SLIP SLIDIN’ AWAY

“A bad day’s when I lie in bed
And think of things that might have been”

Once upon a time, in a company far far away there was a pretty girl. I liked the look of her although I had never spoken to her before. She even appeared to like me as people told me so and the body language of her and her friends made it clear it might be true. It almost sounds normal up until now doesn’t it but the problem was that she had absolutely no idea that I suffered from crippling social anxiety and was in fact mental. Once it became clear that this girl expected me to talk to her, chat her up and ask her out I panicked and then avoided her like the plague.  She realised I was mad and from then on her friends gave me looks like I was an evil serial killer. Yet all I had done was look at her as I was attracted to her during the odd break at work and someone told her I liked her. Welcome to the wonderful world of Social anxiety!

Because this caused me such despair and trauma I then would not even look at any other girl at work in case they thought I fancied them and expected me to make a move. This only lasted 20 years so dont worry and off course psychology today says that getting over shyness is easy. Yet the advice on the anxiety forums for any such incident like this would be to “Just go talk to her!” as if it’s just basic nerves and something easy to overcome if you try. Because of this I still think most of the members on social anxiety forums just suffer mild shyness as they obviously have no idea of the debilitating effects of chronic anxiety. I would blush, stutter and my mind black and dont forget the sweating like a pig. Just imagine me trying to chat a girl up looking like this even forgetting I had no words that made sense and nerves would mean I had no sense of humour.

Even making basic conversation would be very hard and very awkward with long silences and awkwardness. Not much of a chat up technique then. Exposure to such events made me worse, not better as you dont learn from continuous failure and humiliation, you actually get even more avoidant.This caused such extreme shame and embarrassment that I would not go anywhere or do anything for years as people ridicule men ferociously if they can’t chat girls up. Even on TV there are nerdy, geeky, weirdo, loners every week acting socially inept and getting the piss taken out of them for their weirdness. Funny that they are almost always male isn’t it?

Then one day several years later when walking my dog I saw this very same girl. She was pushing a baby in a buggy near the park.  I think she recognised me and even smiled nicely, yes nicely. I was taken aback by this as she didn’t appear to hate me like her friends did even after all my madness. Perhaps she realised I was just mad and not evil or cruel. I still walked on quickly in case she spoke though. I had never even heard of social anxiety at this time as it was before the internet and how they hell does a fully grown man explain being too shy to talk? I was 48 last Saturday. I am still alone, still a virgin. Its almost certainly too late now.

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3 thoughts on “SLIP SLIDIN’ AWAY

  1. Reading the last part of this entry made me think of something: How many of the things we hear from people around us are ridicule and how many are made up in my mind? There are so many distorted thinking patterns that are built up from past experiences that we can’t tell reality from paranoia. I came accross your wordpress when I was looking around for something to help with morning anxiety attacks that are the result of starting a new job. I kept hearing voices at work. Before starting exposure therapy, maybe we need to improve on our underlying distorted thinking patterns. I believe that has been the main factor that got me to lessen my anxiety. Have you seen the list of distorted thinking patterns during your self-help research?

    https://thenoworriesblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/change-your-thoughts-change-your-world/

  2. It is still possible to turn things around no matter which age group you are in. This may sound deluded but like the example of my therapist, it does happen. What if there are 30+ to 40+ more years to go? There is still a lot of time to work on recovery. Is there anywhere you can find psychiatric help in the UK if you’re on benefits? Any social workers that you may be able to contact?

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