Iiris

My Struggle with Social Anxiety

210 posts in this topic

Thanks @positivevibes , I appreciate your  advice! I am already doing some of those things, meditation for example. Many of those things I try to do but I can’t do them perfectly of course, because they are hard.

I think I should try out the visualization. When I think about an uncomfortable situation I’m about to face, I always vizualise myself fucking up rather than handling the situation. xD I haven’t yet watched that video, I’m going to add it to my list.

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I don't like to talk about my social life with my family. Like they don't already know how big of a loner I am... I just feel like I'm a loser because I have social anxiety and I don't want them to think that I'm a loser. I don't like to talk to anyone about this because of that. Even on this journal I notice myself wanting to act like this isn't so bad. I don't want to be pitful, I want to be cooool.

My psychologist has challenged me to talk to my mom about my shyness. She said that I don't have to like make my mom sit down and tell everything. I can just tell little things here and there when we're having a conversation. It was a relief to hear that I actually don't have to tell everybody everything in one go. I've actually opened myself up a little to my family even before we discussed this. I am not trying to hide everything from them as I used to. It feels good to be more open.

We had a terrible dinner conversation a few days ago, at least on my part. Somehow we started to talk about people in my school. My sister said something like: "You don't have any friends. Why don't you hang out with anybody?" She definitely doesn't understand that these things should not be discussed. :D So I was very uncomfortable and I said something like "Because I don't want to. And because I don't have time to. And because I don't have energy to........and because I am scared" and then the decibels in that room increased like hell, everyone started laughing ruthfully. And then they started interviewing me about boyfriends and everything, it was just terrible. But actually kind of liberating too. I can again be a little bit more honest with them.

 

 

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@Iiris just face your fears ... don't run away from them .... the more you run away from them the more they grow ... for example if you fear to talk to your classmates and eating lunch with them, just do it , if you stay quiet and have nothing to say and feel weird , that's okay you search for topics to talk about or something like that , if you encounter another problem google it find the solution practice if it works, good, if it doesn't look for the next one ... 

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On 1/19/2019 at 1:52 AM, Iiris said:

Thanks @positivevibes , I appreciate your  advice! I am already doing some of those things, meditation for example. Many of those things I try to do but I can’t do them perfectly of course, because they are hard.

3

it is hard , that's why you need to start with baby steps and work your way up , that's why you have to never give up and keep trying  

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@positivevibes you're helping me to see myself like you wouldn't believe!🙂

Edited by Zigzag Idiot

"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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I remember cycling to a friend's house, where there were going to be people I didn't know. I felt anxious. Then I somehow realised that I don't have to be anxious. I could actually enjoy that. It's really hard to let go of anxiety, but in a way it's also very easy and simple. Then realised that I don't want to let go of my anxiety. I was thinking about this a moment ago and I realised it even better. I'm afraid to enjoy other people. I don't want to change how things have always been. I don't know, I feel like this goes really deep. Might it be that I don't even believe that I deserve to enjoy other people? I don't know. I'm just happy that I maybe found something new.

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29 minutes ago, Iiris said:

Then realised that I don't want to let go of my anxiety

I had that feeling or insight a lot lately. Like you find some meaning in this emotional struggle, but on the other hand when things get fucked up and you have a bad day with damn weird social interactions, you start to say I will pay everything just for this not to happen again. How weird the ego is, we tend to forget about suffering quickly. 

Stay strong, and keep moving forward 🙏🙏

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20 hours ago, ahmad ibdah said:

Stay strong, and keep moving forward 🙏🙏

Thanks, I will!

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Sometimes I just don’t have compassion for myself. I don’t want to be like this. I feel like I am getting nowhere. I want to see progress. Every time I try to socialize it’s the same, I feel like I’m not good enough and I make everything awkward.  I want to break free from this, but I can’t. This takes so much energy, and it takes my focus from the things that I actually want to focus on. I’m just so tired of this! I don’t want to be negative but goddam this is frustrating

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I'm not sure what to do with this journal. Should I write about concrete things that are happening in my life, or should I just write about how I feel? Probably both. I could also write about things that don't have so much to do with social anxiety.

To be really honest I'm not even sure if this journal is actually doing much good :D I often feel like I am just wasting my time writing these journal post. It's nice to share things on this journal but I feel like I am not really connecting to people here. I guess I'll keep on going with this for awhile and then see if I want to continue.

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On 19/01/2019 at 3:07 PM, Iiris said:

We had a terrible dinner conversation a few days ago, at least on my part. Somehow we started to talk about people in my school. My sister said something like: "You don't have any friends. Why don't you hang out with anybody?" She definitely doesn't understand that these things should not be discussed. :D So I was very uncomfortable and I said something like "Because I don't want to. And because I don't have time to. And because I don't have energy to........and because I am scared" and then the decibels in that room increased like hell, everyone started laughing ruthfully. And then they started interviewing me about boyfriends and everything, it was just terrible. But actually kind of liberating too. I can again be a little bit more honest with them.

