Something else that I feel has made a big difference was I quit taking Wellbutrin XL. I had been taking that for depression for a few years now, but it made me MORE anxious. My doc said she wanted to keep me on it, but I couldn’t deal with the anxiety anymore, so I took myself off. I don’t recommend anyone do this against doctor’s orders, but for me it has tremendously helped. Someone even commented the other day that I seemed more calm.
I may switch doctors to see if maybe someone else’s opinion can be more helpful. I feel like my current doctor prescribes meds too easily.
Well, I spoke in front of my class today at school for 15 minutes! I was nervous, but managed to hold onto confidence of myself and what I was speaking about. I made sure to be myself and to put in some dynamic content (like quotes and a visual illustration) to help give it life. I got great feedback!!
Wow, I just realized I wrote an entry for this exactly a year ago. So much has changed in the past year. I have had issues with social anxiety, but it has lessened. Especially in the past month or two after I had someone pray over me especially for my depression & anxiety to be lifted.
My focus right now is on learning what confidence is, and what it looks like in my life. So far I am learning that it’s okay to not feel confident, I just have to keep stepping out of my comfort zone. It is just hard to ignore the feeling of fear. It’s hard to know that I’m being confident when I feel like I’m going crazy from emotional overload. It’s the anxiety that I can’t stand. Even if I felt a little nervous I’d be okay with this whole thing. But the anxiety has GOT to go.
I still have a hunch that I’m on the edge of a major breakthrough.
Two books are helping me get through this:
The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer
Search For Significance Robert S. McGee
I am still wavering on whether or not to consider this goal completed. I’m sooooo close. I’m still going to need to sit down and really get to the heart of what general requirements I want to meet in order to consider myself recovered from social anxiety.
The majority of the negative and/or distracting chatter in my head is GONE while I am socializing with someone. I WANT to socialize now. There’s just a couple of other things that I still have tiny issues with.
I am tempted to take this goal off my list by marking it complete… but I still feel there are a couple of things I still need to practice a few more times before I feel good about being “officially” socially comfortable.. those things are: continue being present in the moment so I can listen and respond well. I also still have a tendency to assume that people are thinking negative things about me or I am saying something wrong. I would like to overcome that habit and instead not worry about trying to read people’s minds because it’s impossible. Okay, and one more thing—I still haven’t had a lot of practice conversing with males. Most of the people in my life are female since I work at a daycare and my small group at church is all girls. I still get REALLY nervous in the presence of men. So, I guess I still do have a bit of work ahead of me on this goal. BUT I am really seeing so much growth in myself.
To all my fellow 43T friends who have been suffering with social anxiety, PLEASE know that it can be overcome!! It is truly a miracle how I’ve changed. I am letting more people get to know me, and I really feel good about plugging into life and getting connected. It is something that I honestly WANT to do now. I don’t dread it nearly as much as before. Of course I get nervous in intense situations still, but I think some nervousness is normal. I’m just glad I’m not paralyzed or crippled in fear and despair. WHAT a difference 15 months of serious personal growth studying and praying to God can make.
well, after a successful nite of socializing last night, I made a terrible choice today. I was in an OA 12 step meeting and I said a very inappropriate politically incorrect word in my share. I wasn’t referring to anyone, I was describing an intense feeling… anyway, so I spent the rest of the meeting hating on myself for using the word and I felt like I offended a bunch of people. Although, one person I talked to said he didn’t hear me use the word. But, I was SO embarrased, I am not a mean or judgemental person at ALL. I started internally freaking out. I couldn’t talk right after it and I couldn’t think or focus on anything else during the rest of the discussion. I ran out of the meeting as soon as it ended. I made like 5 phone calls about it, one person has called me back, but I was crying all the way home and all the way through the phone messages I left for people. I am so humiliated and feel stupid. I recognize that “stupid” is a negative belief I have, so I am trying to focus on doing the positive opposite of it and be WISE about how I handle this situation. I won’t eat over it, I won’t isolate over it, I won’t ignore it or make a bigger deal out of it. I will talk to people about it, maybe say something in the next meeting to clear the issue for my sake (but NOT use the word again!).. I guess I can just say that in a previous meeting I said something inappropriate and it made me very embarrased and anxious but I chose recovery and chose to deal with it instead of ignore it and hide from people.
