Developing friendships when you have agoraphobia and social anxiety

L

Lee_Lee

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
5
#1
Hi everyone. I'm new here and I think this is a heavy post for my first time posting, but here it goes. I'm hoping for some advice about trying to make a friend. I'm sure to a normal person, this would be super easy, but I'm not normal. :rolleyes:

When I was in my teens, I was diagnosed with panic disorder, general anxiety, social anxiety and agoraphobia.

Years have passed now and my life has been one struggle after another. Therapy and meds never really worked too well. I never had long term friendships, never had long term jobs, etc. The last few years have been my worst. I allowed the agoraphobia to take over and I locked myself in my house. I just gave up.

Due to circumstances within my family in recent months, I made the decision to dig myself out of my self-imposed prison and try at life again. It's been difficult, of course, but I think being rock bottom for a while has really put things in perspective for me and I feel more motivated than ever to get well.

Obviously my health is my priority at the moment. My doctor gave me Xanax to help me get around to doctor's appointments and physical therapy. That's really all I'm doing right now. Baby steps, but progress nonetheless.

Something happened at physical therapy, though. I feel as if I've made a friend. It truly does feel like bad timing, but in all my years, I literally never felt this strongly about *trying* to keep a relationship going. I don't even feel all that awkward or shy around her. I feel I've known her all my life. The social anxiety part of my brain always thought "Blah. I can do without friends" when things got too difficult..And for a while, I really could be without friends. But something feels different about this.

Anyway, the lady I met there is around my age and I've discovered through talking to her that we have TONS in common.

But of course, this is where my phobia's and insecurities come into play.

"Does she really like me or is she just being nice"? "Why would she want to be friends with me? I'm a bore with no life" Etc etc etc...

Then, there's the agoraphobia. It's still a great problem leaving my house. "Who would want to be friends with someone who can't leave their house"?

Then I think "just because we're getting along now, chatting at therapy, doesn't mean she's interested in keeping in touch outside of therapy".

My biggest concern has to be "is it fair to her to get involved with someone like me who has so many issues"?

You see this? You see what happens? A normal person will just come out and say "Hey I really hope we can keep in touch"! Plain and simple. But not me. I think I'm just so embarrassed by my problems and I'm so limited in things I can do, that I feel I'll be a bore or burden to any friend who comes my way. I am overthinking everything!

It's just she is such a positive person and I'm always laughing around her. It really stinks I have all these problems so I'm not really sure what to do. I really don't just want to say "goodbye".

Sooooo.. should I *try* to ask her if she would be interested in keeping in touch? If so, what is the best way of asking without explaining too much and scaring her off? I feel like I have to in some way warn her "I want to keep in touch but I really can't leave my house right now"... Ugh. That sounds horrible.. OR should I just walk away and forget about her? What would you do in this sort of situation?

I don't know what's worse really. Asking her and being rejected or never asking and then regretting it the rest of my life. That would be just like me -- to chicken out and not ask.

I have to figure something out. I have a feeling she will be finished with therapy before me so I don't know if time is really on my side at this point.

Thanks in advance to anyone who actually read through this entire thing.
 
TroubleinParadise

TroubleinParadise

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Messages
176
Location
South Africa
#2
It is always a good decision to face your fears. I think that you should ask her.

This has always helped me, and I hope it helps you.
'The biggest regrets people have on their deathbeds are not the things that they did do, but rather the things that they didn't do.'
 
L

Lee_Lee

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
5
#3
Thank you for responding. If I do gather up the courage to ask her, should I be up front from the beginning about the agoraphobia and what a hard time I'm having or should I just take things one day at a time? I'm just afraid if I say too much at once I may scare her away. I know from too much experience, even within my own family, people don't want to hear about other people's problems. But this is something I really can't hide if indeed she does want to keep in touch. So I have to figure out a way to calmly explain without being overwhelming.

I'm overthinking again. Have to stop that. I'm just so nervous.

