Judge and Jury

I still cant get over being treated by many people with contempt simply for being shy and quiet. They say learn to love yourself and be confident and all the usual shit and yet when I have tried either at work or sometimes online I feel like I am being judged(what a surprise!) and always found wanting. Like some girls at work calling me strange and even then when I did try to say hello being looked at like I was not worthy or even a reply.  This reaffirms negativity and encourages avoidance. When I posted on forums for social anxiety I felt like the response was “Oh no, not you again, go away NOT ONE OF US!” Having lifelong chronic social anxiety has never been enough to bond with people on a social anxiety forum. Using it has only increased my paranoia.

Looking at some therapy books I keep wondering if we are making things out to be much more complicated that they really are with the human brain. After all we are an animal, we did evolve so most of our behaviour developed for a reason. Apparently we have not changed that much for 50000 years and are adapted for the plains of Africa which was basic behaviour of fight or flight, hunting and gathering. We are also 98% genetically similar to great apes.  Are humans really that special or do we just like to think we are? Aren’t all our basic emotions much the same as some higher animals.

We have SA because of the way we were brought up or some traumatic events usually in childhood, maybe even genetics. The basics of all therapy is just to encourage people to get out more, think differently and do stuff until recovery which is not that complicated. So why are there 600 page manuals on it? In reality that’s often not enough because people are judgemental, we evolved to be.  We also need support as we evolved in family groups and lone people often struggle more. Even those who show progress with therapy often sink back into avoidance after the therapy ends as their own brain which is still faulty just comes back to haunt them. Much of the confidence gained during therapy was not real and just a temporary act rather than a personality change.

I saw a you-tube video last night and a beautiful women went on dates with a fat suit on so the men had only seen her picture when slim. All of them apart from one rejected her and were even angry she was so overweight compared to her picture. When they did this the other way round far more of the women were happy and still eager to go on another date. Thats because men and women did evolve differently and men do go for looks above all else. In fact they did this experiment because women said they most feared meeting a serial killer on a date whereas men said they feared the woman would be fat!

However I would like to see it done with people who were long term unemployed because apparently women said in a survey that they think of such men in the the same way as ex-convicts(i.e. losers and scum) whereas I dont think many men would care about what job she did if any if they thought the woman was attractive. In fact in one experiment women who liked men for looks changed to somebody else as soon as they found out they had a better job!  Conclusion, men and women are both judgemental but in different ways.

A million to one he said

I actually got to the stage where I was about to visit my GP for the first time ever about my anxiety. This  apparently often happens  because of something else which in my case is depression which has meant that I have become so avoidant I am only leaving the house to shop at Tesco and have given up doing everything else. However I made the mistake of looking online at all the types of treatment available.  Sounds reasonable? However realistically many GP’s dont even offer therapy for older people with anxiety and depression and just hand you a leaflet. Great, that will cure me!  Then there is about a year, yes one year sometimes even 18 months to wait to get therapy on the NHS. And finally……….. I have read the UK anxiety forum and lots and lots of people who took therapy for social anxiety said their therapist was a complete moron and it actually made them worse or no different at best. Yes, there is loads of help for social anxiety! Online advice anyway, in real life its almost non existent.

Getting help for anxiety or depression in the UK reminds me of the Drake’s equation for the chances of finding intelligent life on another planet. Several million to one or more.There are just so many factors to be taken into account before anything gets done. The next problem is that I have read countless CBT manuals for anxiety online and self help books and they all pretty much say go out and EXPOSE yourself!  No not in a naked kind of way but expose yourself to fear inducing social situations so you get used to them and get better. Then do more harder ones for ever and ever and ever!

I cant even think of easy ones I feel I could try to start of with.

Too Negative( Again?)

Many of my posts(probably my entire blog!) would just be dismissed as  being too negative and the ravings of a mad man but I admit to being depressed so of course I am negative. Being a 40+ long term unemployed virgin in the modern world sort of makes you negative strange as it may seem! Getting annoyed or even angry at this attitude as some people do surely shows a total ignorance or stupidity of mental health even by many professionals many of who have never experienced it themselves so have no idea of the anxiety and misery created. As an example I would quite literally choose death right now rather than do some social exposure situations I have read about.  You can’t bully positivity into someone just as me doing three positive affirmations every day doesn’t work at all. My mind knows its all a lie and not real.

