I often look at some of my older pictures for comfort. They bring back feelings of peace and contentment in times of stress. It helps in the same way a favourite song or TV program does.This was taken on a very warm May afternoon in 2010 on a walk in the Peak District not far from Bakewell. Its a lovely old leafy lane with virtually no traffic in the dappled shade of the trees. As usual I was alone but this time I did not mind or feel awkward. Behind me up a hill is a stone circle over 4000 years old and many ancient burial mounds and monuments litter the whole area. Thousands of years of human history and yet it still looks wild and empty. To me it feels like home.
I keep reading online advice telling people with anxiety to remove all negative people from their lives? However if you have very bad social anxiety, not only have you probably not got much of a choice as you have little or no friends anyway but you may be the negative one that everyone else has removed from their life and that is why you are alone in the first place.The negative people are also often your family who caused you to be this way and are not so easy to remove.
Of course online forums regularly mock people for being too negative and not positive like them as if this means social anxiety is all self inflicted, their own fault and thus they deserve to suffer alone. Of course this is total bollocks as many people who never leave the house with chronic anxiety are sad, desperate and very lonely but also often lovely kind people whereas many positive people become the equivalent of sergeant majors, quite nasty and bullying and constantly wanting praise for being so positive.They become ruthless and selfish in order to recover and achieve success. Look at how many big business leaders come across as total ruthless bastards.
This leads me on to the other regular shit online advice cliche of Just be yourself! if you are alone and miserable then just being yourself is probably the very reason so Change Yourself!
I went out on Monday to a place I like and have been to many times. Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Its was the setting for Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley and is set in the beautiful Peak District national park.It was mostly a nice sunny November day. For those who dont live in the Uk the Saturday and Sunday before were dull and cloudy, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and today are dull and cloudy. Tomorrow, Sunday and Monday are due to be dull and cloudy. I dont mean its mostly cloudy. I mean there has been no sun whatsoever on all of the other days at all apart from last Monday The Uk is not so much wet as 95% cloudy. I think it adds to mood swings especially when it gets dark at 4PM at this time of year anyway.
Anyway i went out. It took 2 trains and a bus to get there and of course waiting and hoping all of them run on time both there and back is an anxiety inducing nightmare on its own. The thing was I felt terrible. I was irritable the whole time and kept trying to avoid people and did not really enjoy it at all. At one point I even had to go and lean against a tree and do some deep breathing exercises as I felt like hiding. Many people have far worse anxiety attacks than me so I have no idea how they cope. However the advice yet again is keep doing it, keep doing it as if exposure alone will make you get better. Perhaps that only works if you are young and not suicidally depressed though. I think once depression hits you recovery from anxiety becomes much harder. Don’t tell the anxiety forums though. They will just call me a coward or say I am making excuses. I know how they DEMAND positivity!
I use flickr alot and have hundreds of contacts. However only about 10-20 of the them ever post comments on my pictures. Some people appear to go around all their contacts saying “Nice shot!” to absolutely anything just in order to get a reply back. It seems to work though as when you look on their site even the most average pictures has about 50 comments whereas even my best struggle to get even 5.My other 600 contacts wont delete me from their contact list but never make any mention of my pictures either. I have started blogs on other sites besides this one and people follow me and yet never post or look at my site again after first contact. Isn’t human behavior strange? All these people on all the websites only do this just so you will follow them back, Its about getting attention, feeling like they have more friends than they have. Feeling popular. It makes you realise how many insecure and mad people there must be in the world. There is no better example of this of course then facebook where many people claim to have more than 500 so called friends when in fact 90% are simply people they have ever met in their lifetime. its like making the checkout woman at the local supermarket an online friend just so she will be-friend me back.
Well, I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down
I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
I think I would really like to go now. I can’t bare another depressing lonely christmas day afternoon drunk alone watching TV again with such a hopeless future ahead of me. A constant struggle , battle to get money, to get any help. The NHS is on the verge of collapse as it is. People constantly try to make you feel guilty for having SA and then seem amazed when it doesn’t work and it makes you want to die instead.Whatever they say about being positive or trying more all it comes down to in the end is acting normal. If you can’t act normal people dont want to F**k you, befriend you or hire you for a job. I dont get on with people in real life or online and yet loneliness and failure eat at my soul relentlessly most days. Even now so many days are very hard to get though, I could not take it if I was being relentlessly hounded to look for work that doesn’t exist as well or they starve me. Enough humiliation already.
