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it can be tough



New member
Feb 28, 2015
Let me just start by saying that im having a tough time. For the past few weeks things have really gotten tough.

Some background: I have struggled with my social anxiety for quite some time, i've had my ups and downs.

In 5th grade I was living in the US and over the smmer gained some weight. i spent the whole summer playing my new ps2 with a close friend. when school started again my friends started calling me fat from time to time, not a lot and not in an unhealthy, bullying way. I thought it was fun and would belly dance in the shower or something, really I didnt care. all of us were almsot always really good friends.

But when I moved back to my homeland things got worse. I spent most of the summer sitting ony my computer and continued to do so throighout the school year. I did participate in a sport and occasionally hung out with friends, but they grew increasingly mean to me as the year progressed. Mostly saying im fat or physically harassing me and telling me i needed to learn to defend myself. I always laughed it off and continued to feel as if they were my friends. We did have fun experiences together as well, but i remember one incident where one of them had my head pinned down and was kncoking it on the floor. Not in a way causing me pain at all, but he had me in a position where i couldnt get out when i tried. I felt out of control and started crying. He got up and apologized and we hugged while i cried. I think we were all friends but they really were kind of abusive.

In my final presentation this year i had my first experience with anxiety or at least awkwardness, i got really out of sorts and blushed and got sweaty. i held the folder i was presenting with in front of my face so nobody could see while finishing my talking points. i didnt really understand what the experience was and quickly forgot about it.

The year ended and we went on to middle school, this is when they started trying to shut me out. Id like to emphasize that we were sort of a "gang" of 5. They continued their occasional abuses and would ask me to stop following them, and saying i was not cool enough. I was always laughing it off or dismissing it, until one of the actually nice friendly people told me straight up "i dont think Nils wants you to hang out with us anymore, maybe play some soccer or do something else". this one hit like lightning; i got the message. after a moment standing around i remember walking forward and looking up at the sky and thinking something had just changed.

thankfully someone asked me to play soccer and we became friends. later i made another friend who i became pretty close with as well, we had a lot of fun and laughs.
i was never a social butterfly and always in a sense shy, until middle school others had just naturally wanted to befriend me and be in my company, and i in theirs. i had a wonderful childhood with many friends and lots of fun. but in my teen years i started isolating myself more and more, spending too much time at home on my computer and playing video games or browsing the internet.

my first year of highschool i lost contanct with my two middle school friends (i did have other friends in middle school but did not hang out with them more than a couple times on my free time, and had some difficulty making new friends. mostly for lack of trying or being too shy to) because we wnet to different schools. among my new classmates i felt a bit nervous sitting in a circle and thinking "how am i going to make friends on my own?". it was scary the first few days but i somehow managed and became friends with a few people. we had a lot of laughs in class, especially when presenting were abit nervous would just laugh our asses off bceause of it. mostly just awkwardness though. it was fun. i never hung out with any of them on my free time though. the degree of isolation was increasing that year. i became more invested in my online aquaintances. during these teens years i think i became somewhat emotionally withdrawn at times, but not to the point of depression.

my second year of highschool we moved back to the US for a year. it was a good year. i remember lying under a tree in the sun after soccer practise during the summer before school started and feeling one hundred percent content and peaceful. like i could stay in that moment forever. the year progressed and things were good, but i didnt really connect with my old freinds again. i was mostly quiet during class unless we were put in groups, and i didnt make any effort to hang out with them on my free time. school days were pretty long though, so i liked to unwind and do homework in the evening. and later we had a robotics project where i made some decent connections. at one point we were doing school, then robotics as an elective, then other stuff like PE or track and then back to robotics until pretty much the whole day was consumed. it was a good experience. i dont quite know why though but towards the end of the year i noticed myself getting into a slihglty lower mood, being more tired, my grades took a slight hit. one of my teachers asked and i just said "im just a bit tired you know, long year". it was probably true, id started track and was doing my robotics, so really i didnt have much free time. but i also noticed i was always nervous before track practise, which was every day. i always had to poop before. i didnt really impact my day, i didnt really give it much thought, but i noticed it. track was fun though, i guess it was a bit of performance anxiety, as i wasnt exactly fit. most days were spent in the gym, but some days i was asked to run and i dreaded that. i think for the same reason i didnt stay on the soccer team or take up basketball. i was out of shape, playing sports was really tiring for me and i didnt like it. i dont know why, because i loved sports as a kid. i would spend hours shooting hoops on my free time with one of my best friends. i loved doing activities.

