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hello, I'd appreciate your thoughts on this matter, hopefully it'll be coherent, I'm not the greatest at explaining myself


background - I've had anxiety/depression issues in the past, although not diagnosed with anything specific, much of it is socially related. it mainly became a problem after the birth of my child (12yrs old) however, looking back I've really had social problems ever since I can remember. don't get me wrong, I always had friends. as a small child I was regarded as the happy, mouthy, but stubborn one, however as I grew older my confidence decreased with each passing year, yet I hid it under the pretense that I chose not to participate. truth is I was scared. now I'm in a position where i have no friends, only colleagues/acquaintances/family. I've always been viewed as 'the one people came to for advice, but who never had problems.'


over recent years, I've attempted to address my personal issues, with varying degrees of success. I've learned a lot about myself and try to put it into practice. the problem that is troubling me at present is, I always appear to see both sides of EVERYTHING. like if someone comments on a situation I will instantly put myself on the other side and feed that back to them, even though they aren't asking for advice. I strive to be open minded and in my job (children/young people) I find my attitude helps in certain situations, however, I do find it difficult as many of my colleagues don't share my outlook. I'm not so sure it's lack of self-confidence as I do hold a few strong personal values, which I stand by (although I'm finding they are changing recently) but for the most part, it's like I sit on the fence. in any dilemma I swing from considering one side and then the next and back again. it's exhausting and annoying and constant.


I briefly saw a counsellor a few years ago and mentioned it then, all he said was I needed a network of friends. easier said than done! although since then I have got a job and do voluntary work every week, but I still have confidence issues and no social life outside of those, yet still put on a brave face. (I realise the last point is to do with not wanting to show vulnerability and weakness, and I'm addressing that too)


my question is, is my main problem (the devils advocate thing) due to my low self esteem? if I know what I'm dealing with, I can address that too, or is it something else? I'm just confused a lot of the time and do my own head in! help!

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Your actions speak of nothing but irrational and absurd fear, what is needed in life is not fear, nothing can grow from that. Cast off your fear! Look forward! Go forward! Never stand still. Retreat and you will age. Hesitate and you will die.


I will envision you into a dream i had, in which i confronted my uncle with my lonelyness, in this dream he said: You have to step towards the people if you do not want to be lonely.


When you had the baby all the attention went to the baby and you secluded yourself from your environment by doing so, or in other words you locked yourself up from reality and threw away the key, you need to find the key you threw away, and unlock your spirit so you may become a unchained soul. Obviously that counceller had no idea what he was talking about , although its true that a network of friends is a secondary step, he skipped the initial step of dealing with the root of the problem.

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thank you for replying, robowarrior


it is true, I fear everything, but I have no idea why or how to overcome it. (although, my father has the same problem and we were raised in an attitude of extreme caution) it seems I've been trying for so long to find happiness and I'm tired, just so tired of struggling and not getting anywhere. I cannot seem to commit myself to anything. I think when my anxiety gets bad like this, it is because I feel frustrated and angry. I become intolerant of others and want to isolate myself, which makes me feel worse as I know it is the exact opposite of what I need to be doing. I'm just scared of trying to change anything, I feel like this is all I'm ever going to achieve. I can go for long periods where I fill up the emptiness with superficial things, like using the internet as an avoidance tactic and things can be ok, but at the end of the day, I'm still not fulfilled because I avoid taking risks or opportunities to change things that matter. so, if I KNOW all of this, why am I unable to take control and tackle what needs doing? why do I rely on outside influences to make me happy? how can I finally move forward and become more stable? arrgh!

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Hi Anya. welcome to enot.


I'm still not fulfilled because I avoid taking risks or opportunities to change things that matter. so, if I KNOW all of this, why am I unable to take control and tackle what needs doing? why do I rely on outside influences to make me happy? how can I finally move forward and become more stable? arrgh!


In my experience, I find that I am not fulfilled if I expect things to be different than they actually are. I find that it is not so much knowing a lot of stuff or even knowing what to do, but rather feeling my way forward, sometimes very slowly, and noting as I feel, what extends/promotes feelings of joy/fulfillment/happiness/contentment and what does not.


So as seen here, it is a matter of having enough courage to follow and note your own feelings in a feeling (compassionate) manner. And as one follows (and notes) ones feelings in this way, ones being becomes more feeling or one becomes more stable/content/happy in ones own being/feeling.


Hoping this makes some sense to you.

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thank you, hello talo


so basically, I've just got to take a leap and experience the things I want, in order to feel the happiness? I guess I understand that, but it would be a hell of a lot easier if I could feel things without having to go through them first lol. I do actually believe that generally people can only learn from their own mistakes, so it I guess I'd feel less of a hypocrite if I led by example. it seems the mistakes I thought I avoided making as a youngster, are still going to have to be made in order for me to learn and grow from them? I do tend to be more forgiving when others make mistakes, as opposed to myself, however, I also have respect for them for trying. obviously something that I've, at some point, lost for myself..

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You might try an organisation called Recovery. They hold free meetings and have a set book with proven methods to help with anxiety and other related problems. I used to go to the meetings and found them quite helpful, even though anxiety was not my main problem. I still use some of their exercises though and I know it made a big difference to the lives of a lot of the other attendees. I think the concrete steps and exercises they provide might help you get started at least.



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thanks for the link fredthebread, I will check it out soon


last night I finally plucked up the courage to end an online 'friendship' that, in my heart I knew was going nowhere, despite my wishful thinking, and to which I've wasted far too many thinking hours over. it killed me to make it final (I think that's a huge problem, I forgive easily and always leave the door open) but in a way, it felt good to make the decision and stick to it. whatever happens his end, I feel calmer knowing that I have expressed my feelings openly and can move on. it still hurts though

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Imagine If you are in a room with a door in it , imagine you are completely too scared to go thru that door. Then that room effectivly becomes a prison , because you are afraid of what lies beyond that door, a state of limbo is reached, you see you cannot move further if you do not go thru that door, even if that door may represent pain, its useless to stay in that same room, that's why i said move forward , go forward never stand still.


The only thing that can give you happyness is to love and help other people, and only love can fill the empty gap in your soul.


Don't be afraid of change, life is like a rough diamond and you are the master crafter who shapes that diamond of life into any given shape that you want it to be, change it into the best possible shape satisfactory to your desire.

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thanks for your kind words robo. I understand and I am trying. I go through periods where I feel quite confident and make headway on things, but it doesn't seem long before I face some major crisis (read simple decision lol) start doubting myself, become self-conscious and withdraw again. in the grand scheme of things, it's like over the years I take one step forward and five back, whilst everyone else is running ahead. I know I will get there, I want to get there, I just need to learn not to be so hard on myself.

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