UGH.. WHY of all words did I have to use such an inappropriate one????
I invited over 10 people to see the late showing of “The Number 23” and I was really excited about it. Only my sister ended up going with me, but still it was a big step for me to be excited about going somewhere late at night and being willing to invite a bunch of people.
The movie was awesome by the way! I love Jim Carrey and am impressed with his ever-expanding type of film roles.
I am also going shopping with a co-worker today. So, I’m definately doing well with staying out of isolation! And I’m actually initiating social outings!
WOW. Today was quite a big day for me. First I had to lead a local OA meeting. Then I spent the rest of the day with my sister and her friends for her birthday. We first went to the GA aquarium, and then out for dinner later. So basically I was socializing from 10:15am – 10:00pm. craziness!!
I actually did really well! I’m really proud of myself for being willing to go out with my sister and her friends today. It wasn’t easy, but I’m absolutely getting WAY better at this social stuff. I’m still nervous and I still initially dread doing things like this, but once I got there I enjoyed myself a LOT and I didn’t freak out in the middle of it. There were a few points when the conversations I had with people kinda got dull and wasn’t sure how to pick things back up, but I figured it out for the most part. Luckily it was all about my sister so I didn’t have to be in the spotlight much at all which helped. The nice thing was a bunch of people complimented me on how healthy I looked. I’ve lost 36 pounds in the last year and a half, so since I don’t socialize much, especially not much with my sister’s friends, they hadn’t seen me in awhile. That boosted my confidence of course! It’s always nice to be complimented anyway!
Well, I did okay on Friday night at a co-workers birthday party, but it was friggin HARD to stay calm. Why do I always pick the most challenging place to sit? I hesitated before sitting down, trying to decide where it would be best for me to sit. Instead, I sat with the people who were the hardest for me to talk to. I didn’t know the girl on my right. No one sat on my left. In front of me was the birthday girl and her boyfriend and the hostess. I’ve worked with the birthday girl and the hostess twice in my life at different daycares, but because of the party and the boyfriend and the girl I didn’t know, it made it hard to be comfortable. They all are very outspoken, social, straight-to-the-point kind of people. I’m more passive and not an in-your-face social type of person… It was hard because in their company I feel very small and goody-goodyish. The hostess kept making comments that made me feel like I was too good to be there or something. THAT IS MY PET PEEVE. I think this is one of the main reasons I have trouble being in social situations. So, I believe people like her thinking I shouldn’t be there. And in the case of this one, I DID WANT to be there but had no clue what to do. I really really really really really did as good as I knew how to do. I took deep silent breaths and remained calm and tried to push any negative or fearful thoughts aside and focused on what people were saying, and when I did have something to say, I said it. But this is very exhausting to do.. to force myself to sit there and focus. I was SO tired by the time we left at midnight. We were at the Cheesecake Factory, and due to my food issues I had eaten earlier since we weren’t meeting up until 9. I couldn’t wait until 9 to eat dinner. But I do always have a 9:30 snack, so I ordered fresh strawberries and ate some of the bread at the table. That is hard for me to, because everyone was like, “That’s all you’re eating? Do you want some of my chicken? Wow, that’s healthy.. ” blahblahblah. UGH. Can I just FRIGGIN EAT without the comments?! UGH. I hate that. I’m already nervous eating in front of people, and now that I had to change my entire eating habits it’s harder. Actually I’ve gotten more comfortable with it, but in certain situations with certain people it is still emotionally and mentally difficult to edure the stares and comments. I don’t like being the focus of attention in places like that. I just want to be left alone, but that’s the thing about social situations, right.. you are supposed to communicate and let people “in.”
GOOD FRIGGIN FUDGE this social anxiety thing is complicated and bizzarre.
I slept in a little late yesterday and then took a 2 hour nap later. I was so sleepy from being out late and from all of the thoughts and feelings I had to surpress. I really need to do more writing and talking about it to get it all up and out. Writing this entry sure helped.