@tutino, thank you so much for your post. It helps a lot to get a confirmation in our fight against the ants.
I am aware of realistic truth but offten I feel different and it us difficult.
Also, being passive and accepting, sometimes looks like I am not trying hard enough.
It does get easier with time. I learned not to care what people think and I am doing it the best so far.
We will see how it goes further…
@tutino, thank you so much for your post. It helps a lot to get a confirmation in our fight against the ants.
I didn’t write here for really long time. A lot of things have happened and I am not sure what I missed to write.
I am in totally new country, this time in Republic of Ireland. I had many problems in Germany but the life there was really great. I believe people have to have some problems in general. Although, mine problems at work really hard. Yes, being socially anxious didn’t help either.
But, here I am again, first week in new environment. I live with my friend and 2 people I don’t know in one house. Sometimes I am worried what will they think but I can deal with it.
My first day at new company starts tomorrow. I can’t believe I actually got this job. This was my dream company for a long time. The best I can ever get. If I manage to stay here, I will hopefully make some progress. It can only get better from here.
I am worried if I do some big screw up I might loose this job and then go back to eastern Europe that would be the end of my life. But I will not let that happen.
I find girls pretty open and ready to talk to. Irish people normally are and there are many immigrants also. I hope I find my self a girlfriend soon.
Wish me luck folks, I’ll defenitelly need one.
Accept yourself. Be yourself. That is your biggest strength. In fact there is nothing else one can be but oneself.
I know the simplicity of this idea doesn’t always help - especially when we’re really struggling with social anxiety. But, it helps me now. It helps me every day to see challenges in a rational, positive way.
Have fun in your new home!
I had a bad day today. The whole week wasn’t good. All this new people, places, new job and everything else new makes me so tired.
It is not the first time I do this so I should know better.
This is my favorite company in the world and that us what keeps me going. I don’t fit in. It is like high school all over again. Some people even try to be friends with me but it just doesn’t work.
There is also one beautifull girl that tries really hard. She is such a nice person. But I don’t know how to react to that and I reject her. Not on purpose if course…
I try really hard, really…
At work we did training and on the first test I failed. I was so shure I will do a goid job but I screwed up. Tomorrow I do another test. Good thing is, I am not afraid. We will see…
This is such a great place. I want to live here forever. I just hope I fit in at least a little…
I feel a lot better today. I have 2 days free for weekend and I got a good rest.
I went to Dublin and wandered whole day trough the city. It was great, so many people from different parts of world, live music on every corner and great pubs.
I could’t actually talk to people as I didn’t have good oportunety but all this seams much less thretening.
I finished all work and shopping I had in the town and that is enough for the day.
It really makes a big difference for SA when you live healthy. I am hitting the bed early tonight.
This new beginning is still very hard. I am so tired that I can’t fuction at all.
I do very important training at work and I really give my best, but results are poor. I am kinda worried that my bosses might fire me. But that is unreasonable as I have never heard that has happened. And my bosses are so kind that I can’t believe it. Offten, I feel like I owe them somethimg for not treating me bad. But, I am also very kind.
I see a lot of pretty girls around at work. I didn’t speak to them but I will after I get used to my new life here.
It is so hard to meet new people, specialy those I am attracted to. But things are getting better with time and everything I improve will stay with me. I will not loose it.
Every time I want to give up thinking that I can’t get so far, I check how far I got from where I have started. And that was dark and lonely place, to put it mildly.
I am so tired right now but I can’t sleep. And I have to cause in 8 hours I have to go to work again. I can’t wait to endure this and to prove my worth at work. It will be much better. I hope…
So, things are getting better… And worse in some parts.
I finished my training and after many complicated and unlucky situations, I got my validations and I do my dream job full time.
All this getting used to things was very hard and many times I was really anxious and scared. There are thousands new people I meet every day. Luckily they are all very nice but you know how it goes with SAD.
Bad news is, things have changed at work and soon I will be working in 3 shifts. I tried night work before and I have very bad experience. It just messes up my bio rythm and makes my life living hell.
At first, I wanted to quit and find something else to do. But things here are very good and I will try it for 1 cyclus. If it is very bad, I will speak with my superiors. If that doesn’t work, I will find something good to do. I am very qualified now and my anxiety is not slowing me down in my business plans any more.
