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Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:37 pm

Hello fellow waffler! ;) hehe!

Loving the self-care! :D Dog walking in the woods, getting your nails done, bargain-buying and switching off from work. All gerrrrrrrd stuff. :D

Well done for overcoming the anxiety and getting your nails done regardless. Such an awesome feeling giving anxiety the (well-pampered) finger! ;) Haha!

Yes! I'm quite partial to a good ol' charity shop, too. In fact, I picked up a pair of black trousers and a belt in one recently for my new job.... at only £3.50! 8-)

Molton Brown went SO well. :D

I honestly wasn't sure if I was actually going to make it as the anxiety gremlin reared its ugly head!! :twisted: :o
BUT Unlucky Mr. Gremlin. :lol: Em-2 Anxiety -0. ;)

The other three ladies I will be working with were all already friends who lived by each other and two of them had worked together before! But, they were super friendly and we all got on really well. I really liked them all. They were so sweet and really upbeat and positive! I felt..... *wait for it*.... rather quite 'normal'. :lol: I feel it's going to be a good outlet for me. Besides, I also came home with some complementary samples! Perks of the job, hey? ;)

Now I've faced the fear (the hardest and most loathsome part!!! :shock: :? :oops: ), I don't feel anxious about starting properly this Thursday. :D Sure, the anxiety is still there, but no longer to the point where Thursday morning I will feel unable to go. And once the opening weekend had passed, there will be very little (if any) anxiety, I betcha! ;) So the anxiety gremlin can just watch this space! :lol:

How has your weekend been? :)

Wishing you a positive and productive week ahead!

Love, peace and waffles! :D Em x

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:38 pm

Hey there fellow waffler,
yay to our combined love of charity shops- love a bargain!
Well done you on currently leading the battle with the anxiety gremlin! It sounds like you have had a positive start to work and positivity.
Isn't it great when you reflect on just feeling 'normal'. Sometimes i drive to work and half way there i will realise i am just driving and listening to the radio and nothing else-this is fab-and i am so grateful for it. Good luck for tomorrow- hope you are feeling okay about it -i will send you positive vibes xx Don't forget to enjoy it too! i heard an old rhiannon song today- the one that goes "cheers to the freaking weekend....dont let the b.......ds get you down". Quite a anthem!
Day off today, things are okay, hectic week at work. My parents are back from their holiday now so that is nice.
Anyway, take care, best wishes, Emma

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:26 pm

Hey! :D
Thanks for thinking of me. :)

Not such a great week this week. :( My therapist has already suggested the possibility of me having to change therapy by the 20th session in six weeks' time, despite being entitled to 20 further once-weekly sessions. This bummed me out and cranked up the negative thoughts.... like 'They don't care' and 'They don't want to help me'. So now I'm dreading my session tomorrow and I'm angry that they're giving up on me. I feel like 'stuff them, then!!' :evil:

I have to gain weight to receive the rest of treatment so I have been trying my damned hardest to do this. Which also has a knock-on effect on my mood because I feel I've quadrupled in size in a matter of days. :shock: :o :cry:

It would mean I would go back to the CMHT for further psychological help first around low self esteem/confidence and social anxiety... Before being bounced back for the last 20 sessions. I'm fed up of bouncing around mental health services. :?

Messed up with my first day today. Got ready, caught two buses to work... then walked around stopping and starting for 45 minutes until I caught the two buses straight back home. Anxiety beat me today. My manager took me at face value and genuinely believes I'm not well (I have actually woken up feeling unwell with a sore throat and headache) but she knows nothing about the anxiety. So I've got another chance Saturday and a mother prepared to drag me kicking and screaming so that I will just GO!!!! The anxiety was because I didn't know the finishing time and felt unable to cope if it was going to be an all-day thing. I came home and I've actually been fast asleep for a few hours. :?

I can't concentrate on anything or enjoy anything. I resent painting when I used to love it. My mood is LOW.

To be honest, I will just be glad when I go to the appointment tomorrow, get weighed, clearly voice my concerns and meet with my care coordinator afterwards to clarify what the hell is going on with my treatment and to be reassured. She's lovely, genuinely caring and bloody good at her job. So by about 2pm tomorrow, I should feel substantially better than my current state of feeling no more than a bag of shit. :lol:

I'm now about to try and force myself to the third session of the ACT course. Hour out the house if nothing else.

Grumpy waffles aren't as great, eh?

Hope you're having a brighter week!

