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Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:17 pm

Hey there- the Em puns are almost Em-barassing (i thought i was clever with that one but i now recall you may have used it already!).
I haven't been to Jordan before- just have had all the sites on my list! Im sure once i get there and feel the sunshine it will be good!
No i haven't had to use the lamp as the sun has been out-it is great how sunny it has been. I can cope with the cold as long as i can see the sun!
Yay to the ADs kicking in. Gosh i wouldn't knock them- they have been fab to me- it was the book that disappointed me tbh. I think it should have taken a bit more of a balanced approach rather than all ADs are evil.
Tilly's cuddles are amazing- she is also extra cuddly at the moment which is great. Love her to bits xx
Your care coordinator sounds fab- I'm excited about your visit to the supported accomodation- keep me posted with how it goes!!!! So she is taking you to the ED clinic- sounds like an amazing champion of yours and source of support.
Talking of tomatoes- have you heard of that spanish festival where they squash the tomatoes bare foot in a village- my friend went to it and she said it was awful as the tomatoes get everywhere! Not my cup of tea- although i would love to experience Holi! did you experience any festivals when you were in india?
'long waffle short' love that!
Aromatherapy that sounds great- they have many cool courses at your college. I was looking at a reflexology course.
Anyway i will sign off here- thanks for todays input! Hope your week has been good. Laters- Emma

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:29 pm

Hello! :D

Hope you're feeling better today. No apologies necessary! :D

That's good that the meds have put you in a better place. With me, my medication put in a place where I was able to undertake therapy which pushed me further forward again. :)

I would suggest that you post your question regarding types of anti-anxiety medication to use as and when the manic thinking starts in a separate post on this forum. Others will have more personal experience of what works for anxiety with regards to this type of medication and they will be able to suggest other coping strategies, too. :) You see, Doctor Em specialises purely in EM-pathetic EM-couragement, EM-barrassingly bad puns, EM-pressive and excessive use of the EM-oji and 'EM-orising a list of iron EM-riched foods. :lol: Too much....? ;)

Speaking with the doc after your holiday sounds good to me. :)

Loving all the relaxation and mindfulness. Totally zen, duuuuuude. 8-) All good stuff!

Glad the SAD lamp is helping! WOO HOO to the nice sunny weather we are having! Makes everything feel better! :D 8-)

With regards to the housework, try to set small and achievable goals. Thinking 'today I am going to clean the whole house!' is overwhelming for anyone! Try things like, 'this morning I will clean the bath', 'this afternoon I will iron for 30 minutes', 'this evening I will pick up ten items of clothing off the floor'.... Or whatever! :)

Try something, e.g. washing dishes, for five minutes only. After five minutes, leave it. Do another five minutes later or the next day. Chances are, you'll feel able to do more than the initial five minutes anyways! :D

Reward yourself after each task, e.g. 'Once I have cleaned the bathroom, I will watch a film on netflix', 'I will do one hour of cleaning and two hours of Netflix!', 'For every task I do, I get an extra cuddle with Tilly!', 'For every room I clean before I go to Jordan, I will treat myself to something nice whilst on holiday!'.... You get the gist. ;)

Bin the 'should' word with whatever else you chuck out during operation-domestication. Saying 'I should....' only puts pressure on yourself. Rather, say something like 'I am doing my best in the situation I am in'. :) You are not 'lazy' - you are tired!! You are tired because of a physical and mental condition/symptom that is out of your control. Remind yourself, 'I am not achieving less. I am overcoming more!' :)

Bleuuurrgh to all those untrue negative thoughts!! Focus on the fact that you are independent! You ARE not only 'managing', you are managing in spite of your struggles! - which to me says that you are actually managing better than most!! :D

Don't feel inadequate for having yourself and Tilly to look after. Put a positive spin on it. Imagine having three toddlers at this precise time in your life running around your house like headless chickens getting their sticky waffle fingers left, right and centre! :lol: Enjoy the pleasures of independent living! :D Imagine having a dog unlike Tilly. :shock: A dog who is crazy-boisterous, who will never be able to grasp the concept of toilet-training and shits all around your house left, right and centre! :lol: Or who howls all through the night and attacks your neighbour's cat. :lol: Or imagine having a pack of dogs like this.

