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Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

For sharing your experiences and feelings about mental illness
littleem
Posts: 438
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:06 am

Hey!! :D

I'm so proud of you and pleased for you! You should be so proud of yourself. Really lovely to receive such a positive and encouraging message. :D Celebratory waffles on me! *hearty handshake* :lol:

Ahhh.... Acceptance. A burden from our backs. A breathe of fresh air! 8-)

I'll check out the TED talk. Thanks. Lots of people speak highly of these. I'm yet to check them out, though!

I've been proactive in seeking clarification regarding my treatment. General consensus is that I will receive the residual cbt-e sessions (that were previously discontinued) from the same service. I will receive confirmation of this tomorrow and then a meeting will be held with myself, my therapist and my care coordinator. Will keep you updated. ;)

Due to complete my self-esteem work in four week's time.
I've realised that I have been falling into the trap of doing what I think I 'should' do - for others, rather than doing what I want - for me. I've also identified what is missing in my life - the physical presence of people in my life with whom I can be my true self..... people who accept me just as I am (even at my lowest without judgement, criticism or comments).... people with whom I feel accepted, 'enough' and genuinely cared about without any expectations being imposed on me.

I know my family love me. I am not saying otherwise. But those whom I am closest to have difficulty separating my actual person from my mental health problems and insecurities. Which fuels feelings of inadequacy, guilt, shame, sadness, insignificance, despondency, frustration, hurt and pressure within me.

I also know that there are people in my life who care about me. But I am not close with these people in the way that I can show every aspect of my life to them! Similarly, they are not close to me in a way that they feel genuine love for me. I hope this makes sense. :|

I had a friend some years back who I felt this way with. I loved him (although not in a romantic way) and I felt cared about, accepted, wanted and 'enough'. He's married now living the other side of the world. We text very occasionally. I'm happy for him. But I am sometimes sad for me. Likewise, I felt this way with some of the nuns and the people we cared for. But those nuns are now scattered around the world and are not permitted to remain in contact. The new nuns locally also are no longer involved in the particular voluntary work I used to enjoy. (This work is also food-related, so it's best I avoid it). ..... So that's something else I miss. :(

I feel this way now only with one person. My auntie. We talk daily but live in different areas so only see eachother every few months. Then my little nieces and nephew, of course! I can be goofy aunty Em with them. Then there's this forum that helps, but of course not in the same way as in person.

So I don't know what to do about this. I live in THE RETIREMENT CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!!!!! :lol: Plenty here to keep the 80 year olds busy.... But when people hit 18 here, they go to uni and get a good job and move elsewhere or they get married and move elsewhere. Honestly. People seem to return by the time they're 40. They hit their bloomin' prime here at 60. And with all those activities for retired people.... Hey, they are living until they're 100!! Cynical, yes. But so true!!! :lol:

Feels like whatever I do food-wise it won't be enough for my mother. I am trying so hard. It's exhausting never receiving recognition or positivity about my achievements and being pulled up on every potential for negativity. So today I thought 'stuff it'and have booked myself a hair cut tomorrow and a full body Swedish massage, too! Just for the heck of it! I'm going to Church as well and if I'm not called in for work (guy I worked with in other place pulled a sickie today), then I will go to the duck pond to feed the ducks. :) Might even make my mother's day and eat a whole loaf of bread. :lol: :lol:

BMI dropped. :roll: But wasn't intentional. Will be back up soon enough what with all those waffles and loaves of bread. ;)

So yeah.... I want to do things for me that make me happy. Because, whilst I am thankfully no longer depressed, (and I am grateful!!), I'm not particularly 'happy'. :?

Ah the party didn't really materialise as expected. Long (ish) waffle. No Biggie. Still working and liking it there. Plates are gleaming. :D

I had my choir taster session!! Overcame MASSIVE anxiety and got stuck in with the singing and dancing! Even saw someone from an eating disorders support group who I was major worried about seeing.... We smiled and chatted and there was no tension or awkwardness! I enjoyed it at parts and was glad I gave it a go. We won't be pursuing it though.... Found out it costs £300 a year!! :o To sing?? :lol:

How are you doing? All waffled out after this whopper, I bet!! :lol:

Let me know what you have been up to! :D

Wishing you a happy week ahead. Onwards and upwards with the year of JOY!!

Much love my friend. Keep smiling.

Em xxx

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

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:05 am

Hey there my friend,
How are you doing? Thanks for the handshake- much appreciated :lol:
There are soma amazing TED talks- i think you would like especially with your interest in psychology. Are you doing any more studying this year?
Good to hear you are being proactive in finding out next steps with respect to your treatment. Unconditional regard- regardless to what you are going through.
I mainly get what you are saying about the relationships in your life- what do you think needs to happen for you to feel you have moved forward with this? Even just a tiny bit! However why do you feel those close find it difficult to separate you from your difficulties? What do they do that make you think this? I also feel you are not being too kind to yourself as the feelings you feel in response to this are very harsh- if they don't know how to treat you because of your mental health difficulties then this isn't your fault- so it isn't fair you feel these emotions in response.