The other good thing is, now I live in Dublin. I just love this place and people. I would love to meet socially anxious people from the area to hang out and share experiences.
Me and a friend from back home went out last weekend. Normal for Dublin, we started drinking like crazy and the night was great. Every time I drink I want to meet a girl but usually I am to anxious to approach any of them.
Here, it is a different story. After a few drinks, we went for a rock concert in a club. And random girl came and smiled and tried to start a conversation. It was so easy, I couldn’t believe it. I became still very anxious and I moved away. But it made my day.
My friend wanted to go further to meet some peoole that he knows and that have some drugs. We met them sitting in the garden of the great pub and we joined the table.
People were great fun. I shared a joint with them and we had few more beers. I was tempted to take some pills they were taking but I was worried it could me anxious or depressed later.
Few people went in dancing and few of us left. Moment later, a girl came out and asked me why I don’t go in to dance. I never dance because it makes me extremely anxious. I declined and said I am not interested. She was there few more moments and went in again.
It was over 4.00 am and I was thinking about taking the bus home while I can still find it. At one point 3 very attractive girls came out and asked to join our table…
It was just to much for me. I was very drunk but all these experiences stressed me out a lot. I just couldn’t take it. I said I have to go for a bus and they can sit with my friends.
After 1 hour, I got home and my friend called me. He was totaly drogged but he told me that they met a group of brazilian girls and they are going to their house for a party. The girls aparently are training to be strippers and have dancing pole in a living room. I am not sure if he halucunated or just lied. I will ask him about this party next weekend I see him. But it definitely is some story.
I was a bit sorry later but honestly, I saw enough that night. This place totaly surprised me with how people are open. And I didn’t even olan to meet anyone new.
I don’t know how all these new people feel about me but now I don’t even care. I can meet planty of people as everybody is open and friendly. I wish I was…
Now I think how I went out just to meet my friend and drink and we experienced so much. I didn’t even plan to meet anyone new.
Next time I will plan so I will be little more ready. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe I finally meet my irish girlfriend.
So, I finally feel better! I thought it will never happen. Since I came to Ireland and all the new things, I have been under so much stress. It’s been a little over 2 months…
I suddenly felt better today. It was also stressfull morning. I woke up worried about my job. They want to make me do nightshift and that will make my anxiety worse. Also, I have diabetes and it wouldn’t help for sure.
Stupid, I know, but I was afraid to say it to my bosses. We did medical tests and they will find out anyway…
Maybe they will fire me for not working the night shift. I hope not. This is my dream job and I wouldn’t let that go down easilly.
I decided to ask my director to work only days. I will tell him everything and see what happens. It could be ugly but all SA people feel like that about any conflict.
I can easily find new job here. I saved some money so I have time to find new, maybe even better work.
I came to work today but no one from supervisors were there. I was so ready. But I will try next week. I hope I feel this confident tomorrow and after that.
So, if anyone is reading this, wish me luck.
So, that part with my boss didn’t really work. It is harder then I thought. I am waiting for my doctor to confirm if I am fit to work nights. Untill then, I do only days. Not knowing the outcome got me very anxious. Everything about my new city and my job does.
Offten, I feel that learning a lot and working hard mean nothing when I am socialy anxious.
My new job is a good one. I enjoy doing it and in a short time, I am making great results. But, it looks like that doesn’t mean much. I see people who get promotions simply because they are pleasant to work with. At least at seams so for now.
Not having enough experience here makes me a lot more anxious. I decided to keep going no mather what. I hope I am not making a mistake. I am a bit worried about my health.
There is a nice girl I have met during our training for this job. I’ve noticed she is cute but she never worked on her looks to much so she never attracted to much attention.
We had a lunch together on our break. I thought we were both being friendly. For some stupid reason and possibly because her a bit conservative looks, I got impression she is married. I never asked off course, I was so anxious.
Yesterday, I came to work and I was trying to say hi to a few people I know in the office. It was all very clumsy and I was terribly anxious.
And suddenly, she showed up, looking like a million dollars! I sware, I was breathless. She asked where am I going and I answered I am going to a kitchen we have on the floor to get my self a coffee. She said, she needs something to drink and to go together.
I didn’t really understand what the hell was happening there. My brain was just blocked, working very slow. At one point I wanted to give her a compliment, like: You did something with your hair, looks great!