The idea that I would willingly volunteer my most feared social situations and then choose to engage in them with humiliation almost guaranteed when in this mood is almost ridiculous and if it makes me feel that there really is no help then it must be true for many other people as well.  There must be so many people who look online for help and then see that CBT is not doable and so never see their doctor. Relaxation techniques and mindfulness would be about as useful in helping as being told I was going to be burnt alive the next day but if I did them I would get a nice nights sleep first!  Being told the only way out is to do all the things you fear the most is like having the last glimmer of hope extinguished.  They then try and make out you are a coward if you dont try while totally ignoring that your anxiety was caused by other people and that most normal people dont have to go through any of this and still get a decent job, a partner and have kids!  Humiliation is  a massive motivating factor in recovery and self esteem and just because I dont get physically attacked has no positive consequence whatsoever. In fact when I think back to many humiliating events in my life i would have much rather been punched in the face repeatedly than called a zombie and mental and laughed at behind my back as I was at work.

 

The Cure for Social Anxiety?

I have downloaded absolutely loads of stuff on shyness and social anxiety the last month and some of it consisted of entire manuals of 700+ pages.  The thing is and its quite hard for me to say so but, but THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CURE WHATSOEVER!

All of the manuals and self help sites say only one thing. Go out and do stuff and hope you get better and then do more stuff until cured. Strange really as rather than scientific knowledge this is basically what i was told to cure shyness when i was a small child. Oh they may have breathing and relaxation techniques and also make you challenge your over the top irrational “Woe is me! Everybody hates me!” type of thinking but there is absolutely nothing else whatsoever on any website I have ever come across that helps in the slightest.

The problem is that depression fucks all that up.  No motivation whatsoever, already suicidal thinking so being told to go and smile at strangers on the street and make banter with shop assistants about the weather or Donald Trumps snazzy hair are about as useful as being told to Just do it! or my favourite as a youth “Just Go Talk to her!”

In reality acting nervous got ridicule or contempt which increased my anxiety which increased avoidance. If in doubt I go straight onto YouTube where hot girls say how much they hate shy men as they act creepy and make them feel awkward. Women love confidence , its officially one of the biggest turns ons. The advice also ignores your age. Contrary to belief not everyone with social anxiety is 23. A man my age smiling at women considerably younger than me on the street will be thought of as a creepy weirdo after sex so why not say that when advising smiling at 6 strangers per day as exposure therapy as if its normal. Virtually no strangers smile at people on the street unless well they do fancy each other.

Social etiquette still matters or do you assume that very shy people will understand who to and who not to smile at? Just like advising you to ask attractive females out as what have you got to lose?  Well there are lots of attractive twenty and thirty something years olds but as someone in my forties(Shock! Horror!)I would have about as much chance as bagging one as I would attracting Cameron Diaz(although at 44 she’s way closer to my age range!) Oh you mean only ask people your own age but once again just assumes you know that.(even though at my age everyone is much uglier including me!) Do I tell them how long I have been unemployed as well, that will impress them. Fact, long term unemployed men are avoided as much as ex cons so something else to destroy confidence.

I prepare myself on a daily basis for the inevitable end now. I almost long for it after all these years of pain and loneliness. Today was absolutely awful and I struggled not to self harm. The reason I feel worse is because I looked for help and found there wasn’t any.  People just like to pretend there is to make themselves feel better. They like to pretend that the majority of them are nice and kind too.

A long cold lonely winter

fracasso-filme

You know when you felt terrible when you were ill. Your head hurts and you are irritable with all other people and almost in mental pain. Just like having a bad hangover after drinking too much the night before or you have had a virus. You cant think of anything intelligent to say and what you do say seems nonsense or is such a struggle to get out that you dont even want to try. You want to hide away from it all.Well that’s sort of what having anxiety and depression is like every single day, to me anyway. Along with the added suicidal thoughts of course. Watching TV,listening to music, walking, shopping. Whatever you do to alleviate these feelings only has a fleeting beneficial effect and before long you are back at square one again.

You are desperately lonely but if you do try and contact people online as you dont know any people in real life at all you always get the feeling that they think you are a nuisance and just wish you would F**k off. People tell you its paranoia but deep down you know its not.You know a negative attitude is never taken well and so you pretend to make jokes or interesting comments but as you have never formed a social network then you may as well be talking to yourself in the toilet again. They say be yourself but they really mean like everything that I like and hate everything that I hate. People lie all the time.Then you give up. Then they blame you for not trying hard enough. Check mate.

Things Only People Who Suffered From Extreme Shyness Will Understand

Yes, just for a change its one of those FUN quiz type things off of the internet.

