Hi everyone ... I find myself relating to a lot of what you all have been describing. Dreading visitors, my wife not fully understanding what I was dealing with...and I'm pretty sure she thought I was just making things up so I didn't have to "entertain". In retrospect I can't really be too upset with her ... she just didn't understand and I couldn't fully explain it to her. Anyways, this changed dramatically just the other day. She, my adult son and I had an emotional conversation...they knew something was really wrong with my behavior and were very concerned, but didn't know how to help. And I ,again for the upteenth time just could not fully explain what living with SA is really like. So, I INSISTED, before we went any further that they read as much of the SAI website as they could .., then compare what they had read with what they had observed of my behavior ( i was in a cycle ... anticipatory anxiety, avoidance...then guilt and regret). Anyways, they both acknowledged and validated my SA and committed to helping me anyway they can. The relief was immediate... I now had allies willing to bear with me while I try and figure this thing out. I'll tell you, it makes ALL the difference. So, I suggest ...if you haven't done it already, have your loved ones do the same ... have them read, and compare ... hopefully you'll get the same reaction I did and have allies to help you. I know how hard it is to not only have to fight SA on a daily basis, but also have to fight with the people you love most of all ... it's absolutely exhausting...am I right ?
Another thing I'm experimenting with is the idea of how the feelings of anxiety AND the feelings of excitement are very similar in how they react in our brains ... I read this in an article on SA. Anyhow, the idea is to retrain your thoughts away from anxiety by telling yourself you're excited... about doing whatever it is. For example, normally I would have anticipatory anxiety about going to a restaurant... which, of course, usually turned into avoidance (absolutely, no fun for my wife) ... NOW, I make the affirmative statement "yes, I'm excited about going to the restaurant (or, fill in the blank)" ... I may have to tell myself quite a few times until this thought sinks in, but it seems to be working. Well, I've rambled on way too long but I just wanted to share. If you give this a try, let me know how you made out, ok ? Best of luck all.