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Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

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littleem
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:01 pm

Hello-HO-HO-HO! :lol:

Glad you had a good Christmas. :D Kareoke machine sounds awesome!!! :D That Christmas waffle also sounds awesome! :lol:

How are things? :)

Actually, Christmas went really well!!! It's the first Christmas in FOREVER that I (wait for it.....) haven't been stressed!!! :shock:
I enjoyed myself! :o
It was amazing seeing my little niece and nephew. So many cuddles and lots of giggling! I love being fun/crazy aunty Em! ;) :lol:

I'm actually looking forward to Bosnia now. Weirdly. :roll:
It's a place of pilgrimage (I'm Catholic) so it involves LOTS of praying. :lol: But I do like it there. :)

Where I volunteered though was too intense and there are certain people who go there who, ERM?, 'get carried away' with, erm...religious mania.... :roll:
But I'm not going to that place :D and so I am under no pressure to work myself into the ground with no sleep and constant criticism from the hypocritical person I am working for. 8-) Ahem. Aaaaaaaaanyways, ;)
I would like to be able to let all that crap go. To say, 'You know what? This doesn't have to be my life. It's not my life and that's okay. I am no less of a Christian and no less of a human being because I might need eight hours sleep a night and don't work 18 hours all day everyday or whatever .... ;) I hope that makes sense. ;)

My aunty and family are more laid-back and a good laugh. :)
My aunty is very happy and excited so that means everything to me.

I also checked the forecast. It's about the same as where I am living now so that's a relief! 8-) My mother made out like we were gonna be chilling with the penguins. :lol:

I went back to work today which was nice, too. :) All packed now, ready for tomorrow.

What are your plans for new year's?

Speak to you in 2019! Have a good one! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Em xxx

emloja
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:56 pm

Hey there- i think you have left now- i am sending new years wishes to you anyway x
I am going to a friends and will be taking Tilly and the karaoke machine :)
Thanks for all your help and support this year- you have given me encouragement, laughs and many wise words- your emails have been greatly received, and at times i have really needed the boost your messages have given me. I see good things for us both next year! Bring it on! Lots and Lots of Love for the new year.

littleem
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:21 pm

Hey Emma! :D

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! :D

Awww, thanks! You have been a great support to me, too. Our chats/waffles have boosted me, too! :D

How are you doing? How are you enjoying the Christmas season? How was your New Year's Eve celebrations?

Yes, positive vibes for 2019! Whoop, whoop! :lol:

Bosnia was amazing. Honestly, totally, completely. Long waffle short.... Really positive outcome! :D 8-)

Wishing you all the very best for this new year!

Much love and peace,

Em xxx

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so sad
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:28 pm

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby so sad » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:39 am

Hi

I just want to say how much I love reading these posts. They are the first things I look for when I log on.
You are all so inspirational and brave.
Glad Bosnia was great
M x

littleem
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:29 pm

Aww wow! :) Thanks M.

I had no idea other people were reading this.... I might have toned down my randomness. ;) :lol: :P

Thanks for your lovely message. I'm pleased to hear that the posts are having a positive influence. :D

How are you doing?

I hope you're as well as you can be right now. Every blessing for the new year!

Love Em xx

emloja
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:14 pm

Hey Em,
Great to hear that Bosnia was amazing :) I think 2019 is gonna be a good year for us and our waffles!!!
All good this end too. It is like a switch has switched?? not sure that is right but what else do you do to a switch?? i guess you can turn it on too!?! Anyway, i am just able to distant myself from my negative thoughts- which are less and even feel calm when i am not sleeping at night (the last thing i need to get sorted really. It is weird. It is like i am finally in a place to properly apply things. I have caught up on all the work i should have done before xmas and am ready to face the world of work tomorrow :) I even got my nails done in a glittery pink. I have been watching Marie Kondo on Netflix- she is a tidying guru from Japan and is so sweet and cheerful (what she portrays) and her thing is taking objects/books/clothes etc and asking "does it bring me joy?" and i have been doing this with the clothes i wear in the morning and wearing things i feel bring me joy. Anyway that was a tangent- but my nails bring me joy! yay. What brings you joy at the moment Em?
I am also in a grateful stage and when i cannot sleep i go through my day thinking about everything i am grateful for. I am really appreciating being able to feel positive and grateful - whoop whoop!