Take care xxx

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:12 pm

Hey there, sorry to hear that your week hasn't been so great. Just don't forget to be kind to yourself and not beat yourself up about it all. As far as i can see you have still been trying really hard and that is the important thing.
Now my time to give you some advice and remind you of your CBT ( :? :) !!!). It is clear that the therapist's suggestions about changing therapy is having a major impact on you-however this is still a 'possibility' and you still have another 6 weeks of sessions before that-so please don't worry too much just yet and don't let your worries impact so greatly on your mood. Boo to anxiety and the negative thoughts about your therapist and the support- they are not giving up on you. They are trying and must care-hence the early warning about the potential changes.Please tell your therapist tomorrow about how this has all impacted on you and your mood etc.
It sounds really tough with your anorexia- i cannot imagine how difficult living with that demon is. Do you know the rational behind the 20 sessions and potential need to work on something else if you don't put on weight- is it just that you need to be in a stable place with other areas of your need to fully benefit from the other therapy? Boo to the thoughts telling you that you have quadrupled in size in days and yeah to trying your dammed hardest to gain weight- surely that is a win to you- and maybe a double win as it sounds so tough as your hard work is currently met with stronger negative thoughts. Please carry on with your efforts to gain weight-it is so important (and you still have six weeks for this-am i right? could it be doable- you put on enough weight to stay with the same treatment??).
I am getting dizzy-hearing about all of your bouncing- i hope you get the opportunity to share how the system has impacted on your recovery.
Regarding work- 1-well done for; planning on going to work despite not feeling well. 2. well done for getting ready. 2. catching 1 bus. 3. catching bus 2. 4. remaining in the shops vicinity for 45 minutes before you decided to go back home. I really hope you were not too hard on yourself.
Boo to you feeling that anxiety beat you. Maybe a boo to you not going with your gut about feeling unwell- if you felt like this when you woke and then slept for a few hours- maybe you are ill!

Did you make a conscious effort not to tell your boss about the anxiety? I'm just curious.
Yay to an understanding boss. Yay to another chance on saturday and final yay to a mother prepared to drag you to go in!
So is there anything you need to do in prep for saturday? Do you know how long your day is going to be? What made you think you would be unable to cope if it was going to be an all day thing??TBH i think you have already done the hard bit; being interviewed and meeting the staff on your visit. At least you know everyone is nice and you got along well with them!
Sorry your mood is low but it sounds like lots of your energy is going on worrying at the moment. you will enjoy painting again.
Two more days- one for your care coordinator and one for you forcing yourself to the 3rd session of the ACT course.
No grumpy waffles aren't ideal but are important- better out than in. Feeling no more than a bag of shit also isn't good- can we at least get rid of the shit and feel like an empty bag-maybe a reusable one which can be cleaned out and get a new lease in life- you are resilient Em- in the words of rhiannon and my anthem for the week- don't let the b;;;;;;;ds get you down!
I have been reading about worrying and the different types of worry- hypothetical and real. Have you come across worry trees and worry time- my aim is to begin to write down my worries though out the day and identify which are real and hypothetical. Then i will try and have some worry time to explore these properly. We will see! i think most of my worries are hypothetical tbh.
Take care- please remind yourself after reading this of all the small positive things (even if you don't feel they are positive)-this is important.
in the words of a wise person 'love, peace and all types of waffles!', your virtual friend, Emma x

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:12 pm

*hugs* :) Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful message. It really meant a lot.

Yes, the first twenty sessions are over ten weeks and focus on weight restoration. Then the next twenty once-weekly sessions focus on the psychology of managing and overcoming anorexia. You have to be of a certain body mass index/weight for the cognitive therapy to really be effective.

I tried so hard these last few days and ate everything religiously on my meal plan.... but today lost just under a kilo? My therapist acknowledged how hard I am trying but said she feels it’s unfair for me to keep taking two buses and two trains twice a week if I’m not progressing. She didn’t want me to feel the therapy didn’t work for me or that I was a failure. She reassured me that it was just not the right time.

I told my therapist everything today. She asked what I wanted to help me move forward. I am now going to see her once a week for 12 one-to-one CBT sessions on overcoming low self esteem.... which we agree is what’s maintaining my eating disorder. This will involve behavioural experiments around my new job, college courses and social environments. We will target improving how I feel about myself as well as how to manage and overcome my anxiety and especially my social anxiety.