over the summer things werent all bad. i remember having this one long swim in the reservoir and coming out of the water and feeling so good, endoprphins rushing through my body. i had a drug experience as well, it was a bit weird for me but overall i thougbt it was cool.

when i got back to my homeland i was happy to see my old classmates. but after about 3 weeks things got real tough. i remember laying awake one night and hearing this ringing in my ears. i focused on it and it got louder. it scared me a little. this weird feeling grew in my chest and stomach, i didnt quite know what it was. it felt a bit overwhelming. eventually i fell asleep though, but i woke real early in the morning and felt like i was in a strange mood. i couldnt put my finger on it. sitting on the train going to school that morning i noticed myself zoning out, not in the typical daydreaming way, more like a withdrawing way. it was odd and a little scary. i got to school and went through my morning classes. later that day we had a long 3 hour class. this is when i experienced my first panic attack. about one hour in i was experinecing more and more strange feelings. we were watching kind of an odd video and everyone sitting with their laptops and i felt suddendly this huge dread wash over me. i didnt know what was going on and eventually it spiralled out of control and i thought i was dying or going insane or losing control. completle tunnel vision and real out of it and almost blacked out. accompanied by very weird sensations and inredibly anxiety. i had no idea what was happening, but it was terryfying. i had a strange moment of acceptance of it, even though my thoughts were racing and i had no idea what was happening in one moment i just let go and accepted it. even so the prospect of sitting through 2 more hours of this was dizzying. my anxiety and panic fluctuated like crazy and at the end of class i was completley drained. i remember feeling so weird and empty and withdrawn and i vented to one of my mates "man those classes are so long, uff crazy".

i got home and hoped i would feel better. i lay on the couch confused. i tried putting on the tv and watching big bang theory but it just made me more anxious when i realized how disconnected i was. i could not concentrate or enjoy it at all. i could barely comprehend what was going on in front of me. they were just camping or something and looking at stars, i had no idea what was going on. i managed to go to sleep that night but when i woke i felt just as bad. i took a shower and for some comfort i leaned on the glasss and turned the heat up progressively and kept the shower head close to my heart. it was not much relief. i was sitting on the toilet and just thinking "this is unbearable, what in the world is going on". i kept pacing back and forth. it didnt take long before i realized this is not something that will immedietaly pass and i cannot deal with it on my own. i told my mom. we went to the doctor. he told me i could seek psychological help if i wanted, and i was rpescriped valium for my panci atacks.

thankfully my days went by msotly panic free, but i was compeltely numb. listening to music or watching tv made me anxious because it was just noise. i didnt care 1% about it.

i was only out of school for a week until my partents said "maybe you should try go to school" and i went. i didnt really care either wya but on some subconscious level i guess i thought it was a good decision. i had varying levels of anxiety in class, sometimes i was too depressed to be anxious. but i went about my day, jotting down what the teacher wrote. sitting at home being pretty out of it. i think at some point i regained some feeling and could do stuff. my grades took a huge hit. somehow i managed to pick myself up the second half of the year a little bit. but i remember even toward the end of the year feeling like "how did i get through this, im still not okay" but it didnt preoccupy me. my final grades wernet good enough in math and physics, which i was happy about. i had also lost a lot of weight due to a huge lack of appetite so my gym teacher gave me a good grade.

