This is my last post - Its positive!

x Will x

Well-known member
I’m here to write my last post. And it is positive! I’m 26 now and it has been about seven years since iv written my last post.
I initially came to social phobia world as a socially anxious teen looking for people to relate to, quick answers and as a way of expressing how I felt at the time. Did that happen? Well I did keep coming back…
Looking back on it, I think that while online forums around mental health certainly helps a lot of people, they act as a pedestal for all negativity, And I think that partly because people who overcome their anxiety, would rather leave there struggles in the past and never look back. The problem with this, is that when people come to forums like this for the first time, they only ever see the struggles, and never the success that comes out of those struggles. For me, this not only painted reality in dark light, but also impacted on my identity as someone with social anxiety.
It is for this reason that I have decided to come back here, to write one last post, which I hope, will inspire people and offer re-assurance; that it does get better, life is full of opportunities, and ultimately, that we all are in control of the opportunities we take, and the changes that we make that will change the future.

From about age 12, I experienced bullying at school. This went on until about age 15-16. School became a misery for me, I was being picked on every day; on the bus, in every lesson, in the corridor- things being thrown, names called, possessions broken or torn – bags, coats.
I knew I was gay from fifteen, but I wasn’t able to express this. I wasn’t comfortable opening up about myself. Having my sexuality targeted made me feel alienated and I hid it away.
I spent break and lunchtime in the library. I went here to avoid people, and because I had no friends. Now, I associate this place as a dark place – where I went to hide away. Over my school years I became a whole lot more withdrawn from people. I found speaking to people much harder and remember being consumed by anxiety to the point where I was completely immobilised. I had no one.
I suppose, in the last ten years a lot has changed. Things started to change for me when I realised that there isn’t a quick fix. Meds are all right, but they don’t address the root cause. Things really started to change for me when I realised that the only way to overcome fear is to begin expanding my comfort zone. I went to uni, I did two degrees, met lots of different people.

Well,.. now I’m a qualified social worker, and I work in child and adolescent mental health or CAMHS for short (Sorry I didn’t mean to swear). I work with young people experiencing challanges such as anxiety and depression. Mental health is my passion. I spend all day talking to people. I fight for the wishes of young people, I SHOUT at meetings and give young people a voice. There’s one thing I wish to make incredibly clear – every day I KICK ASS! I kick the ass of not only my own anxiety, but the anxiety of many other young people who I work with.
I also want to be real with you. Things are still tough for me in a lot of ways. I often wish I had more friends, some days I come home feeling exhausted – a “social hangover”, where, all I want to do is get into bed, hug my pillow and block out the world. I’m still very much an anxious person. I think if there is one thing that I’ve learned is that social phobia isn’t the be all and end all. And, every day presents an opportunity to try something new! something which challenges us and makes us feel slightly uncomfortable! That’s my first secret anyway…
My second secret is to be driven by something. Every meeting that I go to, every phone call, every anxious, unhappy and frightened young person I see, I have ALWAYS kept one thing close to me. Everywhere I go, I take with me, the 13-year-old boy from the library, and whenever things get tough, be it challenges with my job, or my own confidence - the boy from the library is what keeps me driven.
I hope my story can give reassurance to some people. Again, the reason I did this was because I find mental health forums to be very negative. While anxiety held me back, it’s also been a driving force for me to KICK ASS.

So, my two secrets are:

1 – To do something every day which makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.
2 – To be driven by something.

That was my last post.

I hope that you guys feel like you can go and kick ass now.

Thankyou :)
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I dont want to rain on anyones parade.. but you feeling the need to make "one last post" tells me you'll be back... one day.

So until then, good luck. I hope I dont see ya again.