1) Family gatherings with anyone other than your immediate family were an absolute nightmare. 
Yes I hid upstairs when relatives came round but as my parents were both nuts too that was only about once a year.
2) You did absolutely EVERYTHING you could to avoid making or answering a phone call.
Again yes although i did get much better at work before the C**ts made me redundant.
3) And even to this day, you’re still hesitant to answer a call. 
Sort of but only because it may be something terrible. When I answer a call they are mostly cold calls trying to sell something.
4) You can absolutely forget about calling the Pizza Delivery
Yeah, I’ve never ordered food EVER! These days its too expensive.
5) You were always the last kid on holiday to join the ‘friendship group’ because you were too shy to say hello. 
Hmm, must be an American thing. Never heard of it and we only went on a few family holidays and never spoke to any strangers.
6) You absolutely DREADED the idea that you would get called on in class.
God, yes.One of the all time worst things.
7) And you NEVER raised your hand in class in case the answer was wrong, even though it was 100% right. 
True again, My maths went downhill fast because I never ever got help from the teacher. Never understood quadratic equations and calculus. She’s dead now and her ashes on the local park with a memorial. I leave her a chocolate digestive sometimes as a symbolic gesture.
8) You also tried to avoid any speaking responsibility in any presentation you ever had to make.
Speaking in front of the class was akin to public torture. It never got any better. In English we had to read one page of a book each aloud starting from the front of the class. As it got closer to me I prayed to God to kill me just so I wouldn’t have to read.I meant it to.
9) You never EVER went to the toilet in a restaurant without your mum when you were younger.
If you had anxious parents you never ever even went to a restaurant anyway! Actually I went to a cafe with my parents and sister on holiday once. The only family meal I have ever had not at home. Chips of course.
10) And you were totally guilty of whispering your order in the restaurant to an adult and avoiding all eye contact with the waiter. 
If we had of gone to restaurants its the sort of thing I would have done, probably. I always had trouble asking for things or ordering things in shops well into adulthood.
11) Everyone always thought you were the quiet one, when in reality – you were the stand up comedian.
I dont even know what this means! Does it imply you were telling jokes in your head but not out loud? I was very sarcastic in my head, still am.
12) But heaven forbid you’re left in a one on one conversation with someone you barely know – aka your friends Mum!!!
It didn’t matter much when I was a kid, all these things still applies into adulthood. My friend left me with his girlfriend at the cinema once. Not a word was said. My fault of course as I am male. Its funny in these awkward situations I never get the one who speaks. Plenty of these situations when I was at work too, almost always with girls(funny how so many girls never seem to speak first! Perhaps shy men come across as weird and creepy!)
13) Pretending you’re on the phone when you see someone in public? Yep, you’re still guilty of that one!
I would but as I am so alone and devoid of all human contact I dont even have a mobile phone or in fact need one as I never need to speak to other humans and have no friends. I hardly leave the house either!
14) You spent hours and hours thinking about hypothetical conversations so you knew what to say what the situation arose.
Still do! I often imagine the worst thing possible happening and then go into a full blown argument with this imaginary person in my head!  We sometimes even have an imaginary fight! Bastard!
15) Your flirting game has been diabolical since day one. 
Yes, I’m actually a 97 year old virgin. Only once did a girl like me at work and when she tried to say hello I bottled it, looked away and avoided her for all her remaining time at work. It freaked me out so much that this girl expected me to chat her up and probably ask her out that I never even dare look at an attractive female ever again just in case she liked me back and expected me to speak!

16) But the worst thing of all? The worst thing about growing up shy was having to answer this damn question every. single. time. “Why are you so shy?”

Actually I probably got asked “Why do you blush?” more as it was far more noticeable(unlike me!). I was mostly so avoidant and reclusive that nobody spoke to me unless they had to.

 

From the ranks of the freaks

There’s a certain humiliation about appearing desperate. Its well known. People on dating sites are warned to not appear desperate as it puts other people off. Why? Because desperate people are likely to have something wrong with them and we evolved to avoid passing on faulty genes so we avoid people who are faulty. Its amazing how many people are totally unaware of human behaviour and evolution and have constructed a delusional fantasy world based upon believing what they want to believe to make them feel happier. Back to religion again.

This is not a recovery site, hence the title of the blog. Its a real if paranoid account of being a man who has suffered shyness and then chronic anxiety from probably the age of 5 when I first started school. I really do believe that death from shyness is highly likely if not unavoidable now as things are getting worse year by year if not day by day. Of course they will blame alcohol, self harm and depression but it all comes from being too shy to live. Its a descent into madness. I know I am getting madder but have no idea how to stop it.The last few weeks have been quite bad and I stated punching myself in the head and drinking more again. There is no help, its all a myth. Almost all advice is to get out there and mix with people and totally ignores that when you act VERY shy people think you are a freak, miserable, weird and avoid you and thus your anxiety and paranoia get much worse. Kids when you were at school mocked you, adults at work avoid you and speak about you behind your back. People are in reality far more judgemental than we like to think.