But of course, I couldn’t do it. I remember talking but not sure about what. I had a hard time swalowing and I complained that I have a sore trought.
Coffee machine didn’t work and I couldn’t make one. She noticed container is full of old coffee. She showed me how to empty it so I can make coffee again. I felt like a less of a man. I should have fixed the bloody machine my self
After 5 min. of talking she said she has to go do something important and she’ll see me later. I stayed alone and I was so anxious that I tried to close my coffee cup and I spilled the whole god damn thing all over the table.
It was so embarasing and I was terribly worried about maybe 10 unknown people in the kitchen. Lucklilly, no one noticed. Amazing, they just kept on talking while I was cleaning the desk with paper towels.
I made another coffee and got back to work. She was sitting at the desk behind me, maybe 7 meters away. I thought later, it would be smart to go there and say something. Or pretend I need some info. But it all looked lame to me so we didn’t speak that day any more. Or today. She just smiled and say good bye at the and of the day.
I have so much andrenaline that I feel like my life is an action movie. And for other people, it is just every day stuff…
Hey Miron. your posts are interesting and fun to read. I just spent an hour reading this thread when I should be looking for a job lol.
Thank you for your reply.
I feel better knowing that few people actually read this topic.
And please, go look for work. Don’t let my nonsense slow you down.
A few people DO read your topic. After all, you have close to 5,000 views now.
It’s nice to see you encourage others, and I interpret your post with a bit of humor here when you say “nonsense”. At the very least, it signals not taking yourself and the situation too seriously. That’s a good thing. Humor and not taking things too seriously are good skills on the path to overcoming social anxiety.
At first I read your thread with a question in my mind: “Is this person doing/applying the therapy?” Certainly you were not avoiding life’s challenges, not avoiding work. But I couldn’t tell if you were applying therapy based on your expression of ANTs. Since then I’ve seen that you have posted many times on the therapy, on different sessions. So I read your posts from the perspective of someone sharing, sharing honestly, and with a touch of humor that life, I think, needs and deserves.
Humor probably isn’t something that comes to us as much as it should naturally when we are stuck in social anxiety. It’s hard to see things with any funny perspective. It’s also hard for some to imagine that just lightening up and laughing will help with overcoming social anxiety. And true, those things alone won’t do it, but they’re all part of the process, and the therapy, and the journey. They’re all natural abilities we have that will help us as we are more able to tap into them. Some of us may come by them more through practice, and some more naturally, as a part of their personality. So, I appreciate your post, your encouragement, and, what I consider to be, your honest and light-hearted way of looking at things. It appears 5,000 other readers also appreciate that.
Have a great day!
I’ve just read through your story. Great work, if really helps for us to know that we aren’t the only ones with the same struggle.
As an aside, I have noticed that your English has made steady improvements, it’s really good and you write the same way a native speaker would now. Čestitke! (correct me please if i have that wrong)
Enjoy the unusually warm weather we are having.
Thanks a lot for your replies.
I am trying to write my diary for everything related to SA. I try very hard to overcome it and most people wouldn’t understand what I go trough every day. People here do understand.
I finished the therapy years ago and it really helped me a lot. I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I am kinda lost with behavioral part. I never had a group so I improvise a lot. It is not easy. Most of the time I have no idea what the hell am I doing and I just wander around randomly.
I really appreciate every reply and every advice from you guys. If you have any idea that can possibly help me or if you think I am doing something wrong, please let me know.
So, last weekend I decided to be social and go out to the pubs around Dublin. My friend had a birthday so we went out with few of his colleagues from work. It was fun, I did ok at socialising, partly because there were no girls. Only men, drinking buddies.
I was worried a bit about the impression I left on the guys but later I realised I don’t care to much about those people.
Next day, sunday, everybody was free. All my housemates were at home. There are 5 of them but I rarely see them all. We work different times.
One couple decided to make a barbecue in the garden. They all gathered with their girlfriends and boyfriends. Too many people, if you ask me. And very nice people, if you ask me but my SA was at the top.
So, when they invited to join them, I made an excuse I have to go to town to meet someone. And I didn’t have any real plans. They later knucked on my room door to call again but I was already getting ready to go out. And I had no idea where to go.