I feel that any online help to an older person with social anxiety is minimal to say the least. I looked earlier at a Social anxiety facebook group and one of the posts was post a picture of yourself and guess what age I am. I barely saw anyone at all over the age of 25. Likewise on the main social anxiety website in the entire UK and they have a section for the over 30’s as if you are on the verge of death once you hit 30. Online is the only place in the world it seems where you are getting on a bit once you pass 29. Yet there have been many posts quite surprisingly on the forum in the last year from people still suffering from anxiety at 40 years of age and over. However they rarely ever post. I dont either. I only average 0.8 post per day in using the UK social anxiety forum for over 8 years. I look every day and can’t find one f**king thing to reply to most days. Its like trying to break into a secret society and is about as cliquey as it gets with a small group of regular members who talk to each other and pretty much ignore anyone else.
Its bad enough to feel alone and totally left out in real life but its just the same online. I did find one very good friend from using the forum and even meet her several times per year but in all other purposes using the uk forum and other self help forums has been ABSOLUTELY FUCKING USELESS to my mental health. In fact it often makes me feel worse and even more lonely. If I dont get ignored as per usual I have often got into online arguments on virtually any subject as you have to be so left wing as to almost be insane in order to be accepted by them. Yes, they’re so tolerant as long as you think exactly the same as them. When I have tried to be empathetic or make contact with someone they almost always blank me as if I am not worthy enough so it just increases my paranoia. If you dont want to make contact with people or make friends then what the F**K are they doing on a support forum? Oh you only want to make contact with certain types of people do you? Fuckable ones you mean? The regulars speak almost obsessively about going to local meets as an almost cure all for anxiety and totally ignore the fact that someone well past 40 in in not any way going to enjoy socialising or make friends with shy awkward twenty somethings with nothing in common whatsoever and vice versa. A girl even said she felt too old for a meet at 30 a couple of weeks ago so how the hell do they think it makes me feel at past 40?
If anything using such forums has made me even more depressed, hopeless and believing in evolution and survival of the fittest. If you aren’t attractive or normal in the first place no one wants to know you.People are all judgemental and all selfish. Yes I know I am too, that’s the point, its a human characteristic.
I have just seen a TV show where a young guy tried to kiss a girl and was called a perv. They were friends and hugging but she obviously did not see him as more than a friend. Fair enough as why should a male just go kissing a girl without permission? Mind you I have also recently seen a TV show where the girl was saying why won’t he kiss me about a young male friend she knew, why wont he ask me out, why wont he make the first move? What’s the difference? None! The only difference could possibly be flirting behaviour as if you watch two people who like each other a lot it becomes obvious that they fancy each other as well so the guy gets signals to make his move( if he’s normal). However they have to get to quite a friendly stage before flirting even starts.
Now of course males with SA are socially inept, have no clue about body language and signals, etc.. But on the other hand they are constantly ridiculed by society for being single, for maybe even still being a virgin so they are constantly under pressure to chase girls. It’s hardly surprising then that they F**k up when they do try. If a girl smiles at him at work does it mean she is just friendly or that she fancies him. How the hell would he know yet he is still under this constant pressure to make the first move as everyone knows that girls never ask men out first, apart form in the movies.A teenage boy knows it’s going to be his job to approach a girl, chat the girl up, impress the girl with witty banter, ask the girl out, decide where to go, probably even pay as well or he will die alone. being shy probably means he has not even got a support network of friends to back him up as most young males probably do when they go out.
Its hardly surprising then that chronically shy males are much more likely to be alone and even die virgins because no matter how much he improves unless he actually gets to the stage where he asks a female out first he will never get anywhere as females virtually never ask men out. Unemployed or alone older males are much more likely to commit suicide as a medical fact so no, it’s not really the same for both sexes Men are constantly ridiculed for not having the balls, guts bravery to approach women and then when they do, if they act strange due to shyness or if they are ugly they are called perverts, weirdos and freaks.
Yes, I know this train of thought no matter how obvious is unpopular as we are so brainwashed about equality( try telling evolution about equality!) yet the obvious truth is a male with an equal amount of shyness to a female is far more likely to be alone into adulthood, never have a relationship, suffer chronic depression and die earlier.