Overcoming your social anxiety and my story so far..

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#1
I am 20 years old and have suffered with social anxiety since I can remember.
A few years ago I became very depressed and sought out therapy which went on for 2 years to try and cure my social anxiety which was bringing on the depression. Since then I had very slight improvements outside and started up oil painting (which is really helping me gain more confidence).

The thing is I still don't see any major improvements. I still freeze up and don't know what to say which 8/10 times results in a panic attack.

Last week I decided I've really had enough of feeling like this, I want to go uni next year, I want to make more friends, I want to meet more girls, I want to deal with my panic attacks, I want to have fun, I want to actually live the life I want to.

So I've been waking up early, getting out the door, seeing my old friends as much as possible, painting even when I don't feel like it, watching and reading as much about social anxiety as possible, meditating every day using EFT every morning, every night and before every event in that day, digging into my past and addressing old traumatic experiences linked to my anxiety, saying yes more to events and all that sort of s**t. Basically i've been putting 100% into this and to tell you the truth.. it's been so hard... I have been having so many panic attacks everyday I feel exhausted and the first few days of this I felt suicidal which has only just popped up again after 2 years. It's a crazy roller coaster of emotions.. and its only been 1 week. But i know you gotta fall to get back up again.

Anyway a few nights ago on my birthday I went out with a few friends to a bar where i made a few new friends and later met a girl who gave me her number (yeah that actually happened, even when I'm drunk i would normally never have the balls to even talk to a girl like i did). But towards the end of the night, me and her went off to a club after hours and then when I thought the going was good I had panic attack after panic attack going in there and ended up leaving her dancing on her own because I didn't want her to see me like that (and when I'm nervous i dance like a freak). I ended up being more comfortable drinking myself silly at the bar and dancing through the crowd ignoring everyone (and her) like an a**hole because I was so angry at myself and upset (and really drunk obviously). :kickingmyself:

I apologized to the girl today and she was really nice about it all but I know how upset I would be if someone did that to me with no explanation. I still feel tremendous guilt because of it and I know a lot of moments like this are going to creep up while i try overcoming it. :eek:h:

You see doing all this work at first is so hard and forcing myself to go out and get in these situations seems to sometimes fail spectacularly and leave me with guilt and even more reason to just keep hiding away. I hope this is just because its the beginning of it all.. I'm having doubts tonight yet again but by morning I know I will have to do this once again.. and I hope I will because life seems too painful for me to just keep hiding away as I'm sure you all feel too.

I would like to know if you guys relate to my story? and what's helping you guy's the most in overcoming your anxiety?

Thank's for reading,
Will
 
#2
Being someone that has meditated for 13 years and practiced eft for 2, I can tell you that meditation is worthless, except to relax a little. Do not get into that spiritual nonsense, it's bullshit and dangerous. People become spiritual to escape reality... just trust me on this one. As for EFT, be careful with it, it's very powerful. You don't want to use it too much (from my experience 1 hour a day, 3 days a week is the limit that your brain can handle)... remember you're rewiring your brain... so you gotta give it time to "heal". And once you've changed a traumatizing event from the past, you're gonna feel weird/behave weirdly while your brain is rewiring itself in a couple of days... this probably explains your suicidal thoughts... I know I've felt really depressed, w/ uncontrollable thoughts, and weird behaviours for about 28 hours after doing EFt and changing a bad memory. Once it healed, I felt fine (better). Don't use EFT lightly, you can also use it to change good things... it can mess your brain up if you change things that are beneficial to you. And you caan't use it for the "reaction" emotions you have, such as the anxiety you feel after you get triggered... for example if you were to talk to me right, and you felt anxious or you felt anxious before hand, don't use eft to calm down the anxiety you're feeling (it likely won't do anything). You use it for the trigger, the events that caused you to feel anxiety (fear) when talking to strangers. Before you feel anxiety, you feel a trigger... a bad event(s) or memories that made you afraid of something... you treat those event(s) with EFt, and you no longer get triggered.

REmember, that dealing with SA is a learning experience also... and simply doing EFT may not be enough to overcome it. You must also learn from the experiences that made you afraid in the first place... so you don't experience them again and become social *phobic* (afraid) again. The world is a tough place... and bad things can happen to us, and if we don't deal with them appropriately, we can become afraid of many things (anxious/phobic.)
 
#3
SA is a negative thinking behavior, born out of fear and the need to feel safe.
Basically this Negative thinking pattern is usually learned over years.

So to combat SA we need to unlearn those thinking behaviors, and retrain our minds to think in a more beneficial way. This can take years to achieve.
I'm sure you are aware of this.
I've been getting therapy for nearly 2 years now and I'm making progress. Small steps forward.
Some days its tiring to sort of...constantly be aware of ones own thinking, and correcting negative thinking traps/patterns.
Its almost like 'self correction fatigue'.
So I make sure I have a day here and there where I don't self monitor, just to relax my mind and recharge.