Liberating? 

To be honest, it sounded like your family was invasive and careless. I don’t blame them. Very few people know anything about social anxiety. Anyway, if that had happened to me, I would probably go back into my shell. 

 

On 21/01/2019 at 4:45 PM, Iiris said:

Then I somehow realised that I don't have to be anxious. I could actually enjoy that. It's really hard to let go of anxiety, but in a way it's also very easy and simple.

Interesting. Sometimes anxiety can go away on a click. Not always though... 

 

On 25/01/2019 at 5:40 PM, Iiris said:

Sometimes I just don’t have compassion for myself. I don’t want to be like this. I feel like I am getting nowhere. I want to see progress. Every time I try to socialize it’s the same, I feel like I’m not good enough and I make everything awkward.  I want to break free from this, but I can’t. This takes so much energy, and it takes my focus from the things that I actually want to focus on. I’m just so tired of this! I don’t want to be negative but goddam this is frustrating

First, it’s better to be negative and honest, as opposed to be positive and fake. 

Second, sometimes the more I try, the less progress I make.  Don’t get me wrong: it is indeed a disorder, and some sort of action is needed to overcome it, but being obsessive about it will only make it worse.

Third, people who have social anxiety are extra hard with themselves.  In my case, I certainly do not need people telling me what I’m doing wrong. I already do that too much on my own.

So, remember to be extra patient with yourself, celebrate small victories, and to be easy on yourself.

One mantra I like to use is: I am fucking amazing. 

I do understand your frustration, though. SA sucks.

 

On 27/01/2019 at 5:27 PM, Iiris said:

I'm not sure what to do with this journal. Should I write about concrete things that are happening in my life, or should I just write about how I feel? Probably both. I could also write about things that don't have so much to do with social anxiety.

Don't ask for our opinion. Just do what you feel like it. Posting about other things might be interesting also. Talking only about the disorder can get tiresome.

But anyway, you write very well, and your posts are an enjoyable read. 

 

On 27/01/2019 at 5:27 PM, Iiris said:

To be really honest I'm not even sure if this journal is actually doing much good :D I often feel like I am just wasting my time writing these journal post. It's nice to share things on this journal but I feel like I am not really connecting to people here. I guess I'll keep on going with this for awhile and then see if I want to continue.

I'm sure you're helping a lot of people who are only reading and not posting anything. A lot of us are still in our shell... 

 

Btw - Leo has a great episode on patience. 

Edited by Gabriel Antonio

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14 hours ago, Gabriel Antonio said:

So, remember to be extra patient with yourself, celebrate small victories, and to be easy on yourself.

Thanks for reminding me. I tend to think that If i just tried hard enough, I could do anything I’m afraid of. Then when I fail, I blame myself for not trying hard enough. But I’m a human and I’m not perfect, and sometimes I just can’t do things I want myself to do.

14 hours ago, Gabriel Antonio said:

One mantra I like to use is: I am fucking amazing. 

I’m going to be trying that!

14 hours ago, Gabriel Antonio said:

Posting about other things might be interesting also. Talking only about the disorder can get tiresome.

Yeah I thought that too. When I only talk about this I start to feel like it’s the only thing I have.

14 hours ago, Gabriel Antonio said:

But anyway, you write very well, and your posts are an enjoyable read. 

That’s nice to hear 😊

14 hours ago, Gabriel Antonio said:

I'm sure you're helping a lot of people who are only reading and not posting anything. A lot of us are still in our shell... 

It seems that many people have noticed this journal, but I still feel like I’m just talking to myself here and that makes me feel unmotivated. When there’s no one posting anything here I feel like this journal is forgotten, but of course that’s not true.

But anyways, I really appreciate all the support you have given 😊

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13 hours ago, Iiris said:

I tend to think that If i just tried hard enough, I could do anything I’m afraid of.

Same here. And what I’ve found through the years is that will power is overestimated. The most significant changes in my life came to me naturally. 

 

13 hours ago, Iiris said:

It seems that many people have noticed this journal, but I still feel like I’m just talking to myself here and that makes me feel unmotivated. When there’s no one posting anything here I feel like this journal is forgotten, but of course that’s not true.

That’s why I was opposed to removing the thumbs-up feature. We are humans... we need incentives to motivate us. Sure, some people get neurotic about “likes”, but I think they’re necessary.

Anyway, I hope you realize soon how amazing you already are, and that you begin to trust in your natural self. ;)

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3 hours ago, Gabriel Antonio said:

I hope you realize soon how amazing you already are, and that you begin to trust in your natural self. ;)

I am fucking amazing ^_^

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Maybe my social anxiety hasn't changed but everything else has. I am so much more mature than I was a year ago. I am more present and more aware of my mind process. And my relation to my social anxiety has changed completely. A few years ago I wasn't able to admit to myself that I have some problems. And when I admitted it, I hated my social anxiety and I hated myself for having it.

