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Support thread for those of us with social anxiety?

(3 Posts)
MumfordandDaughter Mon 20-May-13 00:05:52

Hello. I don't really expect any replies tonight as it's quite late, and i'm falling asleep at my keyboard so there's a fair chance i won't even finish writing this...

But, i thought it might be helpful for me to have a place to write down all my little niggles and things that make me feel anxious. Most of them are so stupid and trivial, but i allow them to build up so that i end up a constant nervous wreck.

I've not been officially diagnosed with anxiety (because i'm too nervous about going to my doctor), but i'm fairly certain social anixety is the best description for what i have. I'd rather try and help myself than go for tablets or anything, although i have tried a few things like Kalms and some foul-tasting spray that i can't remember the name of. Both were useless and had no effect whatsoever.

So... here are the current 'niggles' i have which are keeping me from falling asleep today.

Reasonable niggles:

Worried about my friend and her relationship
Worried about my daughter who has been poorly recently

Stupid niggles:
I've been off work for almost a month because of my daughter's health. Tomorrow is my first day back. I'm worrying about meeting my customers again (i'm a domestic assistant) after such a long break. I'm worried about them trying to engage me in small talk when i'd much rather just be left to get on with my work.

I'm worried about taking dd to school tomorrow. I don't like the school yard. I always feel like people are looking at me. And there's one lovely mum in particular who always texts me/tries to talk to me, but i avoid her. I just much prefer to be left on my own. I'm worried about small talk with her tomorrow.

I have to go to the supermarket tomorrow. I hate doing this. I usually get my shopping delivered once a month (which i also hate. It's sooo awkward just standing there while the delivery man heaves all those crates up your stairs), but i visit the supermarket 1-2 times a week for fresh stuff, so i can pick the best dates. I normally leave it until after school/work, so i can take dd with me as i hate going alone. But i don't think dd's up for such a walk yet, so i'm best going myself before i pick her up from school. Really dreading it.

I'm currently on a diet. None of my clothes fit. All my size 12 stuff is too big, and my size 10 stuff is a little too snug. I'm worried people will think me some sort of tramp tomorrow for not wearing clothes that actually fit me.

I'm concerned about seeing my parents during the week. I've agreed to go and visit them as i haven't seen them for about a month. It's my own parents fgs! But i'm worrying about what to talk to them about.

My dd's speech therapist has been trying to call me for the past week. It's for something not important (she left me a voicemail) but wants me to ring her back tomorrow. I much prefer speaking to her through my daughter's diary. I'm freaking out about speaking to her on the phone. She's lovely, but i don't know what to say to her as on the rare occassions we've spoken on the phone she's tried to talk to me about the weather or what me and dd did at the weekend etc. Whereas i'd much rather just focus on whatever she needs to discuss and then hang up.

And right now, the main niggle is that i ought to take the bin down (i live in a flat and the communal bins are in a room on the ground floor), but i'm worried about bumping into one of my neighbours and having to engage in small talk, or them seeing me in my frazzle-haired, wonky-glasses, pyjama-d gorgeousness.

Hmmm, i actually feel worse for typing all of this out... Maybe it's because i've realised how absolutely ridiculous i am.

I get nervous every time i have to leave my front door. I have to force myself to do this every day. But i'd quite happily stay indoors 24/7 if i could.

I hate being around people i don't know, which makes even walking down the street a challenge. My eyes are almost always on the ground.

I have to have dd with me at all times when i go places, so i can always divert conversation onto her. E.g. at the supermarket, the checkout assistant will happily talk to her rather than me. Or when we're in a taxi/bus, i can talk to her, instead of trying to make conversation with the driver/other passengers.

Some coping strategies would be good to discuss.

I once considered drinking a glass of wine just to get me through my dd's first parent's night last year! I didn't do it though (as i don't like alcohol), but was soooo tempted. In the end, i just plastered on my stupid fake smile, my invisible cape of feigned confidence, and forced myself to cope. I made myself chatty, i made myself look into teacher's eyes, i made myself ask questions, i made myself make silly jokes.

I came out covered in red blotches, sweaty, and almost spewed on the way home. But at least i did it.

I know that tablets/a GP visit is the answer to my issues, but i feel like this is something that has been triggered in recent years, and that i want to get through on my own.

I used to be so sociable and confident. And i need to get that 'me' back. I'm sick of pretending to be that person when i don't feel like that person any more. Instead of forcing myself to say hello to people at the school yard, or look up from the ground, i want it to come naturally.

Anyway, feel free to join in if you have anything making you anxious that you'd like to get off your chest, no matter how big or small they are (your issues not your chesticles, of course).

mumtolilh Mon 20-May-13 15:06:39

I'm the same in some ways! I hate shopping centres & other crowded playground etc i feel like everyone is looking at me.Im at my best just at home where I can be 'me'
I too don't know why I'm like this & do not visit the doctor
No advice but just letting you know your not alone ;)

AlteredState Mon 20-May-13 20:40:54

Me too! School playground (drop offs and pick ups are timed to the minute), supermarkets (avoid as much as possible and internet shop instead), bus travel (mostly avoid), and putting the bin out (usually wait until dark!) are stressors for me (however I am medicated). Also receiving the post (especially brown paper envelopes) are anxiety inducing for me. I used to avoid going into the garden if I knew the neighbours were outside - couldn't face making small talk over the fence even though I had/have nice neighbours.

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