It sounds like there has been quite a lot of 'loss' with regards to your relationships - especially more positive or stronger relationships. It is okay to miss these relationships. I hate 'goodbyes' and have spent time in the past reflecting on lost relationships. My massive issue is quite different to yours- i am scared to be 'me' warts and all and can't cope with the vulnerability. We talk on here but in my 'real' life no one fully knows the true me. You know more about me than anyone in my life (what a privileged position- and how perfect are you in this role!). Now i am reflecting and things are a lot easier now that i am feeling much better, i must admit i was ashamed of my depression and anxiety, i hated them and also the fact i didn't really have a reason for these difficulties (a proper chemical imbalance in my head i definitely feel). I however am trying now to begin to confide in more, recently i did share some things with a friend and actually felt quite supported and positive after. There are a few more things i still have to share and now i worry (just a tiny bit) about their response in that i didn't share at the time, for example, about my dad's illness. Now i don't even recall if i shared this with you or not??
Your Aunty sounds fab. I bet you are such a cool Auntie yourself!
So are you thinking you would like to move away eventually? I know your Auntie lives overseas but what about your nieces and nephews? Could you move to where they are? When looking at supported living or future living- could you look for somewhere close enough to home but far enough away so you could develop more friendships. Have you seen the website meetup? Perhaps there are others like you where you live who want to develop some new friendships?
It is so tough as you meet people and develop relationships by seeing them frequently- so work or courses. I had this difficulty with meeting single men- i would join classes and there would be no women there or only gay guys. Are any of your current friends potential close friends?
I do think from what you say, that you live by the seaside- which is something i think i would love!

I have forgotten your wishes in terms of work- did you still want to study more? I would think- longer term study wise there are more opportunities for friendships. When i look at my close friendships- i have a few from school days then i generally picked up one good friend from each phase of my life- college, uni, my first job, my masters and my current job. You definitely need to be around the people regularly to develop friendships.

I'm sorry you feel annoyed with your mum. However the day you had planned sounded great- being kind to yourself is fab- how was the haircut and massage? Did you get to feed the ducks? and the bread???? :P

Happiness is a funny thing. Even when ill i knew i was naturally a happy person- i don't think my counsellor believed me as she had only seen me when i was down. I do think i am happy now- to me happiness is feeling the following (and i mean being able to naturally feel it- which has taken ages) grateful for my life and everything about it, the absence or reduction of extreme negative emotions such as anxiety and sadness, the absence of extreme tiredness and also having a focus and purpose- and even knowing if i am not there, there is some hope for a future. Possibilities. My depression robbed me of hope and excitement about a future- i became a shell who was merely functioning and just being because.
I do have a bit of an early plan that i don't feel able to share on here. I sometimes get a bit paranoid that people will know who i am if they read too many personal things. Only my parents and 2 others know about it. I would however share with you and if it materialises i may be able to- perhaps share it a bit cryptically. Sorry that sounds so odd. It is however a big part of my life right now so it is strange not to share with you.
yay for overcoming the anxiety with regards to the choir- sounds like you properly embraced. Yes, some of these commercial choirs are a business. Glad you tried it, there however may be some smaller choirs where you pay a small fee each term for the room hire and refreshments. I would love to find a choir however for now i have been exploring my old CDs and singing in the car. The other day i was belting out phantom of the opera ha ha. I was really in the moment.
Joyful non christmassy tidings,
Emma x

littleem
Posts: 438
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:07 pm

Hey Emma! :D

Lovely to hear from you!

Thanks for the TED talk! I agree that one's vulnerability opens the possibility of one finding connection with another, but I also feel that whether that connection is made then depends on whether the vulnerability and consequent openness to connection is reciprocated and whether the other person actually desires and responds the possibility of connection.

I'm currently deliberating over which course to do next. Cost and availability dependent. But a course shall be commencing imminently! Either counselling or massage related.

I seek emotional connection. This is exactly what I feel my heart is yearning for. So you sharing that TED talk came at the right time. I no longer feel lonely and being alone is no longer a reality for me, but having that close emotional connection is missing.
I understand what you are saying about not wanting to divulge certain information on an open forum. I feel this way with regards to what I am now saying. I do have an email account set up where I chat to another forum member, so let me know if you would want me to share it with you. Honestly, no worries whatsoever if you prefer talking on here though. :)

It's difficult meeting people in my area of the 20-35 age range. I went for a coffee this morning with a 92-year old and a 75-year old! I'm doing more and enjoying meeting new people however old or ancient. :lol: But with regards to finding younger, like-minded individuals let alone forming friendships with them..... Now that's a tricky one. People hit 18 here and flee to university never to return! :lol:

Great advice about the long-term opportunities. I'm finding I'm getting to know people at work more than I ever have. (Hard to get to know people when 3-weeks was a victory for me to have stayed in one place! Haha!!) The counselling course is 15-weeks and the massage courses five months or more. The Church groups are weekly and ongoing.