Thank you again. I have to remember... "Face My Fears".

And you know, maybe I'm underestimating her. Maybe she'll be understanding about the whole thing -- I hope. This is the first friendship I've really wanted to keep in many many years and I just hope things work out. I can sure use a friend.
 
TroubleinParadise

TroubleinParadise

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Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Messages
176
Location
South Africa
#4
I suggest that you keep it light initially, however for whatever reason, if you end up in a position where you would have to tell her - just don't keep it a secret. Be honest, but just keep it light, unless she happens to bring up related conversation.

There are exceptions.
 
L

Lee_Lee

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
5
#5
Thank you so very much. I appreciate your advice and feel more confident about it already. No matter the outcome, I'll give myself a pat on the back for facing my fear :) Thank you again!
 
H

harsh-reality

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Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
264
Location
England
#6
Progress in that you communicating with people and there is someone you feel comfortable with.

Sounds like this lady could be a nice friend for you - she obviously has her own struggles so see no reason why would not want stay in touch -although I would just initially approach it just as a mate - if more happens all well and good - ie take it slow etc..

And even if some time down the line it may not happen - be proud you developed enough skills to have a new friend and that experience alone can lead to you achieving such experiences once more in your life with others so be proud you have got this far and see where it takes you - but yes nothing happens sometimes without taking any kinds of risks - if she not able to meet sometimes - maybe more to do with her own struggles sometimes - so if that happens hopefully you can see that as an explanation as to any kinds of rejections etc but all sounds positive to me - whatever happens down the line etc.

Well done you - I say..:)
 
Jbb79

Jbb79

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#7
You Need to go for It, See what Happens - - However, Like they say, Don't Rush in, Take it a bit slow, Don't over-whelm her x x

You can Talk here, About Your problems, First, To make Sure x x

I Hope it Works out, You deserve it x x

Hearts 34 56354 34.jpg
 
Jbb79

Jbb79

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Messages
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#8
You'd be Surprised, There are Women out there, Who like a bit leaking, From, Her boat x xx

No Matter what, Try to keep it a positive experience, For you both x xx

Do you have hobbies, it's always Nice to Have an excuse, To hang out, Relieves the Tension, If the Conversation runs dry, There's always the hobby - - Something you Both can en-joy, On your own <3 <3
 
Jbb79

Jbb79

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#9
Looking back on my life, the biggest Mistakes I've Committed, Was Turning down Love when, It stared me, in the face x x At least, Give it a Chance - - She might be " The One ", or, May-be she'll Introduce you, To some-one, Down the Line, You Don't know, Yet </3 </3
 
Last edited:
WhatsFriendship?

WhatsFriendship?

Active member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
28
#10
Hi everyone. I'm new here and I think this is a heavy post for my first time posting, but here it goes. I'm hoping for some advice about trying to make a friend. I'm sure to a normal person, this would be super easy, but I'm not normal. :rolleyes:

When I was in my teens, I was diagnosed with panic disorder, general anxiety, social anxiety and agoraphobia.

Years have passed now and my life has been one struggle after another. Therapy and meds never really worked too well. I never had long term friendships, never had long term jobs, etc. The last few years have been my worst. I allowed the agoraphobia to take over and I locked myself in my house. I just gave up.

Due to circumstances within my family in recent months, I made the decision to dig myself out of my self-imposed prison and try at life again. It's been difficult, of course, but I think being rock bottom for a while has really put things in perspective for me and I feel more motivated than ever to get well.

Obviously my health is my priority at the moment. My doctor gave me Xanax to help me get around to doctor's appointments and physical therapy. That's really all I'm doing right now. Baby steps, but progress nonetheless.

Something happened at physical therapy, though. I feel as if I've made a friend. It truly does feel like bad timing, but in all my years, I literally never felt this strongly about *trying* to keep a relationship going. I don't even feel all that awkward or shy around her. I feel I've known her all my life. The social anxiety part of my brain always thought "Blah. I can do without friends" when things got too difficult..And for a while, I really could be without friends. But something feels different about this.