Imagine having three toddlers with thirty waffle-syruped fingers and thumbs and a pack of shitting, howling, vicious dogs. :shock:

Now imagine that...... and THEN that the universe stops producing waffles. :lol:

I promise you I am not intoxicated. :lol: I would like to be able to promise you that I also am not insane, but must refrain from being able to do so quite as heartily as I may like. ;) However, I cannot deny waffle-intoxication. It's most common symptom being explosive-verbal-diarrhoea. :lol: Whatever the cause, I hope to have put a smile of amusement on your face. :) Or otherwise a smile of relief as you say, 'Things could be worse for us, Tilly. We could as barmy as Little Em!' ;)

Aaaaaaaanyways..... :roll: I personally find that planning ye olde diet is the best way forward in managing shopping and what you eat over the next few days. Always make sure you have a few decent things to eat at home. It reduces the risk of eating crap. I speak from experience. :lol: Having the odd ready meal (can be healthy versions!) for a quick-pinging fix, having standbys in the freezer and quick-and-easy-to-cook one-pan foods like soup, baked beans and fresh pasta, as well as grab-and-go snacks and fruit helps massively if you struggle with motivating yourself to cook. :)

Hahahaha! Do I know the list by heart? :lol: Anorexic-tendencies have given me the often unwanted ability to recall food-related information. :roll: My mother had an iron deficiency a few years ago and the list popped up like Popeye's iron-fuelled muscles then. My therapist also said liver is an awesome source of iron. If you can stomach that kinda thing. ;)

I personally can't fault waffles and chai, though. Great for the happy hormones! :lol: :D

Did you pick up the multivitamin? :) *Nagging Doctor Em hides from tired tomato-throwing Emma* :lol:

I would also recommend you posting a separate thread about sleeping advice. 8-)

And if the tomatoes don't work..... you know what they say!! An apple a day keeps the doctor away!!! *CLONK!!!* :P

I was in India for Holi!!! It was ..... Colourful! :lol: It was great fun! There would have been better places than where I was personally staying for it, but it was still a 'holi'-lotta fun! ;) Ahhh too much, too much! :lol:

Reflexology course sounds awesome!!! I am massively interested in this. Go for it! :)

Yes, my care coordinator is great. Looks like (long waffle short again), I will have self esteem therapy from the local CMHT. Just need to clarify the waiting list. :roll: Feel a tad 'therapied-out' anyways, so a breather might be a good thing. 8-)

Did I tell you I'm going away for New Year? :)

How has your day been today?

I hope you're feeling better. *Hugs* ..... *Sneaks a Tilly cuddle* ;)

You take care of yourself. You deserve it. Love Em xxx

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:29 pm

So. Many. Imogis.

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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:00 pm

Hey- great advise as always.
You can recall more Em- words than me! Anyways- how has your week been? How has it been with your parents?
Not sure when i last cleaned the bath- I'm talking about the dishes, clothes around the place and basic level tidying- it all builds up over the week reflecting my mood and also acts as a bit of a stressor-procrastination seems to be best friends with low mood!!! I do like the five minute idea though and of course the rewards. Tilly's cuddles are however essential and cannot be used as a reward. By the way Tilly would seek you out and give you cuddles- you wouldn't need to sneak them.
Yes, i was told about the word 'should' but it sometimes sneaks in- i do sometimes think i should be doing things though. I think i am just confused now with what is me and what is mental health as i had found the real me and then the 'stuff' began to creep back into my life!! Grrr- negative self disparaging thoughts Grrrr. Grrr thoughts that feel real! Grr tiredness!! Grrr! cue tomatoes!!!