M- thanks for your message and kind words :) Sometimes i forget that these messages can be read- but if they can be helpful or interesting for others then that is great. Hope you are as well as can be. Let us know, if you want to join in with our waffles and talk :) plenty for everyone!!!

littleem
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:45 am

Well hello there my wonderful waffling friend! :D

How are you? How is everything going? I hope you are well and that 2019 has got off to a good start for you! :)

So many positives coming through in your post! Feeling grateful, feeling joy, choosing clothes to look and feel good, pink glittery nails, getting work-smart, tackling the tidying..... Very proud of and pleased for you. *Hugs!* :D

My faith brings me joy. I may not always be dashing around the place praying with a skip in my step and a big beaming grin on my face, but it gives me meaning to life itself, hope in suffering, the reassurance that I am loved and of worth even at my very lowest times, as well as a sense of belonging, acceptance, friendship, purpose and encouragement to persevere. Bit deep? :roll:

My auntie/dearest friend brings me joy and my three nieces and one nephew (just found out I have another on the way!!!! :D ) I also enjoy traveling and generally the hot and bright sunshine makes everything feel better. :D

I have completed my child psychology and criminology courses. Next week, I join the rock choir! :lol: I am still working (absolute record!) and funny story.... A guy has just joined the team.... I worked with him previously in a place where I, ahem, stood up for a waiter by shouting and swearing at the manager the first day I met him. Smooth. 8-) But I was spiralling out of control at that moment..... Fortunately, the new guy is a lovely boy who actually found the whole alteration impressive and hilarious. :lol: I am not too concerned about him telling our current boss.... seen as he was actually sacked on the spot at the place we previously worked together! :lol:

Currently making plans to go on another pilgrimage later this year. I'm hoping to go with my auntie and a group locally to Poland in July. I will definitely be going to Bosnia for a huge youth festival in August.... Just before my 'quarter of a century birthday'! ;)

I am now five and a half stone. My BMI is thus 15. I have not been this weight in at least 18 months and four and a half stone was my lowest. So that is positive. I'm finding much more peace between my mother and I if I just get on with cooking for myself and eating what's necessary without complaint or some form of anxiety meltdown. Sometimes I feel shitty but moping around serves no purpose. :) I highly doubt the eating disorders team will accommodate me for the therapy despite consistent ongoing weight gain. It would take me at least a four hour round trip of four buses two trains to get there for a one hour session, plus going to the centre would feel like stepping backwards..... So much negative association and triggers. :? But if they can't accommodate me, then I have found a very suitable private counsellor who has very relevant experience and who is happy to meet with me once my self esteem CBT ends. I have spoke with her already at length and to be honest (despite the snag of having to pay when I am entitled to free treatment), I am favouring this method. :)

Creative therapy was a bit 'meh'. Not really suitable for me and vise versa. But no worries. Glad I tried it. :)

Mood is a tad flat. It's reactive. Me feeling unfulfilled.... I want more in my life, but can't seem to access it. This is frustrating.
But it's positive that I finally know what it is that I want - to live in a Catholic community with like-minded people. Living a life of prayer and faith-based service. Not to be ungrateful, but I feel my life is significantly lacking friendship. I am not going to get married or have a family (long story) so I am yearning for my own purpose in this life. Perhaps this year will be the time I start to explore opportunities that could fulfil what I desire (i.e. contact and visit communities).

Anyways. That's a waffle. ;)

Ha! A 'waffle and shake' place has opened in my little town. Saw it and thought of you straight away. :lol:

Let me know how you're doing.

