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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Anxious about EVERYTHING

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Author Topic: Anxious about EVERYTHING
Hawkward
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Hello... I'm a new member and do not be alarmed, I do have a reason for putting this in the 'Relationship' section. But I thought I'd give a bit of background information before I got to my Relationship question... I hope that is okay...
I'm a 15 year old female, I'm a virgin and I've never been kissed. I'm PAINFULLY shy and an anxious person in general. I have become so introverted that it actually drives my small group of friends insane. Everybody knows I'm this way, but nobody knows how serious it actually is... I'm almost scared to leave the house. I get very stressed in crowds, my heart starts pumping fast and I hyperventilate. This really is a problem when I am in school, as I am constantly surrounded by people and I just want to break down and cry. Too much socialisation makes me feel upset and tired, and some days I wish I could be by myself but there is nowhere in my school to hide. People everywhere. One friend has noticed this and she thinks I have mental health problems and that I should see a professional... but I don't know.
This probably stems from the bullying when I was younger. I don't want to go over much of the details as I'll probably get my laptop wet from tears. But the bullying was mainly exclusion/social, and sometimes verbal. My brother was bullied too and this hurt me as well, because I felt so helpless and it felt as if it was happening to me all over again. His pain was my pain. We're very close, you see.
My anxiety, my fear, of absolutely nothing is out of control and I don't know what to do...
There are horrible customs where I live. People don't do relationships, they just make out and 'go' with each other. I know very few people who are actually committed to each other. Most people have their first kiss when they are about 10 or 11 years old. Usually at a disco. These discos are horrific. The girls plaster on the make-up and fake tan, and turn up at these places almost naked. I promise I am not exaggerating. The boys are just as bad. Then, these people would go around the disco kissing strangers. It's like a game, who can 'meet' the most people. I've heard of 9 year olds going to these things, it makes me sick. I've also heard of some people kissing 12 different strangers in a night! Am I the only person who thinks that this is vile?
However, I know a total of 3 girls my age who are not like this. They are my closest friends. Two of these girls, I will mention one later and I'm going to call her 'Zoe', are like me, never been kissed, etc. simply because they want to save it for the right guy. I feel this way too. The other girl is a bit of a hopeless romantic but she doesn't do the crap at those discos.
Finally, and I'm sorry for the snooze-fest, to my question. I fancy a boy, I shall call him 'Bob' and I'm too scared to tell him for a number of reasons. Firstly because of the whole shyness and anxiety that I have already outlined. Secondly, I don't want to follow the traditional customs of where I live. I want to connect with this person emotionally and not just make out with him. Also, I have very important exams looming. The timing is terrible. Bob is a year younger than me which is quite discouraging... He is best friends with one of my best friends, I have called her Zoe. Bob and Zoe have been best friends since they were little kids. Zoe tells me that she thinks that me and Bob would make a 'cute' couple but I'm scared that he'll reject me and our friendship (we're great friends at the moment... we have some entertaining conversations) will be ruined. I also don't want to make things awkward between Bob and Zoe if he rejects me... This is also of note- Someone annoyed me a few days ago... this person told me that they asked Bob if he would kiss me and apparently he said yes... I didn't tell this person I fancied Bob, as I trust no one. This person told me that they were just trying to 'annoy' Bob... but recently ANOTHER person started flirting with Bob and I think he is flirting back... [Frown] My question is - WHAT SHOULD I DO???
Thank you for reading...

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"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."
- The Dalai Lama

"The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open."
- Unknown

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Heather
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Welcome to the boards, Hawkward. [Smile]

First things first, I hear you describing very extreme anxiety, the kind that really, people almost always need professional care for so they can manage it. Do you have access to general healtcare so you can get someone to start evaluating this for you?

Until you do, that, it sounds like dating would probably be something much more likely to just feed your anxiety more than to be something great for you. It also sounds like, as you say, the timing really stinks right now.

