After diligently working this program for more than 2 years, I see huge changes in myself. To others, the changes probably look subtle, but the lack of anticipatory anxiety, the willingness to commmit and carry out social obligations are incredible to me. I am quite annoyed at the mental health professionals I have spoken to about my progress. They give this program no credit. My long time therapist blames any current problems I might have on this program - that the anxiety moves to something else, like fear of driving on highways (have had this on and off over the years, but be coming more cognizant of it. My long time psychiatrist retired and I have a new one who says, you don't have social anxiety if you give presentations and speak in front of groups. She explains any improvement in my socializing as elevated mood, bipolar disorder, which is in my family tree, but never in my medical chart. Next visit, I'm going to ask her how someone who is sober for decades can possibly be an alcoholic.
Rant over. I ran for a political committee position in my county and won. Yesterday I did phone banking for 1.5 hours, the 2nd time I ever tried it. In my worst years, I would never answer the phone and avoid making phone calls at all costs.I don't love phone banking, but I wanted to see if I could do it. And I did!!! It was easier than last time, about 1 year ago. The best part was that I didn't suffer with anticipatory anxiety before hand. I ran for this same position about 20 years ago and just stopped going to the meetings, because I couldn't tolerate the socializing. This time around is much different. I feel so much more like one of them.