Socially Awkward: Can This Practice Help Me Through?
Hey fellow people, this is my story.
Im 23 years old and i recently passed out of university. The problem that im facing immensely in life is one of social awkwardness. Till about five years ago, while i was still at school, I would say i was extremely popular with my peers, whether it was being a state level football player, to being a school captain, taking part in lead roles in acting, music and dancing. At that point i hosted many school events, had no problems when it came to public speaking and enjoyed it thoroughly. At the end of my school term, i suffered a major set back where i had lost all my friends and i could'nt wait to start university. i arrived at university and still had no problems associating with people. But on the inside, i had a persistent feeling where i wasn't comfortable around people. I started disassociating myself from the people around me, What i dint realise at the time was that im suffering from major depression. There were days where i would lock myself away in my room, completely avoiding contact with anyone around me, because i knew on the inside, my social awkwardness was at view to everyone. I would avoid eating lunch with anyone because it actually involved carrying on conversation with people, and that feeling of DREAD doing something like that? There was NOWAY i would put myself through it! I mean, if friends would call and say, hey. lets do lunch, i'd make up excuses that id had lunch already. and would scamper around to other places with my newspaper and read while eating. I dint mind this at all even though it mightve appeared weird to others reading this. But here's the thing, when it came to every Friday night, where i could have a drink or two. It put me in enough of a social mood to hang out at clubs and meet other people, and i enjoyed myself quite a bit, cracking jokes, being the "fun" guy to hang out with. Only followed by dread the next morning that i couldn't repeat my former self from last night in an everyday situation. That got me more depressed. When university ended, i returned home and I read through forums about social anxiety, and discovered lorazepam as an anti-anxiety drug and discovered my parents were on it. I tried it out secretly, and PRESTO, anxiety gone.( i could be the person i wanted to be on the inside, happy and sociable). But i dont want to be addicted to this medication as when i stopped using it i suffered even more anxiety attacks. My biggest inhibiting factor at joining work is this situation. Im in a profession which requires extensive personal communication with others and that feeling of dread is so high when communicating with others, that i cant concentrate on the work at hand,and in short, feel absolutely naked in front of others. My life's come to a standstill because I know for a fact that being able to speak to others, communicate,share things is the one of the biggest determinants to happiness. Since im unable to do so, unable of opening enough to others to let them get close to me. It hurts me alot. I have no close friends at all, and I just cant get myself to speak to anyone around me about this situation im in, it embarrasses me too much. I took up chanting of "Nam myoho renge kyo" and the few times i did do it, it did feel good. But will this help me overcome my situation permanently? I know this mightve been too much of a rant to anyone reading this, but found other people doing so on the internet, and if others could be nice enough to write in good advice to someone who needs it. I hope someone will write to me too :)