I love imagining having a not so nice dog rather than Tilly. I like the spin. I am so grateful for her- a few of my friends have recently lost their dogs and that worried me as she is my whole life (cue the pathetic me song!)! She is both my partner in life and my baby! This is what makes me feel pathetic- yet a month ago i was proud of this- this is what worries me- this change in thinking. Have you ever stopped having some of your negative thoughts and then had them return? The return of the pathetic thought is the one that worries me and at the moment pre-occupies me! I never seem to stop the worry just replace it with another. Last night i just took a sleeping tablet (only half) and after half an hour i just had no thoughts. I have also started to get annoyed/upset/irritated etc when i see couples - which is ridiculous as they are everywhere. Before this i had decided relationships were not for me and i thought i was on my way to accepting this- however maybe not. I just see everyone in a relationship and then think about how rubbish i am for not being able to have one- yet again up until a month ago i didn't have this thought at all. I know i had such thoughts that then got worse before and want to halt it before it turns silly- i mean there are couples and families and babies everywhere- so i don't want this to make me a bit of a hermit - as it did before.
Your insane waffle (ha ha) really did make me laugh- and i was laughing with you and not at you!!!
No i didn't get the Multiviamin- but have now written it in my phone to remind me!!! Thanks for reminding me! Was he *clonk* me throwing an apple at you??
Where are you going at new year?
Just going to fill up my hot water bottle #oldbeforemytime #havedeadtoes
Cheers Mrs, hope you are okay too-
Your drama Queen Emma :lol:

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:26 pm

Hey! :D

I can certainly see the value of using the term 'I should....' as an aid to increase motivation - but only if it's used sparingly, cautiously and appropriately. For example, 'I should wash the dishes because I will soon run out of clean plates and the sink pile will only get bigger!' ..... Rather than, 'I should clean the WHOLE house because being untidy means I'm a TOTAL failure and that EVERYBODY will think I'm lazy'. :roll: If it gently encourages and positively motivates, use it. If it adds pressure and makes you feel bad, ditch it!

Yeah, I've had returning negative thoughts. *Hugs* I might have suggested this to you previously, but have you ever kept a daily mood chart? It helped me massively in identifying triggers (especially when I didn't know the reasons WHY I was feeling just 'not quite right') as well as helpful coping strategies and patterns.

Maybe I've suggested this, too....? There is a phone app called 'Catch it' based on CBT (you don't say....? ;) ) that was recently recommended to me at a workshop for low mood and anxiety. It enables you to 'catch' the negative thoughts there and then and to challenge them in the moment. Loads of little things like that out there if you're techno-savvy.

Yes, the *CLONK* was you throwing an apple at me, haha! :lol:

I'm alright thanks. :) Things with my parents have actually been alright this week. :shock: I enjoyed the child psychology course last night. I'm becoming more confident now and contributing more.

I have a nice weekend planned visiting my brother and sister in law with their two little ones. So that will be good fun.
Then Monday, I'm meeting with my care coordinator and we have a few things to sort out with accommodation, finance and therapy. I hope everything will be nice and sorted all before Christmas. :)

I'm going to Bosnia! It was during my time working out here three summers back now.... that I slipped into a bad depression.... and here I am! :roll: ;) But I'm not going to that place of work. Ever again. :lol: I'm going as a surprise present for my aunty on her 70th birthday. It's a pilgrimage/holiday this time, only four days, but I'm actually looking forward to it. I'm sure it will be good fun and I am also personally hoping to get some internal closure on my difficult experience there.

Top secret information alert!!! :shock: *Cowers from pre-tomato-pummelling*

I have another job. :shock: *CLONK* I know..... :roll:

But, last week I talked with my therapist about my long-running obsessive behaviour around work and she helped me to spot unhelpful patterns of behaviour and to take on a different perspective.

