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Why am I so tense ?

dyoverdxdyoverdx Posts: 49 Boards Initiate
When I’m with my family I am really anxious. Looking back at photos, I’m tense, clasping my hands and I look on edge.

I used to look like a textbook extrovert. Loud, and seemingly confident. But in truth that it was my bravado. I am not happy with myself right now but I believe I can change.
I’ve learned that, really, I’m an introvert and I this false sense of confidence was as a coping mechanism to my social anxiety.

I’ve read up on stoicism and I am in awe of its wisdom, in theory. But in practice it is really hard.
However I’d say it does help me with 75% of my problems. It’s just that 25% that I need to improve on.
I let my emotions get the better of me sometimes. But I will be patient but I need some advice.
Have you ever been in public and around someone but you don’t want them to notice you and don’t know what to do? I just keep checking my phone and distracting myself to look normal but I look weird. I do strange things like hunching shoulders, blinking a lot, fidgeting etc. Once people were mocking me but I don’t care about that. I don’t know them and I’ll probably never see them again. It’s when I’m with my family. I was in hospital for 5 years and in supported living 2 years and counting. I can’t help but thinking I’m an outsider. So much has happened within these years and I was absent until 2 years ago.

I want some advice on building confidence, overcoming anxiety.


Thanks
“Most people are so ungrateful to be alive. But not you. Not anymore.”

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    Laura_tigger82Laura_tigger82 Moderator Posts: 5,107 Part of The Furniture
    edited March 31
    It sounds positive that you are able to recognise who you really are @dyoverdx and what coping mechanisms you may have been using - even if you now wish you were not using those. You have mentioned your emotions get the better of you sometimes - would you feel comfortable sharing more with us about what this looks like for you?

    I can really hear how you would wish not to see some people / have them see you - particularly if they have mocked you before. Are there particular family members who you feel this way around or is it your family in general and is it all the time or are there times when it feels more manageable? It sounds really difficult that you have been feeling anxious and like an outsider. It also sounds like your time in hospital / supported living has contributed to these feelings.

    We cannot necessarily provide advice as everyone is different - has different reasons that might drive these emotions and different ways in which they might cope with these emotions. However, we are here to listen to you, hear you as clearly as we can and explore this with you <3
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    dyoverdxdyoverdx Posts: 49 Boards Initiate
    You have mentioned your emotions get the better of you sometimes - would you feel comfortable sharing more with us about what this looks like for you?
    I get overfamiliar when I get anxious about people thinking bad about me. Also my go to response for dealing with my emotions is self harm.
    Are there particular family members who you feel this way around or is it your family in general and is it all the time or are there times when it feels more manageable? It sounds really difficult that you have been feeling anxious and like an outsider. It also sounds like your time in hospital / supported living has contributed to these feelings.
    Just people who have I haven’t seen for a long time.
    Thanks for listening though. I’m waiting to get counselling.
    “Most people are so ungrateful to be alive. But not you. Not anymore.”
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    Sunshine12Sunshine12 Posts: 82 Budding Regular
    @dyoverdx hey, it sounds like ur going through a tough time right now I’m sorry to hear, as for advice (from someone with social anxiety too) I think fidget toys help me when I’m feeling tense around other people/in public , and if u don’t feel comfortable with other people seeing them u can put them in ur pocket or something which I think is cool is that u can buy hoodies online that come with a fidget toy in the sleeves!!! It also helps with simple things like focusing on ur breathing and taking time to remove yourself from thinking about your surroundings by doing something as silly as counting in your head (I like to sing song lyrics in my head if that helps 😂). I’m glad to hear you’re waiting to get counselling that will hopefully help u manage your anxiety. ❤️
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    Orchid059Orchid059 Moderator Posts: 33 Boards Initiate
    Hi @dyoverdx you’ve been so brave to reach out we are always here for you if you need support or someone to talk to. I can imagine it is difficult to acknowledge these things to not only yourself but also share them with a wider community also, so I really admire your courage. It sounds like you’re coming to terms with who you are and what you are comfortable with, and it is completely okay and normal for people to grow and change- what is important is that you are happy within yourself. I can imagine being in public settings is stressful for you and it triggers all these emotions which may feel very overwhelming for you.

    I noticed that you mentioned that you resort to self-harm to deal with these emotions and while I am not able to provide you with advice with this matter here are some useful links to refer to : the organisation Mind has a great article with some tips on coping with urges to SH. There are also apps like Calm Harm and distrACT with tips and techniques on coping with SH that you might like to look into.

    It is good that you are on the waiting list for counselling as they will be able to provide you with the best support and advice for you to move forward. However, in the mean-time if you are struggling feel free to reach out to some of the support networks I have signposted above, and, as always we are always here for you if you do need someone to talk to.

    Keep us updated on how you are feeling and keep reaching out ❤️
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