So for the first journal I figured it would be appropriate for it to be an introductory journal. Makes sense right? Right.
The Admin's Experience
I'm Abbey, I'm 23. I am incredibly strange and off beat. I love dumb internet shit and video games. I am basically incapable of emotions, but I am also exceptionally light hearted. I'm the embodiment of anxiety, and always have been.
As a kid it always felt like everyone was doing a dance I never learned the steps to. The dance of "social interaction". As an adult ....I still feel that way, which I never thought would be the case. I always thought that one day I would wake up and I wouldn't be afraid anymore. Kids are dumb like that.
At my worst, because that's always the most interesting, I was 21 and couldn't leave my house. I had become (even more) distant with my family, and anyone I knew back in highschool were long gone. And I obviously couldn't meet new people because I couldn't even manage to leave my house. My main gig was paranoia. (It felt like) Everyone was watching me, whispering about me, judging me. Wondering what was wrong with me. (....Goddamn my ego is huge). I felt like I didn't have the right to do anything, or be anywhere. Like I didn't have the right to exist, and so I tried my best not to...and succeeded.
I am 23, have no job, no driver license, no in person friends, and live I in a small town in a small house with my parents. That is what I really am. That is what I try and hide. And that is what I am currently trying, for the first time, to fix.
I created this group for genuine reasons, one being a sincere caring for people in similar situations, and the second being the completely selfish reason that I think it will help me get better personally. But if I can help other people while helping myself then there is no harm in that selfishness. ....Hopefully
Hi! My name is Marta. I'm Polish, I create photo-manipulations and paint a bit – though still not too well. I play flute and I'm an avid fantasy fan. I also have social anxiety.
I've been battling it for what seems like forever – I'm told that in kindergarten I had been a very happy and open kid, but it might as well be a myth by now – I'm twenty at the moment and even though I have what I think is a not so bad control over my affliction, there were a few years when it pretty much ruled my life. I used to get pretty frequent panic attacks, and there was no telling what might trigger them – crowds, someone standing too close, talking, even being in the same room as people I knew didn't particularly like me. To some, these things may seem trivial – I can't even begin to count the number of times I've heard: „Get over yourself” or variations of it - but for me they were absolutely terrifying. I was able to mostly learn how to control this, but before that, I spent several years on individual schooling and in therapy.
Why am I here? Because I think that sharing experiences is a great thing. Because I know how having to make a simple phone call can make your hands shake for no apparent reason. Because the: „Hey, it’s not just me!” moments are always precious, and can make you feel a tiny little bit less alone.
I've been living with an anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little girl I never had the courage to say anything to strangers, I've always been extremely shy and scared of things "normal" people weren't afraid of. The two things I was most afraid of were people and tests, which came together at school. Because of that I skipped a lot of school, my parents thought that I had a serious illness many times.
4 years ago, they sent me to a psychologist, since they realised there was at least something wrong with my self esteem. From there on it only became worse. For example, I fell into a serious depression. I started self harming, which left me with scars for life. It felt like that was the only thing keeping the anxiety in control. My mom found out, the only thing she did was cry. Since then I went to a more intensive psychologist and they found out I had a depression and an anxiety disorder, which I got medicine for.
It wasn't over though, my depression got worse, I didn't know what to do anymore, I was too scared to normally leave the house and I didn't have anything left to live for, the only thing I did was lay in bed all day. I tried to commit suicide, got into the hospital and almost died. I don't know how, but seeing the people I loved cry so much about me, kind of switched a button and made me want to get better. Since then I seriously tried to overcome my depression and tried to stop self harming, which I succeeded in after falling back into it a lot of times.
But my anxiety was something I had to learn to live with, since it is something which will never go away. I didn't go to school or get out of the house at all. When they wanted me to go to a mental-like hospital, I realised something had to change, and that I didn't have a choice anymore.
Right now, I'm going to school again and I even get out of the house to walk the dog for example, or to go to the mall for some small stuff I need to have. What helped me? Acting. Internet was my best friend, and I found some things about comedians with social anxiety, who acted to overcome theirs and function normally. I tried the same. It was a lot of practice, and I mean a lot, but eventually it did work for me. I basically act all day, have a big mouth and act like I don't care, so that I can do everything I have to do.
There was also one other thing that helped me; Getting a dog. My dog is a lot like me, he used to be abused and is scared of everything and everyone. Just like me he has visible and hidden scars. He helped me a lot with going outside again, just a huge help. Walking with a dog is already way less scary than walking completely alone. The thing that my dog is a big Staffordshire Bullterrier also helped, since if something happens, you have a dog with you who can protect you. That made me feel a lot more safe.
That is my story.
Hi everyone, my name is Terri and I'm just one of the admins for this group. Sorry for being late in introducing myself, anxiety causes me to experience brain-freeze!
Firstly, some positive things about myself. I'm an Australian. I LOVE animals. I live with my beautiful Staffy Zara and three cats called Hope, Clayton and Friday. I usually have rats as well, but had to put my 3 year old down a few months ago. I'm a vegetarian. I collect movies, lovely vases and rat/mouse/horse brick-a-brack.
Now, the not so nice things about my life experiences. I'm diagnosed with severe depression, borderline personality disorder, high stress levels, mild paranoia/anxiety and a few ocd's.
I grew up in a highly volatile home environment. I was verbally, mentally and physically abused (both violently and sexually). I wasn't good at making friends and lived in my own world. My mind has thankfully blocked much of my experiences out from the age of 10 and under. As a teenager, I was suicidal and socially awkward. My parents divorced and my Mum continued to mentally abuse me and physically/violently try to hurt me. In my 20s, I became an alcoholic like my Dad, I was diagnosed with severe depression and incapable of living with people. By my 30s, I had lost all of my friends and became somewhat reclusive. I had a breakdown in my mid to late 30s, I became a recovering alcoholic and I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
These days are much better in that I'm medicated and I see a regular therapist, however, I still struggle with my issues and I still can't live with people. Happily, I've gained insight into my life, I've made some wonderfully close friends (majority online) and I continue to heal. I think of myself as an unfinished jigsaw puzzle.
You can read about my art experiences here - fav.me/d817gi3
My ultimate goal these days is to eventually work with people who suffer with mental health issues and hopefully run art therapy workshops.
Please share your anxiety goodness with us! Share as much or as little as you want, I want it!
Some questions to get you started:
- When did your anxiety start?
- What kind of anxiety do you have?
- What do you hope to get from joining this group?