Anyway, the lady I met there is around my age and I've discovered through talking to her that we have TONS in common.

But of course, this is where my phobia's and insecurities come into play.

"Does she really like me or is she just being nice"? "Why would she want to be friends with me? I'm a bore with no life" Etc etc etc...

Then, there's the agoraphobia. It's still a great problem leaving my house. "Who would want to be friends with someone who can't leave their house"?

Then I think "just because we're getting along now, chatting at therapy, doesn't mean she's interested in keeping in touch outside of therapy".

My biggest concern has to be "is it fair to her to get involved with someone like me who has so many issues"?

You see this? You see what happens? A normal person will just come out and say "Hey I really hope we can keep in touch"! Plain and simple. But not me. I think I'm just so embarrassed by my problems and I'm so limited in things I can do, that I feel I'll be a bore or burden to any friend who comes my way. I am overthinking everything!

It's just she is such a positive person and I'm always laughing around her. It really stinks I have all these problems so I'm not really sure what to do. I really don't just want to say "goodbye".

Sooooo.. should I *try* to ask her if she would be interested in keeping in touch? If so, what is the best way of asking without explaining too much and scaring her off? I feel like I have to in some way warn her "I want to keep in touch but I really can't leave my house right now"... Ugh. That sounds horrible.. OR should I just walk away and forget about her? What would you do in this sort of situation?

I don't know what's worse really. Asking her and being rejected or never asking and then regretting it the rest of my life. That would be just like me -- to chicken out and not ask.

I have to figure something out. I have a feeling she will be finished with therapy before me so I don't know if time is really on my side at this point.

Thanks in advance to anyone who actually read through this entire thing.



Lee-
I have the same mental disorders but also i have social phobia. I can't leave my house,can't even try to get a job and if i had courage to leave my house then i wouldn't be able to keep a job, can't make friends, don't know how to make conversation with anybody.I am afraid of all males because of all of the bullying i endured. In school it was very hard to go from class to class especially gym class where i had to face every bully that bullied me. I can't fight because i have CFS chronic fatigue syndrome and now i will have to start using oxygen because last summer i caught pnuemonia.

My doctor calls it chronic pnuemonia because it won't go away. It is hard to breathe. I have a bad back in my lumbar area and bad legs. I grew up having no childhood. I was beaten up so bad in 4th grade. There was 2 of my classmates pinning my shoulders back against a brick wall of the school while a third guy took his hand put it on my face and started to pound my head harder and harder into the wall till i fell down and blood was gushing from my head i think he tried to kill me.

Nothing happened to any of those boys. They all got away with what they done to me. He could had gave me a concusion . Another bully threw a hard baseball into my eye and i almost lost my vision. Another time i was beaten up by 3 people so badly i couldn't get off the ground and walk again. Hate can kill a person. As for you trying to get to know that woman i would take it very very slow. First i would ask her if she knew how long she will stop going to the group sessions, if it is still a long time then you have a long time to get to know her.

You should tell her about your disorders unless she already knows and ask her over to your house for coffee. If she comes over then you have time to talk to her but don't blurr out everything all at the same time. Don't scare her away. You can talk about other topics then your disorders. People like us you and me don't have a chance in the world to have a normal life and nobody understands our disorders. I myself don't know why i was born.

I myself would have to beg someone to be with me as my mate and live with me. I have no chance in hell to get someone to take a glance or a second look to look at me because i feel ugly outside. I don't feel like a real man because i don't have what other men have and that has bothered me all my life.

Anyway lee go slow small talk with her and try to get her to come over to your house for coffee. If i was you and she comes over i would only talk about your agoraphobia then after talk about something else animals anything but no more of your disorders. Take it slow.
 
BPDevil

BPDevil

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Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
804
Location
Hell
#11
if you have social media add people in your area that seem nice and start chatting