So, how about putting your focus on getting started with help for this anxiety first, and figuring dating is something that will keep for when you have gotten more help managing it, and are thus way more likely to actually have romantic relationships happen at a good time for you, and be more likely to be a good thing, not just one more thing to amp up your anxiety?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Hawkward
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Thanks Heather [Smile]
Yes, I have been told that dating amps up anxiety. However, don't you think it may boost my confidence? Someone in my life that makes me feel good? I know 'Bob' pretty well as a friend and he is a sweet guy, he doesn't do any of that disco crap either...
Healthcare is very expensive where I live and money is pretty tight. I just couldn't put this kind of pressure on my parents, they spend enough money on us as it is. I have severe asthma and my medication costs a fortune. My brother has been getting therapy for almost a year and they can barely afford to keep him in the system, which worries me greatly as he needs therapy, it has improved his life so much!

--------------------
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."
- The Dalai Lama

"The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open."
- Unknown

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Heather
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I think with the extreme anxiety you're talking about, as well as you being pretty clear that you don't feel up to handling rejection right now, all signs point to starting dating soon being a pretty bad idea, if you're asking me.

For sure, Bob might be a great guy, but we can't actually have a great relationship with someone if we're not in a good space for it. A relationship is really only as great as the sum of its parts, and when one person in it is in a big mental health crisis, it's a huge strain on a relationship, That's tough enough in an existing, ongoing relationship, but right at the start? That's a tough one.

To boot, Bob, I assume, wants to feel good, too. And it's going to be really hard for you to give all the things we need to in a relationship that's good for everyone in this kind of headspace. In a word, it already sounds like you've got more on your plate than you can manage, as-is.

Honestly, the kind of anxiety you're describing isn't just going to go away or get better on its own: you need some kind of qualified help with it.

Are you enrolled in school right now? If so, at the very least, ave you looked into the counseling services your school may offer? That's one free way to get help getting started with something like this.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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(By the way, if the Dalai Lama is someone you respect, and it looks like he is, he's had a lot of really amazing things to say over the years about self-care, and the times and ways we need to care for ourselves, especially in crisis, before we establish new relationships with others. And plenty to say about trying to get from others what we first need to learn to do for, and get from, ourselves.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Hawkward
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Wow... That was brilliant advice... I am such an idiot... But you really seem to think that this is serious? I'm scared now... WHAT IF I CAN NEVER DATE BECAUSE I'LL ALWAYS BE ANXIOUS??? I'LL BE ALONE FOREVER!!! [Frown]
I just want to add that my grades are pretty good at the moment, because I spend so much time indoors studying!
Yes, I am enrolled in a school. The counselling services are not great, we only have one guidance counsellor. I have talked to him a few times in his office and he is a lovely man. He taught me maths for a full year. But he is always too busy to talk... so I stopped bothering to go and talk to him because I felt that I was pestering him and getting in the way of his busy schedule. The teachers are concerned about me, but do nothing about it.
I usually tell my mom everything, we get along incredibly well. But I feel a bit ashamed, to be honest, to talk to my parents about it. My brother is more worrying at the moment...

--------------------
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."
- The Dalai Lama

"The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open."
- Unknown

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Heather
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I'm sure you're not an idiot.

I think going to the place where you're worrying about having these issues forever rather than thinking about what you can do to look for help with them a) doesn't make sense, but b) makes pretty clear what a rotten headspace you're in.

So, I don't think you'll have these troubles forever IF you put effort into getting help with them.

And yes: getting to the point where you seem to be having agoraphobia, being afraid of people and having extreme anxiety all the time is serious. You have to know yourself how serious it is: after all, you've got to be feeling pretty miserable much of the time with this, right?

This stuff isn't anything to be ashamed of: mental crisis or illness really is just like physical crisis or illness. It's out of your control right now, not something bad you did, okay?

It sounds like you have a good relationship with your mother: so, how about giving her a chance and telling her about all of this? If she loves you and you're close, she will want to help. She won't want you to suffer needlessly.

[ 04-05-2013, 08:30 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Hawkward
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Thanks Heather...

Honestly, you're right. I have been in a rotten headspace. I have been miserable for years...

Yes, I have a great relationship with all my immediate family, especially my mom. However it has gotten to the point where I would prepare to talk to her, but when I actually face her I cannot articulate my feelings and I would feel extremely nauseous. I would just tell her that it does not matter. I am normally a very articulate but not outspoken person. For example, when I have to go to the doctor's for physical reasons, I am able to articulate my pain/discomfort very well into words. I don't even know what I want to say to my mother though, when it comes to mental issues? I have this same issue with my friends? When I'm upset, I don't tell them anything and it seriously frustrates them... I have even tried writing my mom a letter and giving it to her, but I always just rip it up and throw it away.