I still hate this. But also I've learned to develop a sense of humor about this. I've learned to be less ashamed of myself for having this, and I have more compassion for myself now. I believe that my social anxiety will slowly fade away as my relation to it changes. Something that I've learned in the past few weeks is that it isn't about waiting for my social anxiety go away. It is about accepting it completely and loving the hell out of myself as I am, now. :D

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I appreciate how genuine your journal is and your experience and thoughts resonate with me.

I was just thinking about when I was a child. I loved to climb trees. It was joyful and free. Then all this stuff about howI’m not good enough got put into me. In particular from my father. He was hyper-critical. Deep down he had good intentions and wanted me to be successful, yet he was hyper-critical nonetheless. 

When I was about 10 yrs old, I was trying to make a wooden race car for “The Pine Wood Derby” in Boy Scouts. I needed some help, yet my Dad was really critical and concerned about what others would think. He ended up making the toy car himself, with me watching. As I watched him make the car, I internalized that I wasn’t good enough. . . We won second place at the contest, yet I felt like I hadn’t won anything - it wasn’t my car. I felt undeserving accepting the award.

I can remember many instances like this. They weren’t traumatic experiences, yet they piled up and had a big effect on my self image.  A main theme during my upbringing was that I had gifts and potential, yet I wouldn’t apply myself and was squandering my gifts/potential. During parent-teacher meetings, my parents and teachers would even sigh at times. . . I had a deep sense that I was a disappointment and I had a fear of looking stupid and disappointing others. Into adulthood, this translated into people pleasing and seeking validation - especially from father figures. 

In graduate school, I had a bad case of “imposter syndrome”. I compared myself to advanced graduate students and post-docs. I felt like I was an imposter pretending to be a graduate student and any day now, someone would figure out that I was faking it and that I didn’t have what it takes - and they would kick me out of grad school. 

At times, this would get so intense it would block me from actually learning and performing. Even trivial things could become a big deal. In particular, I wanted validation from my advisor, Chris. One morning I was working in the lab with a post-doc (who was very skilled). My advisor walked in and said “Good morning Marc!”, then passed by me and said “Good morning” without even looking at me. Then the worry and anxiety kicked in. . .  “He likes Marc more than me. He is proud of Marc and dissappointed in me. His voiced lowered when he said good morning to me. He is upset with me. I haven’t been generating enough data. I have to work harder”. . . Then, I wanted so badly for him to tell me I’m ok, yet I was terrified of seeking that approval because I might not get it. He might really be upset with me. . . After a couple hours it became unbearable and I needed relief. So in the most easy-going way I could muster up, I asked Marc “Remember when Chris came in this morning and said ‘Good morning‘ to us? Did it seem like he was more excited to see you and perhaps a bit upset with me?”. Marc looks a bit confused and replied “No. He just walked in and said Good Morning to us. It seems like you are being too self-conscious”. . . One would think this may have relieved my anxiety, but noooo. . . Then I go off into a mental space of how stupid I look right now. I wish I hadn’t said that. Now Marc thinks I’m insecure. What if Marc tells Chris? Omg, that would be awful. Should I ask Marc not to tell Chris? Or would that make me look more stupid and insecure? . . . This episode consumed my mental space the entire day and kept popping up the rest of the week. 

Just a few thoughts I wanted to share. Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts with us. I can relate to many parts and find it helpful 🙏 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Serotoninluv said:

In graduate school, I had a bad case of “imposter syndrome”. I compared myself to advanced graduate students and post-docs. I felt like I was an imposter pretending to be a graduate student and any day now, someone would figure out that I was faking it and that I didn’t have what it takes - and they would kick me out of grad school. 

 

11 minutes ago, Serotoninluv said:

Even trivial things could become a big deal. In particular, I wanted validation from my advisor, Chris. One morning I was working in the lab with a post-doc (who was very skilled). My advisor walked in and said “Good morning Marc!”, then passed by me and said “Good morning” without even looking at me. Then the worry and anxiety kicked in. . .  “He likes Marc more than me. He is proud of Marc and dissappointed in me. His voiced lowered when he said good morning to me. He is upset with me. I haven’t been generating enough data. I have to work harder”. . .

!!!! I have this exact same feeling!!! in high school especially!!! I had the amazing oppurtunity to do an internship at a research lab with my best friend. Our mentor (i forgot his exact credentials but he was younger, 30s) when explaining stuff (i remember specifically the first day when he was explaining antibodies), 90% of the time, would be faced toward my friend and only once in a while look at me. I then automatically thought "holy shit why sint he looking at me, i probably look stupid, he probably thinks that my friend is the smart one and im here just for the letter of reccomendation, maybe because im a girl so im stupid, blah ablah" and by the time i was overthinking, i would completely zone out of his explanations, and ended up not understanding a word of how antibodies function. This occurs a lot to me, and i think it might be me internalizing a issue as a child of me trying to my hardest to impress my dad. 

@Serotoninluv did you work through this? how did you cope with it? do you still feel that now?

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@Iiris Stay strong. PUSH TROUGH. You are amazing. You will do well. 

 

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