over the summer i think i had some recovery and felt optimistic about starting college. i socialized a bit, went to a party. but mostly i fell into old habits, i didnt make any friends in class. clung to my high school pal who also went there. sometimes i had a little bit of panic / anxiety sitting in class. but i think it leveled out a bit. unfortunately i was still isolating myself. i started skipping class to play video games. i hung out with my cousin, and some of his friends occasionally. one day a friend asked me to come play board games. i happily accepted. i remember being kind of tired as id been camping and drinking the night before. i did not realize 18 hours of anxiety horror awaited me. it started after he made a pretty innocent comment poking fun at me. i got embarrassed but something wasnt right. i couldnt stop being embarassed. i got really anxious. all in all my anxiety was pretty bad those two days of board games. i had no idea what was going on. i was grateful when it was over but i felt real out of it when i got home. when i got home i wnet straight to bed. i remember getting oddly convinced my dad had cancer. i dont know if it was anxiety or delusion. i eventually forgot about it though. i was really out of it. my family and friends definitely noticed the change.

over the summer i got a little better and went back to classes but my anxiety was causing trouble. i knew at this point that i had social anxiety. eventually when we started our group projects before christmas, i got so much anxiety about having the presentation i stopped going to class and didnt meet with my group ever. i started acting like i was going to class when my mom questioned me as to why i was home so much. i just said i was doing most my stuff at home. i acted like i went to the final exam. i had dropped out at this point in my mind. it still took until summer exams to admit it to my parents. i didnt say it was my anxiety, or that i was depressed. i just told them i failed my math exam at christmas becuase our prof was bad. i told them i had lost interest in my studies and wanted to pursue something else, or start my own project. i didnt. i was hanging out with my cousin still. i was still pretty low through summer.

i somehow started being a little more positive in the fall though. my parents were urging my to find work. my aunt called and said they could use someone whos on call at her daycare job. she asked my to just come in and have an interview. i was very anxious. i thought now everything comes unraveled, now everyone will know about my social anxiety (in hindsight they had probably realized it already). but somehow i didnt do as badly as i thought. naturally i was very awkward and pretty anxious, but things improved bit by bit. after a few months i was at one point anxiety free. and my thinking had improved, i was more positive. even though i was working full time and feeling the stress of work i kept my chin up. i felt more positive. unfortunately it didnt last, i got a little low and expressions of my social anxiety came creeping back slowly. i was also starting to worry about other things. it wasnt so bad though, i had my ups and downs but generally was doing OK. had some good days, decent days, stressful days.

mid summer i stopped working there and our family went to portugal for 2 weeks. it was alright. it was very hot and i got really sunburnt at one point. except for the incredible awkwardness in most social situations it was nice. i remember when getting home i was thinking "i need to spend less time in front of the computer, locked in my room, i need to go outside and enjoy the sun, the pleasant surroundings." i dont have a phobia of going outside, but my general tendency is to sit at home in front of my computer on my free time. and thats what ive continued to do now the last months. i had told myself i would be diligent and look for a job and stay on my feet but i didnt. and i started thinking more negative thoughts about various things. i had a lot of anticipatory anxiety for upcoming family gatherings. i started drinking before these events so they would be easier. sometimes i would even drink when going to my friend or going to the cinema. i didnt consume unhealthy amounts of alchohol but i used it as an escapist behaviour. i think i was slightly depressed. but overall i also maintained an interest in things and sometimes nurtured a positive attitude.

the past few weeks ive been trying to make a change. i was getting a bit anxious about chest pains id been feeling so i changed my diet and started exercsiing again, wnating to shed the excess weight ive put on. i felt generally positive about it, but various stresses probably the new changes and trying to get a job caused me to have a panic attack which i mistook for a heart attack.

monday two weeks ago i was convinced id had a heart attack. i told my dad and we drove to the doctor and he told me my blood pressure was kind of high, and that i should schedule some tests with my regular practitioner. the next couple of days i spent with my friends and told them about it. my anxiety levels were not high, if existant at all. my social anxiety seemed to take sort of a backseat (although i did have a drink both days). at this point i grew worried that my heart was going bad. i went for a run on friday and it was hard. i felt out of sorts, dizzy. i was kind of scared that i was having a heart attack, but i figured it was like the doc said that my blood pressure was high. we have a monitor at home though, and my pressure is about 130/80 - not completely healthy but not enough to cause anything like this.

