So not too long ago I was in a difficult place. Always low, suffering from depression and social anxiety and life was heading nowhere.
What has changed now?
The first thing now is I have noticed the connection linking social anxiety and depression.... Alcohol. I had been to multiple DR's many times to try and get social anxiety help but they don't understand SA. So for 10 years, I used alcohol to self medicate when out in public so I could get on with things without being nervous or making an idiot of myself.
The alcohol "hangovers" soon started to cause havoc with my state of mind. Progressively each time they got worse and worse and the last few times of drinking I have been so depressed/guilty/ashamed the next day that I would spend 2 or 3 days in bed sleeping.
The penny has now completely dropped. I have never had an alcohol addiction but is it really worth drinking when I go to town just to have a few hours free of social anxiety in exchange for 2 or 3 days of my life where I sleep and feel at my lowest point?? I think not.
I wont give up drink 100%. However instead of drinking once a week, I will only drink on special occasions such as xmas day, new years eve and my birthday and it will be in moderation. I have even signed up for "Dry January" which is where people give up alcohol for the whole of January (and in my case beyond).
What about the Social Anxiety?
There's no doubt that I still have social anxiety, but without drinking to self medicate I can begin to combat it. I will take small steps such as going to the local shops around my area twice a week and trying to interact with the staff members, then eventually I will be ready for the big step of going to the busy town centre, alcohol free and using my newly gained skills. I am even going to be eating much more healthy in the new year which will make me feel better in myself and more importantly, give me more confidence.
What other steps have I made?
Another form of escapism for many years was gambling. Similar to alcohol it would be used to make me feel better in the short term, but in the long term make me worse because of being in financial ruin. I have already had over 2 months gamble free (the longest gamble free time in many years) and I hope to keep being gamble free in the new year.
I do need to gain friends... Fact, however I recently parted ways with the only friend I had and for good reasons.
He is a few years older than me and is a waste of space/burden on my progression. I have been meeting up with him for many years but only when I go to the pub... Because that is all he want's to do. He is tight with money, only thinks of himself and is a constant let down. So many times he said he had no money left so I bought him another pint and later noticed when he opened his wallet that he had a pile of notes in there (He has never once bought me a pint in return). I had suggested doing other things many times before, rather than go to the pub. But nope... He will just make excuses or say he hasn't got any money. When we meet, we sit in the pub in near silence and all he seems to do is moan about how much he hates this town and wants to see other places. However when I try and arrange or suggest having a day in another town, he will yet again make excuses.
The only way I could see our friendship lasting would be if I carried on drinking each week. As I mention above though, I have changes on the horizon and drinking is not in my plans so I have put an end to our friendship.
That is all. Christmas is nearly here to enjoy, followed by a new year which is set to be my best year ever. Money is coming back in and I now know the exact route and cause of my problems and have put a lot of things in place to completely better myself and have a better future as a result of it