You see, I personally feel inadequate in society because I am unable to work. There exists a very generalised stereotype which is demeaning and a product of narrow-mindedness and ignorant thought. This exaggerated and 'one-size-fits-all' perspective most likely stems from the excessive amount of negative media coverage concerning particularly shocking fraudulent cases.
My brain then concludes that I am the worst case scenario. I start to think things like 'I am a failure/embarrassment/loser'/disappointment', 'I am less than my two successful brothers as well as all other people and I am a complete and utter let down to my parents.', and 'I am insignificant/worthless/lazy/useless/pathetic/stupid' :roll:

So I ALWAYS tell others when I have a new job. - Namely my mother, father, my brothers and my sister-in-laws. I want almost to 'impress' them, but not in a way that brings me unwanted attention :oops: (This makes me cringe!). I feel 'I need' *shudders at the uncanny resemblance to 'I should'* their approval and also my mother's permission. I yearn to be accepted. :?

I respond so well when people believe in me and encourage me. I am often surprised when people notice me and I am always grateful when others show a genuine interest in how I am as a human being without drilling me on where I'm working and what I'm practically doing with my life.

My mother will ALWAYS find fault in EVERYTHING. I'm sure she doesn't even mean to some of the time. She's just deathly afraid I might just break into tiny pieces. :| But when I am yearning for approval and receive criticism and negativity, it leaves me deflated and demotivated, feeling despondent, hurt and ashamed for even trying. That, plus my fear of upsetting my mother for fear of getting hurt, being rejected, abandoned and unable to cope.... cause me to ALWAYS do as she says and quit.

If I do go along with the job, I tell others and hope to receive positivity so as to be 'accepted'. But this only adds a massive pressure on me. I feel I need to impress them and be accepted at all times. Then when they lose interest and blab on about their exciting and successful lives, I automatically think 'this job is shit' and quit. I feel it's never good enough - for THEM and compared to THEM. That I am altogether not good enough either.

Thing is, whatever the job.... I won't feel it lives up to my brothers. I feel fundementally less because I have had chronic mental illness. I know I have potential and I am ashamed not to have been able to have reached it just as my brothers have. I live in shame and guilt and with feeling the need to apologise and please others - almost to 'make up' for all the crap I've put everyone through. I feel like saying, 'I'm sorry I turned out such a disappointment. I'm sorry I didn't amount to anything'.

So. Change of behaviour. I'm not going to tell ANYONE that I'm working. - i.e. not anyone in my immediate or extended family or any family friends or any social contacts who also know my family. Most importantly, NOT my mother! Not my brothers and sister in law's and not my dad!

I've got a job starting second week of November. Perfect hours. 12-3 Tues-Sat washing dishes in a brand new to open restaurant. Suits my routine perfectly because every morning I get up, ready, do housework, go to Church at 9-10.30, grab a coffee and take a walk/pop to town or whatever. I could tell my mother I'm in college, doing one of my low mood type courses, doing college work in the library or an ambiguous coffee shop, or meeting someone from the CMHT. Otherwise she would be in work anyways, so I'm sure I could get around the fibs. ;) 15 hours also works for whilst I'm still on ESA.

My therapist said to look at the positives. - I am going to work to have a routine, something to do, a way of meeting people, to earn some money, to step towards independence.... etc.

Dishes is also stress-free. What exactly could I mess up? *SSSSSSSMMMMMAAAAASHHH!*

It would be so great to say to them at Christmas that I've consistently held down a job five days a week for six weeks in a row. For me that would be a huge achievement.

Consider yourself in on the secret.

I am not seeing permission, praise, acceptance or approval..... Simply, I am seeking your BRUTAL honesty and perspective on this. Please include and all positive and negative view points. I will not be offended. I just seek the viewpoint from someone I feel 'gets it' a little more than those around me ever could.

Yes, hot water bottle! Love it!

Have a nice weekend! When are you going away?

Hope you're feeling brighter today.