Work is going well. I am enjoying and overcoming criticism. Job-wise, I do have an upcoming interview for a business administration apprenticeship. It would be the 'next step'. I'm not putting pressure on myself and I have no big expectations. Merely window shopping. ;)

Hm. I have no friends to build on them becoming close friends. :lol: Not much luck on meetup, but thanks for the suggestion.
It's lovely living by the sea. But out of season, it becomes veeeeeeeery quiet.

Living-wise, I would like to opt for shared accommodation in a house near to my town and family with women quite similar to me. There's a Christian house sharing opportunity in the nearest city, too. I wouldn't be great if I was alone. I can look after myself, but isolation and time on my hands..... Triggers! Once I am more settled in full-time work (I hope to start full time in the upcoming months) then the moving out will follow. I've talked it through with my parents. They are happy that I am living here so there is no pressure on me (only my negative bad body double puts the pressure on me!)

The day I had planned for myself? Oh don't ask. Disaster. What's important is that I got through it. My therapist was alarmed, but of how I coped said I am becoming more and more resilient. :D I treated myself to some orchid and ylang ylang bath bubbles today though and to some face masks. Not a massage, but a nice little treat all the same.

I am so sorry to hear of your father's illness. I completely understand and respect that you wish not to disclose anything here. Please do know that my thoughts are with you. *Hugs*

Phantom of the opera? Glorious!!! I hope you had the mask! Hey, maybe try a face mask? Singing and relaxing combined!! Yes, you should defo check out choirs. You'd love that I am sure!! :D

With regards to the separation of my illness from the real ME..... to be honest, I think a lot of that is tied up in my own feelings of being an illness inconvenience for being ill. My mother can express her exasperation and anger at the illness at ME so things feel a little muddled. Nobody else even mentions my eating disorder. Which is perhaps why my mother and I have such an intense relationship. :x

And so how is life with you? Been up to anything nice? How's work? How's Tilly? How's the tiredness and sleeping?

HOW'S about that for twenty questions? :lol:

Thanks for all your support and advice.

Much love and positive vibes,

Em xxx

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

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:24 am

Hey There,
I would much prefer for us to communicate through emails- i just didn't know how we do it without divulging the address to the world. Can we do it through SANE? if we are both agreeing?
Glad you liked the talk- i love that woman.
I do love that you go for coffee with a 92 and 75 year old- i love older people- so many experiences and so much to share. You probably get a lot out of your relationships but i understand you searching for people that have more things in common, relationships that give you a true sense of affiliation.
I toyed with a reflexology course. I used to look into things and then not do any. Hopefully not this time.
OMG, i love hearing about how your life is just developing all the time- does your mind ever stop- you are so resilient in this area. An apprenticeship would be cool. Always good to window shop! Even though lately i have become a little too good at online shopping- not massively- i will just think of something i need or want and then go on amazon and then- whoopsie- nothing expensive but i realised i do need to monitor this he he.
What about groups or activities that attract people to the coast- like surfing or kayaking ??? i know some people who travel to coastal areas from far away in groups to surf etc.
Sounds like there are a number of opportunities for your next steps moving wise- and this will definitely bring opportunities for new relationships. I definitely think moving in with others similar religious wise will be healthier for you than moving into supported living. When reflecting on your self concept, you need to remember that just as much as your anorexia is part of this, so too is your religion, so too is the colour of your hair, etc etc. Acceptance of the illness i think is what you are talking about- and i cannot imagine how difficult this is. I struggled so much with secondary emotions linked to my depression and anxiety.
Sorry your planned day didn't turn out well. But well done for getting through it. The bubble bath and face mask sounds good. Might search my bathroom for a face mask- I'm sure i used to have some. Haven't had one for ages. Talking of phantom, have you seen the face masks that are like a whole white mask with a space for the eyes and mouth. I had one in china a few years back and like everything, they are now over here.
All good thanks. Tilly is on my lap as i rather awkwardly type this message. Work isn't great but my response to things is 'healthy' i think. Tiredness much better now i am off the meds. Still have some issues in waking, getting to sleep and waking ridiculously early but i am accepting these and think that is really good. I got a bit upset at the start go the week, let myself have a little cry, decided to share the issue the next day, and did this- i haven't responded to an upset like that for years. i also didn't panic that i got upset- i didn't tell myself this is the beginning of no return. And it passed !

Have a good weekend, just enough snow- which tilly loves!
Emma
Last edited by emloja on Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

littleem
Posts: 438
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:37 pm

Hello! :D

I've since responded via email. So you can delete your post when you're ready.

Speak soon!

Em :D x


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