Following this, my therapist is actually running a low self esteem group for 12-weeks starting in December for eating disorder sufferers. I have decided the ED support group I had tried out was not something that would benefit and help aid my recovery.... far too triggering. But I am happy and pleased with myself for going.

In my therapy sessions, she will still monitor my food diaries, meal plan and weight and she will set me little challenges with that each week, until I’m later ready to return to the anorexia therapy.

Next week, I am trying out two different regular support groups, so hopefully they will be helpful. :)

Saw my care coordinator today. The shared accommodation.... may not be suitable.... it’s currently full but when there’s availability I can still go and check it out. :) Things at home haven’t been as horribly tense recently so it perhaps was a bit of a knee-jerk response. She’s referred us for family therapy in a few months time so we’ll give it ago. Nothing to lose.

Yeah, I actually was ill! Rotten cold, sleeping a lot... so I don’t feel so bad. Besides, the manager was simply concerned I was okay. I am not ashamed of the anxiety so I didn’t purposely avoid disclosing this.

Loving the anthem!!! EPIC! :D

Yes, worry trees!! I need to allow myself worry time.... not enough hours in the day though! ;) hahahaha!!

A slightly more positive waffle with (calorie-free ;) ) sprinkles and a double-helping of lettuce. ;)

How are things with you? Nice that your parents are back? Any plans for the weekend?

Your message to me definitely made it on the positive list! :D :D :D

Thanks again. Much love, Em xxx

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:39 pm

Hey, I'm so glad my messages help. It helps me to write to you and receive your responses too. Hope you are feeling better?
How did today go? fingers and toes crossed for you!
Your Therapist does sound brill though- and her reassurance was just what you needed. "Just not yet/now" is also one of my mantras-try this when your gremlins come alive. It is only so hard as you are working hard with this all and want recovery so much. The Therapy sounds great and the two part system must have shown some good results. I'm glad she is being flexible and that you can continue to see her- i think that is important as it is clear you have developed a good relationship with her. How are you feeling about the CBT on self-esteem and anxiety- sounds perfect and also a way to support you in the real world at the moment with everything. Also good that she knows what the second part of the sessions look like and so she can support you with some 'mini maintenance' so to speak. Also good to hear about the new support group.
I think you should get a therapy 'points' card and get points for trying new groups and attending therapy- what type of lovely things would you treat yourself with to reward yourself??
I prefer strawberries on my waffles or banana and maple syrup.
I have been quite good thanks. Avoiding the online CBT a little as i am worried it is going to make me more worried-let me try and explain- so i know i have always been an anxious person and lived with quite a high level of anxiety. Over the last few years the anxiety got to a ridiculous level and became a massive barrier. It has really moved on and i am much calmer-with some crazy waves every now and then (he he). When i start to go online i think it makes me put all of my worries under the microscope and i don't want to become too obsessed with everything. It also annoys me as i know it is stuff i should know after focusing on it last year-so i keep thinking what a bad student i am. So i have been doing some aspects of the programme but avoiding the full on CBT stuff at the moment. Does that make any sense? The problem is that my head always makes up problems-i don't necessarily want to give the issues attention but i also should not avoid-if you know what i mean?!?
Anyways all good really- i will ask you about my 'energy' dilemma next. Pay you for my therapy later (do you accept waffles for payment???).
Take care and be kind to yourself whatever the outcome today!
Laters alligators, Emma x

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:18 pm

Hello! :D

Thanks for thinking of me. :)

Ahhh.... today was pretty shitty unfortunately. Anxiety was through the roof last night. Crying uncontrollably, unable to concentrate, racing thoughts...... :? Worry tree? Psshhhhfffft. I had myself a worry forest!! :lol:

Area manager called me last night asking if I wanted to continue with the position. She was a tad miffed. :? My dad took me today. The shop was packed. I felt sick.