I went to McDonalds first as I was very hungry. I was thinking about nice food guys at home are grilling and I couldn’t join them. But bigger problem was, where to go next. So I went to the pub.
Soon it was time for world football championship game with my nation playing. I went trough the street for about an hour looking for a pub where I could feel comfortable to go in alone. And I picked one with many TVs showing footbal. I sat alone at the bar and ordered a pint of Guiness. I was a bit hangover from yesterday but the beer still felt good.
Few people were working in the bar and I was close to the door out of it. I was kinda in the way but I had to sit there because I couldn’t just take the table alone. And it was to late to move now.
I made an eye contact with very cute girl working there. I thought it doesn’t mean anything. Few moments later, she passed beside me few times making strong eye contact with a smile. I felt I have to say something. But I just couldn’t. I wasn‘t even thinking what to say. Everything was so lame at the start. I felt so useless. I kept drinking hoping it will drown my anxiety. It didn‘t.
Shit, if this didn’t happen with the girl, I could just enjoy random drinking night. And nothing did happen. I just saw there is a chance, maybe.
Next day I went to work and a big setback just hit me. I work in a big office with over 100 people. I have no clue who should I say hi to, with who I chatted, who will I ignore… Most of the time I ignore everyone, sit at my computer and work. Later, I feel that freaks them out.
I set at first pc available but next to me were my team members. I felt I have to say hi. But I couldn’t get up on my feet and go there. I imagined all worse scenarios that could happen. At one point I just got up and said hi, how are you… It was a bit awkvard but one girl started talking to me and we chatted a bit.
I had to change my desk few times and every time it was a bit awkward. I just walked past people I cooperate with without saying anything. I knew I will need them later snd I will have to talk to them. I felt so guilty…
One girl is actually there to check quality of our work. I always got great results from her. This week, after I went by her ignoring her, my results are terrible. Maybe I imagine it but it looks so real. I hope I am wrong.
One of my bosses asked me to sit next to his desk to help our new collague to work a bit. Desk was near the entrance so people always walked by. And all bosses were sitting there. Perfect for anxiety from all those authorities and all others passing by. I said nothing the whole time. I concentrated helping the new guy, at least something usefull.
Most of this week was like that. I saw everything trough anxiety-collored glasses. Everything seamed pointless. Luckily, things changed.
I just decided to show up. At work, at lunch on the work break, on the coffee in a bar, everywhere. I knew it will not be spectacular but I decided just to surive every day. The best I can… It made things a lot easier.
As the time goes by, I somehow feel that life gets better. I am becoming better in comunicating, even though in baby steps. I thought I have really screwed up with some people. But lately some of them are acting very friendly.
I really need to feel comfortable in this work. It is my dream job and I do it very well so far. I believe I can make progress but how do I become leader of the small team when I am afraid to say hi to my team. But maybe I am pushing this too fast.
Tomorrow I am free. I have no idea what to do. Sleep and rest, I guess…
Lately, I am not so good.
It all started last week. I was very tired. I am just not getting used to my new work place and new invironment. It is more hard then I can believe.
All the new people, this is so crazy and exhausting. I get a little comfortable with a small group and then new people join us. Then I feel like I’m going all over again. And the old group starts avoiding me. I feel terrible after. Again, the feeling that nobady likes me and everybody avoids me is so realistic. Shit…
One girl, very cute, started flirting with me some time ago. I was sure she has a boyfriend, also a guy from work that I know. It is all very confusing since over hundreed people work on the office. But then, I thought, maybe not. Maybe it is just me thinking negatively and this guy is only her friend. I decided to play along and flirt the best I can. Only to get experience and to get to know better as many people I can.
I was very clumsy and that didn’t work very well. But, few times she came back to my desk trying to get me to chat and saying a joke. Almost like she could understand that I want her there even though I am acting like an asshole cutting every conversation short.
On last friday, the guy meets me in the kitchen and he is very nervous. Asks to join my table. I wasn’t to worried as he is half my size. But I was very confused. He was mumbling something and I realised, he wants to talk to me about that girl. He was very uncomfortable but when he said her name, I said I don’t know her because there are so many there. He looked relieved. We chatted and he left soon.
I wasn’t sure what to think about that guy. He is very brave to do that. I couldn’t do it. He saw us talking but I said I don’t know her name and who is she. Just a random colleague. It looked to me as the easiest way out. I took it cause I became very anxious.