This week I tried to be be more active online as I know no one in real life. Virtually every single attempt has ended in failure as I obviously appear too desperate, too miserable or dont know how to put English words into sentences that appear in any way interesting. So I become even more avoidant. Hardly surprising then that I mostly post photos of things as words are too hard and have no effect. Its shows that when you are this depressed and unhappy you repel everyone so you only get worse. Humanity through billions of years of evolution rejects you as you are no use to them. Its apparently up to you to change but no one wants you until you are fully recovered and good enough to interest them in the first place. Getting from A to B is a mystery to me. Everyone else seems to have a map.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check up time

So I visited the doctors this morning for my new patients check up despite not being a new patient. More accurately as I had not been in 18 years they de-registered me, threw away my previous records without telling me and made me re-register as a new patient. As expected it was a complete waste of time. I did not even get to see a doctor, it was a youngish nurse who asked me the standard how much do you drink, smoke, exercise questions in a rather robotic manner as if she was just going through the motions. I did briefly mention my anxiety and heart pain but she just said I would have to make another appointment to see the doctor and dismissed it. I lied of course about how much alcohol I was drinking. 14 units a week, more like 25-40. To embarrass me further she even asked how long I had been unemployed and I lied about that too. She might as well have asked me how long my penis was and if I was a virgin. I was glad to get out of there.

My blood pressure was a bit too high. Well I have been getting into fits of aggression, talking to myself all day and having chronic insomnia for months, if not years and I dont speak to anyone for weeks and think about suicide often but nobody want to know about mental health do they? She also took some blood. I wonder if it shows I’m a borderline alcoholic and any signs of those sleeping tablets I got off amazon. She did not even tell me if I have to contact them for the results or they contact me but judging by past experiences that will probably be the last contact I have with them for years. I got so agitated when I got home I even started hitting myself in the head again. Great start to the week.

Depressed yet? You will be.

Ten reasons why social anxiety often leads to depression

  1. Wanting to find a significant other, and never finding him/her.Anxiety undermines our human relationships, and prevents them from being as successful as they could be.
  1. Avoiding situations even when we want to hang out and be friendly”.I can’t go because I’ll be too uncomfortable and I’ll feel inhibited and self-conscious.  It’s easier for me to just stay at home.”
  1. Not feeling like we are part of a group or family.We all want to feel like we belong, especially with other people who share the same interests in life, but anxious feelings block this from happening.
  1. Lack of meaningful friendships.People with social anxiety want to have many friends and acquaintances they can spend time with and relax around, but the anxiety prevents this from happening.
  1. Not being able to pursue our desired career“I’d like to take that promotion, but then I’d have to manage people and tell them what to do.  I can’t do that!”
  1. Inability to participate in professional or informal activities. Those of us with social anxiety feel a great deal of fear when we must attend informal or professional events with other people.  We feel as if we will do something wrong and make a fool of ourselves.
  1. Not seeing light at the end of the tunnel“I’ll never get any better – I’ll be stuck with anxiety forever.”
  1. Beating ourselves up We get down on ourselves and focus on our perceived shortcomings.  We often feel as if we’re not as good or capable as other people.  “Everyone else is enjoying life and having a good time.  Why can’t I?”
  1. Comparing ourselves to others We feel other people are farther along in life than we are.  “Everyone has fun and interesting friends they can hang out with – except me.”
  1. Feeling like we can’t do things.The anxiety we feel makes us feel restricted from participating in everyday activities.  “I can’t go to the party because I’ll feel too out of place and uncomfortable.”

Yes I have certainly gone through all the items on this list 43 million times each(at least!). One aspect that’s never mentioned ever though is that when you force yourself to go to social events and still act shy, nervous and anxious then people think you are strange or sometimes if they are female and you a man then a creepy weirdo and dont want to see you again. If all the things mentioned above make you depressed then you may also be a miserable bastard wallowing in self pity and a hideous carbuncle of self hate and paranoia  and then of course people dont want to hang out with you as you make them feel even worse. If you are a very anxious and a depressed person then you may as well get a dog/cat/hamster as nobody will want to be with you ever and you may as well at least have something soft and warm to cuddle on the cold winter nights.  Most of the symptoms of chronic anxiety really need to be cured before relationships/friendships can be made IN THE FIRST PLACE  for  REALLY shy people like I was and yet much of the advice advocates going to social events with no other prior help whatsoever as if this will cure you when they often have had the opposite effect for me and made me far more anxious. This is just like being dropped into the ocean and assuming you will learn to swim with no prior swimming lessons and you have never even had a bath before.Why do people assume meeting complete strangers in social events will cure you or chronic anxiety when in reality they, as in all people(YES, ALL of THEM!) are so judgmental they will probably laugh at you for being so mental and weird? Why God(or Jesus, I’am not picky!) WHY?

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