Still, I went! The manager was a bit ‘off’ with me. I had missed the training because I was ill so I couldn’t use the till. I didn’t know where anything was or what to do or who the other staff were. I was put onto the shop floor without instruction as to, ermmmm..... what to do. I know this technically is my fault because I missed the training. Although, I genuinely was ill. Nobody asked how I was mind, as a side note. :lol: :x

One colleague said I could give hand massages to customers but I didn’t feel hugely confident to approach a random and be like, ‘Sup? Want me to invade your personal space and rub some random cream I know nothing about on your hand?’ :lol:

One customer actually asked me if I was in the queue! :lol: The manager later described me as ‘awkward’. :oops: When I left the shop, I passed someone from the ED team who I basically sacked from my treatment team last year. She was a horrible woman. Last I saw of her was her walking out of the hospital ward I was on crying! She was on her way into the shop! I would have cringed to an epic proportion if I saw her in the shop! :oops: Thankfully, she didn’t see me and I save my boney ass from looking even more of a muppet. :lol:

Initially, my parents were exasperated, upset, angry.... but I guess we have all just realised that I have a problem in my head and I am nowhere near ready for employment. So I am going to continue taking appropriate and achievable steps rather than setting myself up for the unrealistic.

Yeah, I’m happy about the CBT for self esteem. Hahahahaha! Therapy rewards. Love that. :D But seriously, rewards for doing the things that will help me move forward and get well (including therapy and groups!) is a great, positive and motivating idea! :) I love massage. There’s a Thai masseuse locally who apparently is AMAZING! I also want to try acupuncture! Some, ahem, less extravagant rewards.... a nice new book! :)

That totally makes sense. You have a good sense of self-awareness and insight so just pace yourself with the CBT stuff. Therapy rewards right back at ya! What ways would you like to reward yourself? :)

Hot chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream is my (not anorexia’s obviously) kinda waffle! ;)

Energy dilemma? Go for it, girl! I’m happy to help!

Em-barrassing EM the EM-believably cringey EM-ployee ;)

Take care and thanks again, Emma! Xx

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:16 pm

Hey EM-azing Em!
Well done for going and trying yesterday despite the anxiety Gremlin- I think we may need to take the 'em' out of the Gremlin and call it a Grlin-oh dear-i will stop with the attempts of jokes now!!!
Sounds tough-i think someone without anxiety would have struggled in such a new situation tbf. You still make me laugh though re hand massage- i do think you need to look up how to make money through writing- i once read how difficult to convey humour through writing-and you really do have a talent for this! Random that you saw that lady - lucky she didn't see you!
I think you also need to think of the type of job you might be ready for-to be fair this job has two lots of social challenges, working with new staff as a team and working with the public.There must be jobs that have less social challenges. What is your dream job?- the job you would like to see yourself doing once you are better. IS there an area you always wanted to work in? blue sky thinking?
Yes, we must use a variety of rewards. YEs perhaps i need to practice what i preach- give myself a reward for doing my work when i procrastinate, doing the online therapy etc. My rewards- eherm...probably things like having my nails done (afterwards), lie in, binge watching tv-these are all things that i treat myself to anyway- maybe i need to be a bit more structured with my rewards. I also need to get more of a life and begin to make myself do more things-i sometimes have silly thoughts, that things are just too much work- even reading- and i love reading-so i then avoid it-i never used to be like this so i do think it is part of all of my issues. Otherwise i have just become really lazy and this isn't a way i would have described me in the past. Random tangent!
Another random- have you any pets- would you like a pet- and if so, could you convince your parents to get one? Not necessarily a cat or dog, even a hamster would make a difference??? I was just thinking about how much my pup has helped me-like i am not kidding, she saved me when i was in a very dark place and gave me a purpose, a best friend and helped me so much. The research about pets and mental health is quite strong.
Anyways, I'm off to have some doggy cuddles,
speak soon, Emma :lol:

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:00 pm

Hey Emma!! :D

Grlin. :lol: Glad I checked auto-correct, that initially came out as 'groin'. Gotta watch that anxiety groin! :roll: :lol:
Thanks for your kind and reassuring message. :) You help me see the positive side.

I'm glad my humour comes through. I do have a slightly twisted sense of humour. ;) :lol:
I would love to get paid for writing!! You're not the first to suggest this. But it's hard to get employment. I mean, I don't have a degree or anything. Unless I wrote a book! Several people have said I should write my life story thus far.... Seen as I turn a quarter of a century next year. :lol: A blog would be good though, but I don't know the how's and where's of it all. :|