The EM-oji queen x

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:19 am

Hey Queen Emoji!
I am cured!!! ha ha. Woke up in the middle of the night- racing thought but my reassuring voice came back- i think she just went on vacation! Hilarious really. Thanks for helping me through though! I need to remember and have faith that i have made progress when i get blips- but like i say that strong reassuring voice goes away and Mr Evil thoughts goes for it! Mr You are Doomed also joins in with the 'you are never going to recover' 'this is the beginning of the end' chatter and i just give in to it all. Weird how strong some thoughts can be, even when you know what is going on. I knew it was just a thought and that i shouldn't fuse but without Mrs Reassurance- i felt helpless and doomed. Interesting i have given these thoughts genders (whoops). Anyways i am now giving Mrs Reassurance a welcome home party and Mr Evil and Mr You are doomed have not arrived- i think they got lost!!!
Gonna check out that ap though as it sounds helpful!
Yay to confidence on your course and things with your parents being 'alright'. Bigger yay to seeing your family. My Bro is also visiting with his little 3 year old who i haven't seen for ages. The little one loves Tilly. IT will be nice to see them all.
You appear very organised!
Wow to Bosnia and Yay to a surprise visit and bigger yay to closure in a safe way!
Thanks for sharing about the job business- i completely get what you are saying- i do really think you have a talent for expressing yourself so articulately. It does sound like you and your therapist have an amazing relationship and that she is really good- how do you feel after one of those sessions? I tell you that you have such resilience and such insight into your issues.
I love your plan- sounds great- as long as you don't feel you will get stressed about keeping it a secret and not having your friends an family to discuss your day etc. I think personally would do it- it isn't like it is a negative secret- i guess it is just having to lie- for example, if something comes up like a family thing and you are expected to go but you can't because of work. I would do what you said and say it is a course and refer to it as the same course throughout. So i suppose it is weighing up the potential stress of it being a secret, against the potential pressure of everyone knowing. Otherwise could you compromise and just tell your parents? If you do go ahead then use this forum to update and share anything about your job. You deserve it to work out. I think it will! And i promise i won't tell (ha ha).
Cue 'its all about me!'- but i did want to share this as It is funny as most of what you say about the job thing really resonates with me- i feel inadequate in society because i am forever single and have no family of my own. The last time i went on a date i didn't tell anyone due to expectations and pressure. I feel exactly like you describe and it is all reinforced when i see couples and families around. So Mr Evil seems to recycle some of his spells in us all- he could be a little more original!!!
Anyways- let me know as your plan develops, enjoy your family time this weekend. I am making the most of Mrs Reassurance being here and so am going to give myself some proper self-love this weekend. I do wonder what made her go on holiday and not warn me- and also what brought her back. Or is it more about the triggers that brought Mr Evil back?
Anyways, have a good one, speak soon, Emma x

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:24 pm

Hello Emma!! :D

How are you doing? I hope you've had a lovely weekend of self-care and that you are still feeling better. :) I always try to remind myself when things are tough that 'it will pass'. (spoiler alert!!... It always does! ;) )

I hope you have a lovely time with your brother and little niece. Children bring so much joy. I've had a really great weekend with my bro and his lovely little family. Always boosts my mood! :)

Organised? I try, I try! :lol: I've had lots of hiccups to deal with recently.... and all at once! :| I was (mistakenly) just refused ANY reimbursement for months of travel expenses I've already paid for my therapy treatment. I was told that I would be entitled to help with travel costs before my therapy started. It also seems very likely that I will be changing therapists and locations which means the months of travel expenses paid were for two sets of discontinued therapy for CBT eating disorders and CBT self esteem. :roll: I was also denied personal independence payment (which the CMHT had spent the best part of a year trying to persuade me into claiming for it! I felt undeserving of it so for a long time was reluctant. It took me a long time to deal with feelings of shame etc.) One aspect of their decision however was actually unfair so I have asked for a mandatory reconsideration. Then there's the uncertainty with what's happening with my therapist.