I feel like that is when my week started going down. I was so tired and I was just waiting for weekend to get some rest. When it came, I couldn’t sleep. My roomate invited me to go to the pub on saturday night with some guys and girls from his job. I kinda wanted to meet new people so I said yes. Later, I realised I didn’t really sleep and I am to tired. If I have few beers, it will end very bad. I texted him last minute that I can’t go. I apologised and he understood that I am very tired. Later, he told me about the crazy night they had and all new people they met. I was sad for missing it but then I thought it would probably end bad for me.
Things at work are not good. My bosses are not happy about quality of my work. I don’t understand how that has changed but I am sure trying harder does not help. Not this time…
Anyway, this looks like a setback I am not getting out easy. There are no good news that can just bring me back. Even if something good happens, it just relieves my suffering a little. But, I always get out somehow…
Today was pretty bad again. Just had my break to eat at work and I feel a bit better. Thank god.
Last 2 weeks are like a bad movie. I just wake up in the morning and do things routinly hoping that it won’t hurt to much.
Today going to work I bumped on stupid guy from friday. We had very awkward handshake and even worse silence. After that things just became worse. I entered the office and just sit at my table not greeting anyone. And I just started to get along with some people. I just couldn’t get my self to chat. No way…
Later some people started leaving and say good bye but no one spoke to me. It was weird since I was quetly staring at my computer. I felt even worse.
The friday guy and his girlfriend were sitting close my desk and I had to walk past them every time I go to toilet or kitchen. I know it is crazy but I avoided doing anywhere as long as I could.
My stomach started to hurt and I could hardly concentrate to work. I played some encouraging music on my computer and just sat there with my hands on my stomach.
Now I feel a lot better. But there is still half of workday and a lot stress to go.
Wish me luck, folks, please!
Miron. Im not trying to criticize here because I know where your coming from. Its easy to go back to that negative cycle of anxiety if your not using the cognitive parts of the therapy. Sounds to me like yout expecting the worst to happen. If we exect thr worst to happen it usally does. Dont put so much presure on yourself. Focus on remaining calm and accept yourself (I know this part is hard). Try to catch yourself when your thoughts go negative and turn the tables on the ants. Focus externally while also trying to loosen up.
Avoidace only reinforces your anxiety and makes it stronger. The situation where you needed sleep I agree with your desesion. The part with the girl and her boyfriend your making a mountain out of a molehill. First your werent totally sure she wasnt single in the beginning. Now that you know just keep it mutual as its not forbidden to just chat with a girl in a relationship. Keep your expections rational here and see her a just a friend.
How you see yourself handout I think will help. Remember what you give out comes back. If you say nothing or dont give any positive body language (smiling, friendlyness, etc) what do you expect to get back. Dont try to perfect (again with the pressure you put on yourself) is key. Setbacks are ok but dont let them get you down. Realize your mistakes but dont beat yourself up over it.
Your SA whats to be in control don’t let it. You’ve come a long way. Dont believe what social anxiety wants you to believe. Watch out for cognitive distortions. Emotional reasoning and mind reading especially. I could go on and on… its all in the handouts. Keep reinforcing the therapy. Keeping the belief you can overcome sa gradually is important. Good luck to you
Thank you for your post @tutino. I am having a difficult setback and I lose a touch with reality very easily. It helped me a lot.
I am not sure why this is happening. After all the stress I kinda felt things are under control. I went trough a lot worse and surived. But I guess it is normal path to recovery. It is just like in the Setbacks handout.
Work day started kinda better. I managed to greet with most of the people ecpected. I started a chat with cute girl next to me. Then an ashole from the desk in front interupted with a stupid joke and I couldn’t get back to it. But, all in all, I considered it a good day.
We had a meeting with our bos. I was in the first line. He came and asked everyone how are we. People were generaly down for missing a party. So, no one answered. Boss said: Gee guys, sorry for asking!, in a joking manner. I am completely sure he looked at me when he said it. I had confused and defensive look on my face. Ughhh terrible. Again, I am worried I will loose my job over social anxiety.
Big company party is planed for today. I am doing late shift and I was happy I can’t go. It would be to much for me. I can barely work with this people. Then, at the meeting, thanking us for covering with our work, boss said they prepared the food for everyone and we will all eat together later. Is there a way out of this bloody hell today
When it started, I tried to join but too many people were in dining room. Good excuse for me to eat a sandwich I brought at my desk.