I have no idea for a 'dream job'. For so long I thought doing this or that would make me happy, but I need to change what's in ME to be happy because then my whole attitude to even the most painfully mundane and the most difficult and unappealing of work changes in a positive way. Like, in India I was different. I was authentically happy - the happiest I have ever been! I was so grateful, optimistic and positive. My self esteem and sense of self worth were in a good place. I valued myself, practiced self care and felt loved and accepted. I did not have depression, anxiety or anorexia. For six months, I worked amidst shit and piss and rats and rotting flesh.... Picking lice from people's hair, washing endless laundry in big buckets of cold water..... in dirty, smelly, desperate poverty. But I LOVED all of this. I laughed when I got headlice, ravenously scoffed a whole packet of chocolate biscuits post-typhoid-scare without any guilt or body insecurities, said 'yes' to every work and social opportunity with pleasure and no anxiety whatsoever. This wasn't because of India or the work I was doing because when I later returned (just after depression symptoms were returning), I isolated myself and avoided all social contact, I overworked myself to the point of burn out, I was having nightmares and was so insecure that I was a failure and nobody liked me, I started self harming and didn't want to get up in the mornings..... India didn't change. The work didn't change. It was my dream to go here and work and I realised that. But even living IN my dream.... how I felt depended on what was within ME - rather than the dream being what made me well.

Does that long convoluted waffle with extra bacon and maple syrup and sparklers and balloons make sense? :lol: Guess I just want to be better than I am today. But I do have things I like to aim for. In a new-found, measured and baby-step way. ;)

You don't 'need' to do this or that, Em. Do what YOU want to do!! Don't think, 'I should be reading because I used to love reading', rather decide to read a book when something particular takes your fancy! It doesn't matter if you read one page a month or devour the whole thing in one afternoon. What matters is that you enjoy it for those moments. Try not to think 'my life needs...' or 'should be like this....'. It only adds pressure and insecurities. Do things that make you happy. And if that means you have to secretly snuggle your pup under your jumper 24/7 then so be it. :lol: But you know what I mean. Be kind to yourself.

Awwww I would love a dog!!!! Not possible with living with my parents though. They're not really into dogs. My disabled sister might be getting a therapeutic dog, though! And if my little three year old niece twists my brother's arm enough.... He might just buy his family a puppy, too! So I can be a dog visiter! :lol:

My mood has been LOW. Consequence of overcoming anorexia and choosing recovery. Depression and anorexia fuel eachother. I've been looking after my mother as she's been very unwell with vertigo. Odd, but our relationship is 100 times better when she's having a bad blip of illness. She even said how much calmer and not on-edge I seem. Whoops! :lol: I hate seeing her unwell but I love looking after her. I've been giving her lots of massages with my reflexology and acupuncture gadgets. I guess it's because she's grateful. I feel appreciated and that I'm doing something right. When she starts to pick up, the nagging starts. I carry on doing everything as before. I don't do more when she's well. But she adds the stress onto me.

My ACT course is finished. Was good! I also read The Happiness Trap. Really good, too!

The Molton Brown thing knocked me back but I'm back on course to do a 10-week course in child psychology starting tomorrow. Not because I feel I should but because it's something that interests me. ;)

First therapy session around self esteem went well. Explored my fear of anger. Was a tough session that had me crying!! We also looked at my food diaries. She was really pleased which is good to hear because recovering from anorexia ain't easy.

That's a serious waffle for you to read! Do you think my excessively long messages have affected your desire to read a book? Like, 'I can't read anymore! Not after Em's latest essay!' ;) hehehe!

Let me know how you're doing and what's new with you! Look forward to hearing from you.

Hope you enjoyed pup cuddles! Take care of yourself, Emma.

Your friend, Em xxx

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:48 pm

P.S. :shock: Yes, there's more. :lol: Always time for a second helping of waffles. :P

I wanted also to note that during the time in India when I was really happy.... I'm not saying everything was positive every single moment of the day no matter what. :lol: I bloody hated rats and getting sick and the smell of shit everywhere, I cried when my friend and travel companion turned nasty and stopped talking to me and even though I still did the dirty work and mundane tasks.... There were plenty of times when I was cranky, terrified, exhausted and reluctant!

Also, yes... I was able to overcome a lot but not always! There were times when I failed and couldn't go on anymore. But my reactions were different because I was different. The first time, I would enjoy a daily (much needed!) afternoon nap and would take it easy on my day off. I stepped down from work when it was too much without feeling a failure or insecure or guilty. I accepted myself. My strengths, weaknesses, ambitions and abilities. The second time, I worked fourteen hours a day, worked on my day off, felt inadequate and a failure and made myself do things that really were too dangerous and difficult for me to do. I punished myself and saw mistakes as a failure.

So yeah. I hope that big Indian tangent makes sense. Probably totally irrelevant but there we are. Haha!!

Take it easy xxx

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