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Please help me - I am backed into a corner...


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Hi, can you please help me change my thinking?

I've got a significant amount of anxiety going on and the symptoms are horrible, but i am able to carry on but I will get ill if i can't sort it out.

Brief background:

I did something for a long time that i never told anyone about.

Then 10 years ago it came out and people were shocked and horrified.

Nobody spoke to me about it. I went away to live in France.

i came back a few years ago. Due to significant anxiety attacks, i avoid many social situations, but i can work and live ok, but not great.

I have had a friend (my best friend) for 30 years. We have told each other everything throughout our lives. She, of course, knows everything about my background, and she knows the full details of it, which are way worse than what actually came out.

Now - back to the present.

I have realised that my friend has been telling people all the details.

I have only just realised it because she slipped up and it became obvious.

Firstly, I cant believe she has done it.

secondly i can believe she has done it! - i am willing to accept it and mostly i do.

I also know that two other people, (who do not know me), told people (in my circles), but that was just after i came back from france (which is why i started avioding the world and hiding away somewhat).

I am really struggling now.

I have entered several different circles over the last years in an attempt to be accepted, but in the end, someone always knows (nobody ever says anything directly to me, but i get a comment from them that is supposed to let me know that they know)

What happens inside me

  1. I get anxiety come on (its like a gasp and a tightening) and i think, "oh no, not again!"
  2. I go home and hide - i have the urge to eat, and i get agitated and have to play computer games to stop my mind and sleep.
  3. Thoughts that i have are things like...
    • "They all know"
    • "This can't happen, it has to stay secret"
    • "They are going to kill me"
    • "No one will save me"
    • "I am going to die"

  • i end up acting like its not real, but I hide and when i come out i am in full denial.
  • i get depressed and i think
    • "i am not worth anything"
    • "I can't go anywhere"
    • "I cant be anything"
    • "I cant have anyone"
    • "I cant feel safe"
    • "My life is over"
    • "everything is pointless (except maybe this one episode of the TV I am watching right now"
    • "i dont have anything to care about"
    • "Nothing has meaning"
    • "I dont know what will happen to me"
    • "I cant go on like this - soon i will have to come out"

    My savings have ran out, and my home-business has decreased in income by 45%. So I have to go out to try to sell some stuff - and, little by little, i have been going out to do that, over the last few months - but i really suffer with anxiety - my level of anxiety has gone up and up in levels, (and i have had panic attacks too).

    Even now i am sitting here and I know everything is pumping and raging inside, even though its late at night and I have been productive and distracting all day.

    Can someone just help me?

    My thoughts cant be changed can they? because i have to account for reality - i cant see what i can do.

    Ive been thinking and thinking that my life isnt pointless, and i have tried various things over the last few years to try to get into a life that has meaning, but it has been one set-back after another (e.g. I get into a club, group or hobby and then people find out and reject me, or i fail in a business, etc and then i get all the symptoms again and it all starts again.)

    By the way, i gained 10 stone over thes years, but i have now lost 3 stone in the last 6 months, by using an eating and exercise plan. And I have had 4 different UKCP therapists (one for 3 years, the others for months) and a therapy group, and various personal developemnt courses and workshops.

    I thought i was gay, but im not, - i joined a gay circle and i wasnt attracted to anyone or anything - but i have got a couple of gay friends now, but now i think that they also know (two of them) because they have cut me off.

    I had thrown myself into religion 5 years ago for 2 years, but i came out and its all just the same (although i love knowing God, and wouldnt now give that up for anything).

    If you are thinking i have BPD or Paranoid traits, its not the case. I used to think i was imagining it as well, but I now believe that my symptoms coming on are due to an accurate assessment that people know and are attacking me - its a subconscious awareness of something they are doing but not revealing to me, i now believe.

    Questions

  • Can I ever get out of this?
  • Can I ever accept and get used to the hostile and murderous vibes coming from people?
  • Will adjusting my thinking work - or will i go back into denial
  • Can I change the way that people are towards me?
  • Can I influence the way that people think about me?
  • Can i stop people wanting to hurt me, and instead have them want to enjoy me and have me around?

I am so alone, and in pain.

Thank you for reading this.

Please comment.

I really need some response.

I need to hear what people think about what i have said because i cant ask anyone in real life because i wont get an answer.