I even met the girl from last week before the meeting and she said hi. I count that as positive.
Shit, I am so worried about my life. And I felt like in a point where I just have to start living it.
Guys, I got a therapy again. New one. Some time ago, I didn’t want to write about it until I see how I react to it.
I didn’t do it properly first time. So sad… If I did I could live so much better for last 7 or 8 years. Please follow every advice and do it properly, guys!
I thought I learned what I can and there is no point buying it again. And I have some money so what has better value for me. There is a point! Believe me.
I made great progress first time but I didn’t sort everything out. Unfortunately… I tried working on behavioral part but the cognitive would just get me down. First time I didn’t bother with slow talk. I discovered it alone before the therapy. And it helped me a little but I wasn’t systematic aboit it. When I saw it in the therapy, I automatically thoight I got this and moved on. Sooo stupid. But there is no point beating my self now.
I did just session 2, slow talk and started session 3. And I feel so much better. A lot better then 2 weeks ago.
Today on the bus stop, I met a girl from last week. And I didn’t freeze. I sware. All the tings that I learned the first time started coming back to me. She didn’t look so impresive, that also helped. I just hoped out of the first bus and started the chat. We takled over 20 min without stopping. I asked her what is she doing there as I know she doesn’t travel that way. She spoke some nonsense and I didn’t want to push it. We continued about useless things and later about deeper things in life. I noticed we are standing close and rembered she has a boyfriend so I steped back. Almost like he could show up there and we will be uncomfortable. I hate my self a bit because of that. But the best thing is, I felt almost no anxiety.
We got to work and I tried to say hi to everyone there. It was a bit clumsy, some people acted like they don’t notice me. I guess, I get that as return for my actions. But, I didn’t freek out and I even called some of them demanding attention. It was a bit weird but I feel it will get better.
Leaving home, I was in the car with same girl and one more really beautifull girl. Boyfriend from the first girl looked at me like I did something wrong. But I knew I didn’t, I can’t influence who will share a taxi with me. We just live on the same way.
I started a chat with the second girl and she remembered the last time we shared a ride. It was really pleasant chat about nothing spectacular but I guess that is what chat is. She got our first and there was a bit of awkward silence in the car. I decided to try to chatt up other girl about work.
Not the best topic but it us common to us and it worked pretty well. Finally I feel that it is not even hard and especially not impossible.
Another story, not related. About 7 years ago I worked on a project with a lot if stress. My responsibilities were to high and I worked with very bad, totally useless people. I can say that now.
It was so important to me for this project to succeseed. I worked like a lunatic. I kinda started getting along with my colleagues and buisiness started with the first pay of. I felt better and like some baloon of pressure exploded inside of me. I was really gratefull for this.
Untill one day I fell unconcest at work and later in the hospital, I was diagnosed with diabetes type 1. I had to leave the project, which was later shot down and I had to learn how to take 4 injections of insulins every day for the rest of my life.
I am not sure that stress made me sick. But, I didn’t want to go to a doctor for months because I thought I am just tired and I had no time.
I didn’t blame anyone except my self. It was obvious from the start that we don’t have qualified people in Bosnia but I was crazy optimistic. Since then I am very cynical and I don’t really believe in my self as much as I did that time.
After all that, all I could think about was how that happend just in time when I could finally start my life.
Last night at home I was feeling that time is close again. Hey, I can acyually talk to people! Real people who are attractive or authoritative. Yes!!!
I went to the toilet with the great pain and I started peeing blood. A lot of it.
I thought, here we go again. Just when I start to live, serious health problems. All the film from the first time started spinning again. I wanted to call the ambulance as there was no doctor close in that time. Then I decided to wait till the morning.
I went to a doctor and he said I have a little kindey stone or sand but I just peeied ot out. That must be the reason for all the blood. I take some medication and in a week my life woll be on again. Thank god!
I will miss some work but I will practice the therapy.
Anyway guys, sorry for the long post and sad stories. I guess good and bad things both happen.
Thing is, we can do it. This therapy is real blessing. I believe in all of us!
That sounds awesome. I think we can do it too! We are doing it and that’s awesome