posted by Anonymous on 19 February, 2020
ive had anxiety which affects how i function in life for about 10 years now. in that time my patterns are so maladaptive; im very avoidant , feel hopeless , fall into ruts, isolate myself , self-sabotage by avoiding anything i find difficult. i haven't really helped myself to do the best i can or to improve my life i feel immature in that i am still living with the same avoidant patterns ; i haven't learned and grown as a person. can anyone share their story of how they changed themselves from being an avoidant person? .. describing what exactly were the key things that helped you change? i have no idea what will work for me thanks in advance . i feel so alone and unworthy by falling behind so much
i used to do that a lot, especially when it came to dealing with a large group of strangers at a party i was invited to, or if i had to make a good impression on someone. i can’t say what i did it was the best technique to go about it, but i think a little bit of acceptance helped. i knew that the situation would make me anxious, i knew i was do my best to avoid it. i forced myself to do something outside my comfort zone at least once a week, so i could justify saying no to the rest of the time. i told myself to expect certain moments would happen, i might even panic a little. but because i knew i was going to force myself into another social situation next week no matter what, instead of shutting down the entire situation i tried to see what i can do next time to avoid this particular panic attack. sometimes i faked the confidence, until i myself was convinced that i didnt have anxiety. i tried several different things but i kept forcing myself into situations where i had to deal with the things i didnt want to deal with. over time the fear of the unknown went away, yes i did have moments where i was overwhelmed but because i had faced something similar so recently, the shock value wore off and i found less and less reasons to avoid everything. i still do occasionally cheat and avoid certain things but i feel like forcing myself to face situations regularly really helped chase away the fear of not knowing what to expect
hi there! first of all, avoidance is a very normal reaction when you feel anxious. there's no need for you to feel immature or unworthy just because you're reacting in an avoidant manner. i'm sorry if my answer isn't going to be of great help, but i'm going to replicate (in a way) sweet young fox's words. first of all, it's important you understand what type of situations you're avoiding. then, it's all a matter of forcing yourself to go into those kind of situations. i'm not telling you to dive right into them, head first, but take it a step at a time. actually, that's what they call baby steps. force yourself to do something you don't want to/something you don't feel comfortable doing, but start with something very small. do it once a week. then, when you start to feel "hey, this isn't really that bad", start to do it twice a week. then, when you feel you're ready to do that thing almost every day, convert the situation into something bigger. start to do it once a week, then twice a week, and then... well, you know the drill. take it one step at a time, so you don't feel the urge to quit and to go back to your old self. if you need a little boost, try starting doing something that has an impact on the world and on the people around you (like volunteering, for example). hope this helped you in any way! good luck!