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Newbie with Social Anxiety

Community Member
Hello everyone. I'm here because my new psychologist suggested I try to find people online I can communicate with as I find it impossible to do so in real life due to anxiety. I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place, but it's the only place I know of. I'm 28 years old and have had anxiety, especially social anxiety, for pretty much my entire life. I have very little life experience as I don't leave my house much and never leave it when I'm alone. I've never had a job outside of a short stint at delivering pamphlets and catalogues to letterboxes which I did not enjoy doing. I went for my driver's license several years ago and my Ls expired before I ever developed the confidence to attempt getting my Ps. I don't have any friends besides my dear cat. I am, however, incredibly fortunate enough to have a supportive family who don't pressure me to be well.
I'm am very nervous about posting this and I'm in half a mind hoping nobody replies so I don't have to confront my fears.
8 Replies 8

Community Member

Welcome Tarlo,

Well done for posting and for your honesty. I think you're going to find that this is a great place to meet people, communicate and be honest because most people will understand some of what you're going through and will have felt similar and different types of distress and pain. This is a non-judgemental space, which is why it is so special. I can tell you right now, we're all proud of you for posting.

Looking forward to reading more from you, Ebi

Community Member
Thank you for your reply and reassurance, Ebi. I really appreciate it.
It's going to be tough, but I will try my best.

Community Member

Hi Tarlo! Welcome

I think this is a great place to start communicating with people. You're very brave for sharing your story and I'm glad you did so! It is definitely scary confronting your fears and I see why you may have been worried about people replying.

Avoiding our fears allows us to stay in our comfort zone, but the more you confront them, the more you'll realise that you're capable of doing this! You've taken that first step.

Do you live with your family? I'm glad that they are a positive, supportive presence in your life.

A lot of people also find a lot of comfort in having pets... what is your cat like?

Community Member

Just wanted to quickly add something... I just came across this thread "Pets - tell us about yours" where members are taking about their pets... maybe posting there could be something you could work towards when you're ready! You could start by reading through and seeing what others have posted: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/pets---tell-us-about-yours/page/4#qt5nRHHzvGGEbv8AAOnT_A

Community Member

Hi Tarlo. I really resonated with your post. I am a fellow Gen Y (27 years old) and social anxiety is unfortunately increasing more and more everyday amongst our generation. People have the ''parts'' they play online and as a result I become really intimidated and am constantly questioning my self-worth. I have epilepsy so I get the ''never leaving the house alone'' thing also as well as the no driving aspect. It really impacts your social life.

I don't know if this is going to be silly but one thing I found that really helped me connect with people was Dog Lover's Groups on FB lol. I love dogs like I'm sure you love cats. I joined a lot of these groups on FB and it's just a bit of fun seeing other's pets and posting your own + sharing your experiences and common animal jokes that only owners would get. These really brightened my day. If you have any other passions (chess, video games, D&D's, crafting, makeup) joining online communities is often a great way to meet people with common interests and you can bond over those passions. It could be a great stepping stone into easing some of your social anxieties? I know it worked well for me. Just a thought. I really wish you the best and hope you find this community useful and let you know that you are NOT ALONE. xx

Community Member
Hello Swan, thank you for replying and for your encouragement.

I live with my mother and nan. We’ve had an especially difficult couple of years with multiple bad things happening, one of which being my mother’s breast cancer diagnosis (she’s doing well now).
I feel the hardships have shown us that we will always have each other’s back.

I’ve been making an effort to exit my comfort zone at least once every day if I can. I’m trying to exercise my daring, I guess. It’s only small things at the moment, like answering the door for a delivery. I don’t want to push myself too much as past experiences have taught me that getting a bit too ambitious can badly impact my emotional state.

My cat is wonderful and I feel incredibly lucky to have him. He’s a Devon Rex and will be 5 years old in September. He’s a constant companion for me. He sits with me all day, every day and follows me around the house when I have to do something. He gets in the way a lot and can be a little brat, but you can’t help but forgive him quickly. He’s a fairly vocal cat and meows often. His favourite toy is a pipe cleaner attached to an elastic string on a stick that I have to run around with for him to chase.

Thank you for the thread suggestion. I will definitely check it out!

Community Member
Hi Luna, it’s nice to meet you.

I know what you mean about questioning your self-worth. Online personalities are really the only exposure I’ve had to people since I left high school and trying not to compare myself to some of them was and still can be difficult. I try to remind myself that there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors that comes with being online and by and large it’s probably not the best place to expect authenticity. It still gets to me when I’m feeling vulnerable, though.

I’m sorry to hear about your epilepsy. Being restricted sucks. I’ve been told that it is freeing having your drivers license/being able to drive. I regret not being able to drive my mother to her treatments and appointments for her breast cancer.
I also never feel like I can move at my own pace when I’m out because I’m not alone and I don’t want to take up someone else’s time.

I think dogs are awesome and I would love to adopt one in the future. Every time I see a dog out and about I just enjoy watching them.

I’m definitely on the look out for a good online community. I’ll browse around FB and hopefully try some out when I build up the nerve.

Thank you for replying to my post!!

Community Member

Hey again Tarlo,

It's such a nice feeling to know that you've got people who will stick by you no matter what. It makes the challenges in life a bit less hard to deal with. I'm glad to hear that your mum is doing well now, it must have been scary for all of you receiving that diagnosis... I wish her the best in her recovery.

Sounds like you're making some progress getting out of that comfort zone and I think that it's perfectly okay to not overcommit yourself. Taking those little steps like answering the door is perfectly fine... it's nice to be able to celebrate those successes. No rush...

Haha your cat sounds a bit cheeky... but seems like he's a really good companion that also has a really positive impact on your life 🙂 I'm sure he keeps you busy running around the house entertaining him! I wish I had the space to have a pet sometimes.