Trying to beat SA is hard work mentally. Perhaps you are fatigued and need a break?
I look at working at beating SA in a similar way to exercising. You wouldn't excercise endlessly, you need to rest and recharge. :)
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#4
Yeah I think maybe i should have a day to just relax here and there. It is very stressful to juggle too much at once. I like your comparison to exercising. It's not very healthy to exercise endlessly in the beginning when you don't do it much. Totally makes sense.
I will definitely implement that into my progression. I think it's important to take breaks because otherwise you will just drive yourself a little cuckoo. I should of thought of this. I think i have just been too eager to fix it all at once.
Good luck to you on your journey! We we all fight this together :)
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#5
Thank you for the information. This has really made some things more clear to me. I think my problem this last week has been trying to change everything too quickly. I think i need to slow down a little and as you said give my brain time to rewire itself. Totally makes sense. I know what you mean by the meditation thing. I mean the only thing it has really done for me is calm me down. I don't believe in the spiritual side of it either. It doesn't seem to address the real SA problems.

However I can definitely see some noticeable effects with EFT. I got up a thing online to teach me the structure of how to use it. I have only been applying to how i feel in social situations generally. Is it much better for me to apply to past trauma's? and how would i do this? If that is'nt too much to ask. I just trust what your saying here and if you've been doing eft for 2 years it would be great help to know your structure in applying it to past trauma's?

Thanks and good luck on your travels getting better too! :)

Also how much as your SA improved? Do you still get panic attacks a lot?
 
#6
That's awesome that you've been putting so much effort into getting better . If nothing else, it shows you're courageous, determined and willing to work hard to beat your SA. Even if you have to change your approach, your recent one proves you can do it :)
 
#7
Thank you for the information. This has really made some things more clear to me. I think my problem this last week has been trying to change everything too quickly. I think i need to slow down a little and as you said give my brain time to rewire itself. Totally makes sense. I know what you mean by the meditation thing. I mean the only thing it has really done for me is calm me down. I don't believe in the spiritual side of it either. It doesn't seem to address the real SA problems.

However I can definitely see some noticeable effects with EFT. I got up a thing online to teach me the structure of how to use it. I have only been applying to how i feel in social situations generally. Is it much better for me to apply to past trauma's? and how would i do this? If that is'nt too much to ask. I just trust what your saying here and if you've been doing eft for 2 years it would be great help to know your structure in applying it to past trauma's?

Thanks and good luck on your travels getting better too! :)

Also how much as your SA improved? Do you still get panic attacks a lot?
Thanks, and yeah I can relate to you starting and being too anxious to get it done. I too worked too hard and did too much at the beginning.. thankfully I didn't screw too many things up at the beginning :D. EFT definately works (even though it's really weird) and you can prove it to yourself just by doing it.

What social anxiety is (at least in my experience) is bad things that happened to you in the past that hurt you and made you afraid of them, and when you face similar situations again, you become afraid because something bad might happen (that's all anxiety is - fear). And when you don't cope with bad things that happened to you, they resurface over and over again. For example if people laughed at you and rejected you, you might become afraid of this if you never dealt with it appropriately as a kid (and who does? we're just kids...)... dealing appropriately with it, would be realizing that if one bully laughed at you it was because he was insecure and the rest laughed because they just wanted to fit in... or just follow the crowd so they would not stand out and be bullied themselves... if you dealt with it this way, it wouldn't hurt you and you wouldn't think much of it.

Just as if a snake bit you as a kid and the snake was too big and scary for your to cope with, it would traumatize you and you'd become afraid of the snake (phobic - hence social *phobia*). So that's what happens when you feel anxiety in your everyday activities, you get triggered of scary events that happened to you at one point and you feel afraid and anxiety to help you escape the scary situation. So if you deal with the traumatic experience, you'll no longer be triggered, because there is nothing that you are afraid of.

So to do this with with EFT, you have to remember what happened (recall a bad experience that happened to you that you'd rather not lived), and you'll notice that you'll feel an onset of emotions... and you'll feel them in a certain part of your body... your chest... your neck... and so on. Basically you just want to tap when you feel these emotions... and you'll clear the emotions... and with it, the trauma... and so you'll no longer be afraid anymore.

Another good way to do this, is to remember what happened and tell it as if it's a story (either outloud or in your head) and tap while you're doing this. Like so: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtP9FJye0s8 You can also use this for "times" in your life that lasted several months or years... maybe you had a few years of a step father abusing you emotionally.. etc.

Overcoming Social Anxiety not only involves doing EFT, like I said before, but you might also have to change relationships (there might be people in your life right now that are abusing you and you don't even know it) and also learning how to deal with difficult, abusive people. It might be different in your life, but overcoming SA is a growing experience and it'll take effort and work, remember you are changing your life and that isn't easy.