So a visit with my care coordinator should be good! I will tell you how the supported living lookasee goes! ;) I'm nervous/excited in a nice and 'normal' way. ;) :D

I will tell my parents I'm working somewhere and what the hours/shift times will be, but that I don't want to yet say more any more about it until I've held it down for a good week or two first. I will portray it as a little recovery project for me to change my safety/unhelpful behaviours and challenge my negative thoughts. I can't lie to them. I hate lying. I'm not a liar. They hate lying, too. I don't have anything to hide. Trying out a job and letting them know about it isn't exactly a bad thing is it?

They won't be overjoyed it's pot washing so it's best I tell them THAT bit after my first week or whatever. I think they will want to understand. My mother does not want me working with food but I won't be. It's just washing a few lunchtime dishes. :roll:

It's down to ME really to stay strong and to not give in to any external negativity and dissuasion. Only I can take control of my life and CHOOSE to do this. I can't keep blaming others' (what I perceive as) 'disapproval'. It's time for me to accept that I ultimately made the choices (the many, many choices!) to walk out of all those jobs, to give up, to not even turn up to my shifts or interviews..... :shock: :? :oops: Yes I was ill on many occasions.... but NOT on every. There were times I COULD have pushed but CHOSE not to.

I really wish work wasn't such a mental struggle for me because I am honestly a very hardworking person with an excellent work ethic who WANTS to work. It's so frustrating. It feels like a vice clasping around my head - a paralysing force of anxiety that freezes me on the spot and renders me incapable of doing even the simplest of tasks. :twisted:

It's like a dark cloud or a heavy weight (comparable to the sense of an 'external' weight of a crippling depression) pushing down on my head - depriving me of all rational thought. :x My mind becomes full of nothing - a complete mental block. :shock:

Like depression is so much more than just sadness, this very feeling I am describing now feels intensely more than just typical nerves or anxiety. When my depression was at its worst, I literally couldn't get out of bed. :cry: I mean, it felt as though it required super human strength to do so. It wasn't laziness. It wasn't choice. It was crippling. This is exactly how this particular anxiety around working feels for me. :evil: It feels EXTERNAL to me - that something bigger than me is taking the control, rather than the anxiety just stirring from my own nervous stomach or my own apprehensive thoughts.

Does that make sense? :|

I have spoken to my care coordinator briefly about my increased anxiety. She said she can prescribe something for the anxiety but that (her words!) 'You're a young woman. I don't want to pump you full of drugs' :lol: I've started taking the Rescue Remedy herbal sweets. They're anti-anxiety and don't interfere with my ADs. I have no idea if they'll actually make a difference. I doubt it but even if it's just placebo, worth a try for a little while. :roll:

How has your weekend been? I hope you're doing well. :D

Much love, Em x

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby andthistoomustpass » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:34 pm

*ATTMP waves furiously at Em just to let her know He's keeping up with this thread* :D

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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:19 pm

Hey Em,
Yes i had a generally positive weekend thanks. Hope yours was good too!
Sounds like quite a bit of unrest and uncertainity with things- well done for taking it all in your stride - as you do!
Good luck with your visit-fingers crossed!
I agree with your plan- try the job and initially don't tell anyone, then no added pressure for your first few days (perhaps your first week and the first day of the next week) and then tell them. That isn't lying- i agree.
I think you are sounding at times a little harsh on yourself- maybe apply some of the compassion you generously give me to yourself- especially when discussing the difficulties you have faced in keeping a job! Your description of the anxiety you experience is very clear and sounds really tough and really big. Good luck with the rescue remedy- one of my friends swears by it. I do hope that slowly you begin to feel a little more empowered and begin to see that you do have some control of your anxiety. Love a bit of placebo! :)
I forgot to say under Dr Em's advice i have started taking some multi-vitamins! :)
Thanks, Em x

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:46 pm

Hello furious waver! :lol:

Thanks for popping up. :D

Much love!

Embellina xxx

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