I went out to three different things this weekend, as I thought I should be social and not isolate and obsess. But I ended up with bad anxiety at all three events. I’m just too strung out or something to be able to talk to anyone I guess.

Friday I went to the 12-step group. Not a success – there was a dance in the next room and the music was so loud we had to go to a cafe, and things didn’t go well there either. The leader was in a bad mood, and didn’t talk to me the way he normally would. A woman who I’ve met but is kind of new was there, young and fairly attractive, and all the men talked only to her. They may have been welcoming her, but it’s a familiar scenario for me. It doesn’t matter, just I was feeling so damn anxious and insecure. I excused myself and took a pill so I could stay at the meeting, then left as soon as it was over. I’d thought this particular person liked me, as he’d talked to me quite a bit on other occasions, and that night he no longer seemed to. Sound familiar at all? Yes it is my pattern.

Saturday I went out with a shyness social group for their monthly dinner. This was OK for a while – I was actually more outgoing than usual and people were responding to me better. Then afterwards on the way for coffee the anxiety hit again, cramping my stomache. I stayed for a while sipping tea, but started feeling more and more fear, for no good reason really. The stress of socializing I suppose. So I left a little early, kind of panicking in the subway, but doing some breathing and listening to music got me through.

Today I met a friend to go to a light afternoon movie (Bridesmaids). I was OK talking to her before hand, especially as I could talk a bit about the anxiety I’d been having and the therapy I’m trying. Also she has similar problems as I do with her family, needing to stay away from them, so she talked about that for a bit. Then we joked around and talked about everyday type things, and it was OK. But when the movie started, my anxiety started up, and by the half-way point, I really really wanted to leave. My emotions were all turned around. I felt desperately sorry for every character that was being laughed at, and just wanted the mishap prone main character to get the good guy and be happy. Which wouldn’t make a very interesting movie. I again took a pill just to be able to remain in the theatre, and rushed home as soon as the movie was over.

I seem to be falling apart. Most social interactions make me feel so much fear I can’t remain in them. Why is that?

Feeling that Ron doesn’t like me is really overwhelming. It must be tied to my past to be that strong and disabling a feeling.

  1. gniz said:

    You've got a lot to talk to Ron about. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Chip away at it. You will make progress that way. Little steps, little gains.The anxiety is there and has been for a long time, and the patterns don't sound new. My anxiety has subsided a bit now. It spikes up a again sometimes and then dies down.Yours will die down again as well. Don't lose hope because soon you'll be feeling a lot better.

  2. Ellen said:

    Thanks for the pep talk Aaron, those are things I need to hear. Good to hear your anxiety has subsided. It's true that these patterns are not new, they just feel more intense at the moment. take care

  3. I can relate to all of this anxiety. It is very hard for me to socialize…It brings out all of my insecurities and my paranoia…I always feel 'less'. I always feel inferior. All we can do is keep trying. Maybe the more we can socialize the easier it will get. I just do not know. Take care.

  4. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,I do see familiar patterns here in myself. The thing to remember with anxiety is that is is cummulative. One episode and you are left with tension you need to look for, adrenaline unspent and thoughts seem to orbit making the next time more easy to trigger and so on. I can only suggest you ease off a little from exposure while not completely which would be no good to you. But when it accumulates it does start to play havoc with you emotions like at the cinema. The thing to try to remember though is that however upsetting, and they can be very upsetting, the emotions are not bad. Anxiety is like an emotional amplifier. It exaggerates the intensity of an emotion. The emotion you feel is real but normally you would pay little attention to it but when you feel it magnified with anxiety it is scary. If you look back at those situations and ask yourself whether the emotions you felt you would have felt any way but not as intensely then I think, though might be wrong, I think they would have. That is the great ruse with anxiety and the hardest thing to get to grips with. I do think the Ron situation is causing a lot of background anxiety for you and until it is resolved in whatever way it will remain to gnaw away at you. I do hope you don't let these recent episodes put you off. You are doing great and this will pass. Even if it means easing off just a little to let it pass in the meantime and then when you feel more steady getting back into your routine.All the bestNechtan

  5. Ellen said:

    @ Interruption – I find it a lot easier to socialize when I'm feeling less anxious about other things, that's for sure. Practice does help too. @ Nechtan – I never thought of anxiety as amplifying existing emotions…could be. And easing off on the 'exposures' is good advice too. The Ron situation is key for me. Thanks Nechtan.

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