then i started reading online, my dad had told me it could be diabetes, so i reasearched it. my symptoms felt exactly like it. on saturday i had a very difficult esxperience and i thought i might be dying. i called the hospital and said i wanted to come in for a check up, they referred me to the doctor i went to on monday. i went to him and he said everything seemed normal and prescribed me two valium 5mg. i didnt know what was wrong but really suspected i had diabetes and started trying to manage my blood sugar to see if it helped. nothing really worked the way it was supposed to though. sometimes i felt relief, other times not. on monday i was better and helped my cousin with his house. it was a good day, at the end we visited some puppies. and in the car ride home i felt really drowsy in a good way. the next two days were pretty tough. sometime mid day on tuesday things took a turn for the worse and i became really concerned and almost convinced even about having diabetes. i was on the bathroom floor curled up with a towel and my only relief was when i got so tired of it i could almost fall asleep but i was too scared to let go, i thought i might go into a diabetic coma or something. the physical symtpoms were very strong and it was hard.

i always felt relief in the evenings. it was almost like i was just a little intoxicated. but after going to the doc and finding my results showed i was mostly healthy i admitted to him my suspicion that all this was anxiety. i told him about my trouble with social anxiety over the years. he told me this is unlikely to be medical, and diagnosed me with anxiety and depression. he recommended i seek professional help and gave me a list of practitioners.

at first it felt good. maybe now i can finally deal with these problems i thought. finally im talking about it i thought. but then it struck me, if my anxiety had made me feel so sick that i thought i might be seriously ill, or even dying, how will i deal with it? its been hard the past few days. the anxiety seems to be taking many forms. at first just general worries like "did the doctor miss something?", "whats going to happen now?" and the physical symptoms really persisted. i started to overcome my fear of the physical symptoms even anxiety to walk, eat because it made me sick. they grew increasingly concerning with intrusive thoughts of self harm and harming others. i have been searching vigorously online for self help methods. it was calming when i read that intrusive thoughts can be a part of anxiety and not that i am going insane or becoming a psychopath. but they still scare me, and today i spent a lot of time dealing with these thoughts. one resource suggested i accept them in a non judgemental way as a part of anxiety. that these thoughts and worries are only a manifestation of my unease. ive now managed to take my mind off them almost completely for a couple of hours while writing this.

i really want to seek help and improve. i feel like even though my social anxiety has caused my trouble recently it hasnt been unbearable, but i think my isolation and tendency to get into more negative thought processes, and stress has caused me to take a hit. now i struggle with my mood, sometimes becoming very withdrawn and empty inside. sometimes i get scared, the anxiety takes control. i try to accept it and tell myself im not in danger, that this is just something im feeling right now and its okay. i prefer when i can mostly take my mind off it like when im watching inspiring ted talks about mental illness and self improvement, or like right now when im writing this. it can be pretty unbearable at times though and sometimes i have difficulty telling if im just feeling desperate or anxious. im very confused at times. sometimes i feel clearer, when i can manage to do something and be more in the moment.

i thank the universe for this moment where i am clearer and i can see that this difficult experience is a chance to change my life, to reach out for help and improve my circumstance.
i want to start cultivating a more positive attitude. one that is stronger than ever. an attitude where i look at the glass as half full, where i have optimism and dont look at everything in black and white. i want to stop isolating myself and start experiencing life and the world so i can stop feeling empty and numb inside, and stop having thoughts that im crazy or defective. i want to find my passion. i wish i could be more kind, gentle and loving. i hope to form connections with other people, to enjoy friendship like i used to. to laugh from the bottom of my heart more often. i want to live more in the moment and be less judgemental and self obsessed. i want to stop existing in my mind and fantasies and ruminating and suffering. i want to be happy, content and at peace.

at times it feels like its too much, at times im just confused and anxious and withdrawn, but sometimes it feels possible that i could start taking steps toward a better future


Jan 15, 2013
:welcome: to the forum.

Your post is a little long for me, hopefully others will be able to answer.