every negative thing that comes out of your brain...turn that statement into a positive... So, "I don't want them to f*** judge me" becomes "I am a good person and I will NOT BE JUDGED."

You have to make the first step in becoming the person that you want to be, and as challenging as social anxiety is, coping is possible, one single step at a time...one single thought at a time...you just have to have a plan for those times when coping is more difficult than others.

You can do it because you deserve it! Congrats to you for making the first step in the journey towards better health!Kissing

Post edited by: ohfaithful, at: 01/06/2010 11:38 AM


01/06/2010 03:55 PM
sharone
sharone  
Posts: 3449
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Agree with ohfaithful! Just like we can be our own worst enemies, we can also be our own best friends. If you can, clear out the ghosts in your closet tonight. Relax for a bit. I'm learning to do yoga. It's really cool because it does take your mind off the struggles for a bit and make you feel calmer immediately AND overall. Some of what you're going through is probably anticipatory anxiety...walking into the unknown everything feels overwhelming, like one big massive wall. But once you get past that then you'll be able to discern problem areas and work on those and also, hopefully, let yourself appreciate your strengths.

As far as the being stopped in the hall business...Smile that used to be one of my biggest concerns. Now I've loosened up so much that I met someone new yesterday and followed my instinct. She and I hit it off in a very warm, FUN time so much so that she asked for my phone number and said she'd like to hang out. I've finally learned not to throw out the good with the bad. Yeah, my behavior can be odd but I'm a good person over all. Laughing The problem is we get so worried about WHAT IFs that we don't even realize that some of the what ifs could lead to big positives...like new friendships!

So, give yourself room to relax and breath and know that whatever challenges come up you'll face them. You're ready for this! Post as you need to to vent but remember to let yourself recognize the good stuff happening, too because it's out there! Kudos for you for going back to school! Smile


01/06/2010 04:58 PM
hipmama42
hipmama42  
Posts: 939
Senior Member

nice to see you on the site again Sharone and hope that the New Year brings you peace, health, happiness and prosperity. You've come a long way baby! Wink and so very inspiring to our group. You've taken the "baby steps" and small challenges until you were ready to take on ever bigger things, as well as exorcising so many of your own demons from the past. It's been such a pleasure watching you take charge of your life and future, standing up to your family with firmness and "tough love" and kicking that old doormat Sharone to the curb! And replaced with someone who knows who she is, what she wants, and is not afraid to go for it! I salute you, my sister!

Catch us up, I haven't been on mdj as much as I've been really super busy with my womenheart group. Truly, I hope this heart failure group is the LAST one I qualify for - ever! lol.

I don't know what I'd have done w/o my support grouops and all of you out there - so grateful for this site. It has brought me back to the land of the living from the self-absorbed prison of my various diagnosis - I was becoming my diagnosis, but no more!

These forums have helped me find my voice, and to reach out even during my darkest days, until better days arrived. For this, I am grateful...to all of you.

If you are new to this group, please give it time. As they say in my 12 step programs, "you didn't get sick overnight, so don't expect to get well overnight...and some of us are sicker than others." Together we are stronger, even though cannot "see" each other in the traditional sense. In some ways, with social anxiety, that is not a bad thing at first, being able to be "invisible" and to express one's feelings and needs where, unlike in person or in a live support group, no one can see you tremble and shake, blush, stammer, stutter, twitch, fidget, forget what you were saying, or

make you feel so nervous and self-conscious you just wish the earth would swallow you up whole! lol. I do all of these things, or have done them in the past. Gradually, my symptoms are improving and I am getting more comfortable "out there" again after the past year of wanting to just stay in all of the time. Sometimes it's two steps forward, one step back, but slowly socializing does become easier, and it becomes more fun and less work to "put yourself out there." Progress....not perfection.


01/06/2010 05:08 PM
ohfaithful

Great posts!

Okay so now I'm a bit weepy and a bit shakey...but I'll be okay. One step at a time!

Peace and blessing to all!