Much love,

Em xxx

emloja
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:50 pm

Mainly good here Em. Great to hear from you.
I realised i sound a little bit sad getting excited by my nails- but this is something i used to get joy from and lost it- so now that i can feel happy when i look at my nails- well, it is kind of a big deal- i had completely forgotten what it feels like to be grateful and feel it genuinely for things in life- so that is why such small things excite and make me feel good!
I love that your faith gives you so much joy- deep is good and i definitely hear through your messages the joy that some of your family bring you. I am naming 2019 the year of JOY! whoop whoop!
Congrats for completing the courses and for your amazing success with your job. I love the secret history you share with the new boy- you sound quite a pair!!!Your travel plans sound exciting and really worthwhile. I sometimes forget how young you are as you sound so mature and wise in your reflections and writing.

Well done on your consistent weight gain!!! Whoop whoop! onwards and slowly upwards? It sounds like you feel there is too much bad history with the eating disorders team. That journey is a killer though and would be hard enough if you were going somewhere positive. My only thought is- are you sure it would be the same staff members as people do come and go. It is unfair that you need to pay, but the private counsellor sounds like the way to go- if you have already spoken to her and she has the experience then that is a great start.

Knowing what you want is surely the hardest thing ever. It is great that you know what you want. I often thought i wasn't happy and would like to be doing something else- just couldn't make any plans as i didn't know what it was. What helped you to identify this? You often talk about feeling unfulfilled and i feel your frustration. What are the steps you need to take to live in such a community? Do you mean become a Nun? Can i ask if it is that you don't want to get married etc or you don't think you will ever get married? coz the latter could be seen as being a bit of a fortune telling negative distortion. No probs if you have no desire to. Never any harm in exploring- sounds like a great plan! Do your mental health issues have to be a barrier to you joining such a community? Could such a life lead to an improvement in your general wellbeing - sense of belonging etc. Once again, if i ask anything you think is not appropriate or you dont want to answer then please tell me- everything i ask comes from a place of kindness and pure interest.
Love that such an amazing new business made you think of me- sounds great- waffle and shake OMG- i could move in- can i clarify you mean a milkshake? I had images of you buying a waffle and then getting a hand shake at the same time- perhaps you need to be in my mind right now!

I am good thanks- sometimes i get a bit too excited by how well things are atm. My mum told me i was making her dizzy as i was a bit hyperactive! hey ho! I have been gradually reducing my meds and have not had any negative moods or anxieties sneak in- could account for the extra level of excitement maybe- but it is all good- once i try and calm myself down and meditate. I finished my online CBT course and they are having a Mindfulness CBT 8 week group they are running in March. They are pitching it at people who have made progress to help them sustain and prevent relapse so it is kind of perfect for me atm. I think it will also be good as it will make me face my demons in terms of sharing in a group and being a bit vulnerable in a group. I also think i am in a much better place to be accessing such a course (i don't know if i told you years ago i did the MBSR course but spent the whole time worrying about everyones judgements of me blah bah blah.Soi didn't really get much from the course). So my supporter told me to have a think and call them in a months time to sign up- i think i might call next week as i do really want a place.
I am having a bit of trouble with my sleep as i just wake up and will be wide awake with a busy mind- the good thing is that although it is annoying i am not anxious with it- the busy- ness is not worries - not sure what it is really. I also have quite horrible dreams?!?!? but again i don't react or respond to them like i used to. It really is like a switch has been turned and all the years worths of reading, therapy, courses etc actually makes sense and i can feel it.
No i have just probably written a busy, long email. I have my pup on my lap. I am going to meditate now to try and slow myself down now.
Lots of love my very focused and determined friend,
Emma x

littleem
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:23 pm

Hello!!! :D

Lovely to hear from you, as always!