As for me, I did EFT for social anxiety for about 2 months, and I improved a lot! There's so many situations that I no longer feel anxious in... but there are also many (well not many just very common that get triggered often) situations that make me feel afraid. I feel that if I had the opportunity to do EFT for Social Anxiety for a longer period of time, I could overcome social anxiety or at least fix 98% of it. Unfortuantely, my circumstances don't allow me an opportunity to continue doing EFT (basically I had to change my relationships and deal with other bigger problems at the moment), but as soon as I am able to (and it's soon) I'll continue to do EFT for SA. (I still practice EFT for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it has been amazing for that)

Good luck to you, and hopefully this will help you :). Post here if you have any questions, I've been working dedicatedly on SA for 4 years and "passively" for 5 years before that, and I've tried just about everything.
 
Last edited:
#8
That's awesome that you've been putting so much effort into getting better . If nothing else, it shows you're courageous, determined and willing to work hard to beat your SA. Even if you have to change your approach, your recent one proves you can do it :)
I couldn't agree with you more Opal :thumbup:
 
#9
Being someone that has meditated for 13 years and practiced eft for 2, I can tell you that meditation is worthless, except to relax a little. Do not get into that spiritual nonsense, it's bullshit and dangerous. People become spiritual to escape reality... just trust me on this one. As for EFT, be careful with it, it's very powerful. You don't want to use it too much (from my experience 1 hour a day, 3 days a week is the limit that your brain can handle)... remember you're rewiring your brain... so you gotta give it time to "heal". And once you've changed a traumatizing event from the past, you're gonna feel weird/behave weirdly while your brain is rewiring itself in a couple of days... this probably explains your suicidal thoughts... I know I've felt really depressed, w/ uncontrollable thoughts, and weird behaviours for about 28 hours after doing EFt and changing a bad memory. Once it healed, I felt fine (better). Don't use EFT lightly, you can also use it to change good things... it can mess your brain up if you change things that are beneficial to you. And you caan't use it for the "reaction" emotions you have, such as the anxiety you feel after you get triggered... for example if you were to talk to me right, and you felt anxious or you felt anxious before hand, don't use eft to calm down the anxiety you're feeling (it likely won't do anything). You use it for the trigger, the events that caused you to feel anxiety (fear) when talking to strangers. Before you feel anxiety, you feel a trigger... a bad event(s) or memories that made you afraid of something... you treat those event(s) with EFt, and you no longer get triggered.

REmember, that dealing with SA is a learning experience also... and simply doing EFT may not be enough to overcome it. You must also learn from the experiences that made you afraid in the first place... so you don't experience them again and become social *phobic* (afraid) again. The world is a tough place... and bad things can happen to us, and if we don't deal with them appropriately, we can become afraid of many things (anxious/phobic.)
Meditation is worthless? Perhaps you have not spent time seeing, understanding and knowing. Meditation is not worthless, Easy. It is, and where you may interpret your vision, an individual experience. That experience is, no matter how it is visioned, an experience. An experience is never worthless. Unless you choose it to be.

Not everyone uses spirituality to escape. Many use it to entre. I am one. I believe that others believe their own belief and there are many who believe that too.

As for EFT, I have not enough experience with this therapy to comment fully. However we can apply the tried-tested-and-true; if it feels right...??? But please use common sense.

As for your last paragraph:....
Be Great, Powerful Beyond Measure (Best Inspirational Video Ever)[The Original] - YouTube
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#10
That's awesome that you've been putting so much effort into getting better . If nothing else, it shows you're courageous, determined and willing to work hard to beat your SA. Even if you have to change your approach, your recent one proves you can do it :)
Thanks so much bro :) It helps so much hear support and encouragement like that!
I do see some improvements very slightly over the past week and had a few real ups! but I've also had some real downs to go with it. It's just like doing too much at once of anything I guess. And life will always be ups and downs on a bigger graph of ups and downs. But hopefully these ups and downs are on an overall up to overcome SA.

We can all overcome this together! :)
 
#11
Thanks so much bro :) It helps so much hear support and encouragement like that!
I do see some improvements very slightly over the past week and had a few real ups! but I've also had some real downs to go with it. It's just like doing too much at once of anything I guess. And life will always be ups and downs on a bigger graph of ups and downs. But hopefully these ups and downs are on an overall up to overcome SA.

We can all overcome this together! :)
Absolutely correct, william! Ups and downs. This is part of life. The idea is to understand that life is experiences. Both ups and downs. If you see it as experiences then the downs will not be so bad. But! Don't shy away from how the downs and even the ups make you feel. Know how you feel so that you can know for the future.

Life is being lost in frivolous endeavors. And that is ok!
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#12
awh thanks man :) I think my therapist a while back gave me the analogy of life being like the sea with all the waves, your always gonna be going up and down. But at the end of every down there's always an up :)
 
Top