01/06/2010 05:46 PM
hipmama42
hipmama42  
Posts: 939
Senior Member

School hallways still give me the willies - even to this day! When I'd have to go to the school for one of my kids' events...all of those old feelings came back again as if it were yesterday. Just the smells in that old middle school building...the odor of sweat mixed with floor wax and chalk dust about floored me. I could almost close my eyes and picture the geeky gawky frizzy red-haired junior high girl with braces who could not look up from the floor as she made her way through the crowded fray to her next class, could not look people in the eye or talk to anyone without stammering. My boys went to the same middle school bldg as I did nearly 40 yrs ago, and nothing has really changed. I got that old jello legs feeling and the pang of adrenalin coursing through my veins, making my heart beat faster. Gosh, how happy I am to be an adult...and done with school!

I know how hard it can be, but you do get through it. College is generally has a more open floor plan, multiple buildings for classes, and the chance to "get a breather" outdoors, which always calmed me in between classes. Walking outside is more fun than walking a dingy dark old hall in an ancient school building.

At least for me it was.

Tears, they are cleansing, do you know? There is actually a chemical associated with stress that has been found in tears of sorrow and tears caused by strong emotion. In women especially, they are hormonally mediated, which is why we tend to get weepy faster and more easily - estrogen or the lack thereof. Testosterone is what holds mens tears at bay even when they have strong feelings of grief or sadness or loss. I think I can see why that would be, in war situations throughout our evolution, it was mainly the men who fought and died in battle. You don't want to "break down" on the battlefield or wear your emotions on your sleave when you need to be tough. The rest is cultural of course...men don't cry and "big girls don't cry..." but tears are cleansing and healing - so I just let 'er rip when I feel them coming - they help me to identify and process my emotions, and sometimes come as a surprise out of nowhere when I am not expecting or trying to control them.

I have to say though, I don't like people "out there" or even my boys to see me cry and try not to do it front of them. Rightly or wrongly our culture sees that as a sign of weakness, and when you are a single parent trying to just make it and put food on the table you can't afford the luxury of tears or have people think that you aren't strong enough to look after your kids and take care of yourself. So you suck it up in public, and at home too, if you are the custodial parent who must provide a firm hand of guidance and power of example. I never want my kids to think I am "too weak" or "out of control." Thing is, when I have held them back for so long, like for many months in the face of horrific stress, I am always at risk and vulnerable to a "meltdown" in a public place.

I'm like a volcano...I can only stand so much pressure and then I blow. In the form of anger and yelling and cussing and throwing stuff, or breaking down in tears. Just call me Mt. Sherry! I'm spewing lava one day and calm the next. Some would call that bipolar but it's just me. Hormonal, menopausal me! lol.


01/06/2010 05:59 PM
hipmama42
hipmama42  
Posts: 939
Senior Member

Francis Dawn, I can relate to that feeling of being judged, even if it is not truly happening. I always have that feeling if I don't catch myself at it and nip it in the bud. When I was in college, if I wasn't walking in a clump of students, I was usually looking down at my feet so people couldn't talk to me or even say hi if they passed me, and I wasn't expected to say hi. How could I with my face downcast looking at my feet as I walked? I am still this way to this day if I can get away with it - don't want to crash into anything by not paying attention where I am going! If someone would say something to me in order to not have to stop in the hall and talk, I'd say something like "i'd love to chat but i gotta get to class - or I'm gonna be late for class - or I gotta cram for a test in my next class - I was so used to saying this that it would come out automatically without me even having to think. Or, I'd pretend to be looking down at something I'd written down in my notebook as I walked. Oops, maybe I should not be sharing all of my old "avoidance" behaviors with you! Please don't do as I did.

For me it seemed just a matter of emotional survival at the time, because I needed all my focus on my classes, especially if there really was a quiz or test in that next class I was heading for! I had horrible test phobia...would nearly worry myself sick. I think it was almost worse than my social anxiety, but, when I had the nervous anticipation before a big test or final exam I'd be so sick with nerves that I'd feel slightly nauseous, and I couldn't talk to anyone. I'd get mad if someone even approached me to make small talk before an exam. I'm not like that any more - now I welcome the comfort of the anxiety-easing social banter of a little classroom group before the taking of a big exam. Shared suffering eased the tension, and made me feel less alone. In telling someone else "oh, you'll do just fine on this test, you've studied hard, so don't worry! It was like I was giving the same advice to myself and i'd start to relax.

anyone else out there relate to exam anxiety? and having the nerves make your social anxiety even worse than usual?

Post edited by: hipmama42, at: 01/06/2010 06:01 PM

Post edited by: hipmama42, at: 01/06/2010 06:04 PM

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