You don't sound sad at all!! I have scabby, half-chewed, broken, dish-washing and potato-peeling nails.... So I always admire the well-polished nail! :lol: My college tutor was also a beautician and she would have a new really funky design on each nail every week! Her Christmas nails were epic. So you be enthusiastic about whatever makes you happy, my friend! :D And be thankful your hands don't smell like potatoes. :lol:

The year of JOY! YES! Loving that. :D

Haha! I know.... I am an oldie at heart. Definitely born in the wrong century.... ;)

Yeah.... I'm leaving my care coordinator to correspond with the eating disorder team. I don't want to bravely put myself out there and get knocked back by them yet again. I am worth more than how they have treated me and I deserve a better level of support. They no longer even contact me. They don't correspond with the mental health (non-eating disorder cmht) team (who thankfully are fantastic!) So the ED lot don't know I've been working, that I've gained weight, that I've finished college, that I even still exist.... :lol: That only conjures up negativity, anger and hurt within me.... So unless the ED therapist can meet me in another medical center more accessible to me (she previously showed reluctance to be flexible, said it wasn't possible and palmed me back to the MH team for the fourth time :roll: ) or unless she can visit me at home for my sessions (they are community based and the occupational therapist of doom from when the ED team first got involved used to visit me at home three times a week!) then I will have no other option than to go privately. It would be best to try it with the ED therapist first, (despite all this angst, I did actually click with her and was engaging!) and go private IF it wasn't effective. But in all honesty, I am personally favouring the private therapist for her approach and locality.

All will be revealed in the coming weeks. :roll:

Meanwhile, my current therapy is going spiffingly. ;) I'm doing my absolute very best to stop unnecessarily and excessively apologising! Really working on challenging those negative thoughts. :)

What I have realised is that in order to be happy and fulfilled, I have to first change and heal what is inside.
(Deep waffles coming up.....! :lol: ) The place and way of life that once made me my happiest and most fulfilled (volunteering in India) no longer made me happy or fulfilled when INSIDE I felt depressed. Once the depression heals, my outlook heals.
I have become more content with washing dishes because of what I know it has taken from me to be able to do this. I am becoming more grateful and appreciative of life around me now. I don't have to go somewhere or be something to be happy and fulfilled.

That said, we all have desires. I would like to join a lay residential community (not a nun) but it may or may not happen and that's okay. :) I have done my searching and discerning so I have no regrets regarding all of that. There is only one community that fully appeals to me and that is accessible and realistically achievable. We were in correspondence previously, but I was gripped by the anorexia and went to hospital.... :roll: But I have recently contacted them again. The next intake is September. I know full-well that I am unlikely to be fully ready to join then, but I also know it's possible. I also know I could join the following September and that I may never join this community.
I am not rushing or pressuring myself, but instead focusing on the here and now.

The next step for me would be to spend a few days/a week later this year with the community to get a feel for whether we are suited. My application has already been approved previously. :)

I no longer feel the desire to become a Nun. This lay community permits more freedom, family contact, friendships, social interaction and free-time. We make a commitment but it is not intense in that we are not bound by vows or anything.
I previously was accepted by a religious order and was due to enter a Convent! I have peace now with knowing that this is however not the right direction for me.

At a very young age, I had a negative introduction to 'the birds and the bees'. I was terrified of developing. Anorexia, at nine years old, told me that developing physically meant 'getting fat' which (although I didn't understand why!) I was supposed to believe was a 'bad' thing. I guess I was afraid to 'grow-up'. Life around me was chaotic and perhaps I wanted to stay a child. To stay young and safe and looked after.

Anorexia set me apart from my peers. I was obsessed with calories and exercise and food and weight loss, whilst my peers became interested in boyfriends and makeup and going out at the weekend. It is what it is now, but I did miss out on all of that 'growing-up' stuff and anorexia massively compromised my friendships and relationships.

Only boyfriend I did have (and genuinely cared about) was when I was eighteen. But he treated me with disinterest, rejection, manipulation and disrespect. After that, the barriers went right back up.