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I feel like you are forcing yourself to be accepted, no matter what happened in your past that is not the person you are today it does not define who you are if others want to talk behind you then they are not really your friends. Have you talked to a professional about how you have been feeling? Also the way I understand it yes a person can defiantly change their way of thinking about something but I know it takes some time to do so. Just because people are talking about you why do you get the impression they want to hurt you? Do you think you might be misreading them? It is hard to changes someone's view of you when they already put something in their own mind about you but that is what is so good about the world plenty of other people in it and no two are the same. I think you need some new friends.

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Hi JayLow and welcome to the community. :)

I sense your distress. I'm sorry you are feeling this way. :( There is a lot of catastrophizing in your thoughts. This happens when we think the absolute worst when the reality of the situation does not necessarily match our thoughts. Negative self-talk can have an effect on one's emotional well-being. If you listen to your inner voice and become aware of how you are talking to yourself, it can be a place to begin change.

You can't control how others feel or behave. You can present yourself with confidence and be true to yourself. What I am wondering, though, is if perhaps there is something deeper in your pain surrounding what happened in your past. Have you talked openly in therapy about that experience and your feelings around it?

I'm sorry for your pain, JayLow. Take care.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Questions

  • Can I ever get out of this?
  • Can I ever accept and get used to the hostile and murderous vibes coming from people?
  • Will adjusting my thinking work - or will i go back into denial
  • Can I change the way that people are towards me?
  • Can I influence the way that people think about me?
  • Can i stop people wanting to hurt me, and instead have them want to enjoy me and have me around?

Hello, JayLow,

I'm sorry you're in such a distress :( ... You're posing good questions, but all we can do is just draft some subjective thoughts. Here are mine, quite chaotic, I'm sorry (._.') ...

I think you can get out of that. But probably mainly by changing your attitude towards the problem and by treating the anxiety and panic, not by significantly changing other people. I don't think 'adjusting your thinking' have to be a denial. However, there are probably some things that would be better to deny: The assumptions about hostility, 'murderous vibes', and 'will to hurt you' in others. I can imagine that some people might be hostile and some also might hate you, but this is something that probably cannot be avoided and most of us have to face it - anybody cannot be liked by everyone and there are always some people who show their feelings (hostility, ...) to those they don't like. I think 'this is life' and this is better to 'accept' somehow - mainly by defining your priorities: Do you need to be liked by everybody? Do you have to care about what some people think? Isn't it enough to have some people you can trust, some that don't (usually) hurt you and are nice to you? ... etc.

I know; this doesn't solve the problem :( : You're 'too observant' now and sensitive to every, even small or just 'imaginary', signs of 'hostility'. And when one wants to see them, then he does, because there are plenty of little things that could be interpreted like this. So... maybe you could try to focus on the positive signals that people give to you. Are there some? Why would they be meaningless or less important than the negative-ones?

I also think you can make (some, of course) people 'want to enjoy you and have you around'. But the trick is that you cannot do it just by having this one aim in mind and trying to please them - this can work for some time but is too exhausting and only leads to depression and anxiety, as when you're always watching yourself and evaluating "am I good enough?", then you always can find some 'faults' and be angry and/or anxious about them. So the way to change is to 'get in touch with yourself', become more comfortable with yourself, being able to find deep reconciliation with the 'dark' past event, become more self-confident, much less anxious, ... and then you'll see that also other people could enjoy you more. I know this sounds frustrating as it's a very hard 'task' :(. But it doesn't mean it's impossible. It's not something to do in one step or in some weeks. It's a long way, but worth to give it a try... I suppose you'd like us to tell you how to achieve this change, but... all I can say is that... you really have to want it and also try to find resources of insights, help, ...

For me, a big change was due to medication - when my anxiety was removed by meds, I started to feel differently and thinking differently became much less difficult - in my case, it was tremedously supported/helped by psychotherapy. What are your experiences with anti-anxiety and anti-panic medication? There are many possibilities now and even though it can take some time to find the right one, it's often possible to manage the anxiety and panic quite well. And what about therapy? Many people also recommend mediation and/or relaxation technics (which can be at least less expensive than therapy if money is and issue here, but they can usefully complement any kind of treatment)...

And yes, there is always the possibility to 'start a new life' elsewhere, with new people who don't know about your past. But hard to say if this wouldn't be similarly difficult than becoming comfortable in your present life...

Good luck!

L.

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