I have never thought anyone would find me attractive. I'm often told that I look 'twelve years old' so I protect myself from it all. I guess, the outcome is not worth the struggle it would be to overcome such chronic and fully entrenched cognitions. A shame, perhaps. But it is what it is. A consequence of anorexia. Just like my osteoporosis. (Told you I was an oldie at heart. ;) )

But I know it is possible that I could fall in love, be loved and get married. I just feel it is most likely to be a certainty that I will not. And that is okay with me.

My mental health problems wouldn't be an obstacle to join the residential lay community. Although, physically I would need to be in a better place. Which is where I'm heading. *scoffs waffle* :lol: *slurps shake*.

I think it could help my sense of mental well-being, certainly. :)

Loving the positive vibes coming through your post!!! 8-) Mindfulness group sounds great. You would bring such inspiration to the group. Go for it!! :D Really pleased that the switch is still, uh, switched? :lol: Glad you are feeling so good!

Any nice relaxing activities you could introduce....? :)

Yes, waffle and (milk) shake. Although I am loving the concept of a free handshake, too! :lol:

Ah, fear not about busy and long emails. There's always me to send a busier and longer one! :lol: (oops! :oops: hehehe!)

I wish you a happy Wednesday (as well as future happy Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays) :lol:

Keep me posted on how the year of JOY proceeds!!! :D

P.S. My work's Christmas party is on Sunday..... We're having..... KAREOKE!! :lol:

Lots of love, peace, friendship and waffles. (Plus one big hearty handshake) :lol:

Your (slightly bonkers) buddy, Em xxx

emloja
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:16 pm

How is it going my friend?
Keep me up to date with the ED vs private therapist dilemma- it sounds like they really did treat you badly in the past- this is so wrong.
How is the battle against the negative thoughts going?
I fully agree with what you are saying about healing inside-my life now is not really any different to how it was 6 months or prior to that- yet i feel so different- i feel worthy and not pathetic. I quite like myself- i am grateful for life. Before, i knew all these things- and knew i should be thinking them but i didn't feel it- now i feel it and think it and believe it. So please hang on in there- it will come and things will come automatic. The voice i spent so long training to say nice and reassuring things to myself is now automatic- yet not long ago i had a massive meltdown as i thought i was 'better' and forgot about that voice and things just fell apart. Now all the therapy, books etc make sense and i feel it :)
Definitly Sounds like you are on the path though- even with your views on the dishes.
Hows it going with your weight and that BMI? You winning?
I guess it is about you being really specific about what you need to achieve to feel ready or 'fully' ready to join your community. I am not aware of these communities- completely makes sense - so you can commit to God but can also do your own things- once again- balance!
I called up to make sure i am on the waiting list for the MBCBT- to prevent relapse- so perfect for where i am right now!
IT sounds really tough- as the anorexia has grown up with you and is so strongly part of your story- so far! It has taken so much from you- booooooo! You must hate it and i think that is okay as long as you accept such feelings and don't get caught up in it so to speak. You are not that 9 year old girl anymore who had negative experiences and became anorexic- you are so different in so many ways- the anorexia is the only thing that is still with you and even your relationship with that is changing all of the time.
Don't get me onto discussing relationships and the odd thing that is singledom! I sometimes believe- (not in a sad- feel sorry for me kind of way) that i am just defined to be single- fate and all. And at the moment- that is okay! not ideal but okay and definitely not a barrier to my life right now!
I found a cool TED talk on YouTube- the power of vulnrability by Brene Brown. I really enjoyed listening to this. Have a look and tell you what you think.
And most importantly....how was the karaoke? did you sing? and if so, what? now your colleagues are definitely cool in my opinion-to do xmas in January always makes so much sense and karaoke- yay!
Anyways, hope you have a good week my bokers buddy (i like that),
Love and waffles,
Emma x


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