--------------------
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."
- The Dalai Lama

"The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open."
- Unknown

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Heather
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A letter sounds like the better way to go with this, given how talking has gone.

What do you think you need to do to NOT rip it up and throw it away?

How about even just realizing that ripping up that letter is probably making a conscious choice NOT to do what you can to change how you feel for the better? that ripping it up is, in some ways, deciding to stay miserable?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Hawkward
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I don't know what I need to do to not rip it up and throw it away... Everything I write just always comes out wrong. My English teacher has approached me and has told me that I am very good at writing about how I feel and that when I get into it, my answers are very personal and very good. But last year I told her I was not comfortable with her reading out my answers in class as I got worried... etc.! etc.! etc.!

Why can't I write this letter, then!?!

That was kind of a rhetorical question... sorry.

"Sometimes I think I've become too comfortable with sadness. I wear it around my shoulders like a winter coat, to keep me warm. How is it that sorrow has become my comfort, my home? I am afraid to move forward. I am afraid to venture into the uncharted territory that is happiness. Contentment is just within reach. If I stretched my fingers far enough, I could grasp it and pull it close. Instead, I cling to my darkness, because it is familiar to me. Why am I so afraid of the light?"
- Unknown

I am not sure where I found this quote... but maybe that is a reason you were looking for.

--------------------
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."
- The Dalai Lama

"The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open."
- Unknown

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Heather
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This isn't a paper for school, or something where things can be right or wrong. This is you asking your mother, who it sounds like cares about you a whole lot, for help that you need; help that's exactly the kind parents are not only supposed to give or find for you, but which good parents really want you to ask them for.

You know, what you wrote for us in the top half of your first post? That said enough for me to know things were seriously wrong: how about you just copy that and share it with her?

By all means, when we have this kind of stuff going on, it absolutely can become our normal. Obviously, you don't want this to be your normal: you want to find ways to manage all of this so it doesn't limit your ability and desire to live your life and enjoy it.

So, that means you've got to take a positive risk here, step outside that comfortable or normal with the yuck, and take that step to changing that.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Hawkward
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I'm not sure if I can - I'm a coward!?! [Frown]

--------------------
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."
- The Dalai Lama

"The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open."
- Unknown

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Heather
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...or, apparently really big on putting yourself down!

Maybe you don't feel very brave about this: but this is about taking care of yourself so you can enjoy your life and live it.

So, you need to step outside your comfort zone to get started on that. Obviously, you want things to be different. Some Bob or another won't (and can't) make that so: that's going to be mostly on you, including first steps like this.

I feel certain you can do it. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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WesLuck
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You can do it! Posting on here proves that you care about yourself, and a lot of the unmanageable stress goes away when you share with someone you care for who cares for you as well, so why not give it a try?

Best wishes, and have a great year! (and lots more great years too!)

As you said, a better life is just within reach! [Smile]

[ 04-07-2013, 08:18 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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Hawkward
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The online community here is great... Thanks Heather and WesLuck... I still haven't summed up the courage to give a letter to my mom... Maybe I will some day. But for now, I've just been getting stuck in my schoolwork and pushing the anxiety to the back of my mind. I'm on my holidays at the moment, school is back tomorrow. CROWDS!!!! :S

--------------------
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."
- The Dalai Lama

"The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open."
- Unknown

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, I'm all about focusing on school now that it's starting up again, but I'd encourage you not to put off asking for help with all this, and taking some kind of action on your own to do that, to "some day."

How about putting a deadline on it, like the end of this week or this month?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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WesLuck
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Yes, important things that you have been stressing majorly about don't tend to go away when focusing on other things. You deserve to feel better, but you have to be the one to take the first step. And I don't think it's a big risk and has a potentially big reward to share something very important with someone (in this case your mother) who you care deeply about and who also cares deeply about you. [Smile]

Your relationship with yourself is your most important in your life - understanding and caring for yourself is how you learn to understand and care for others! [Smile]

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Hawkward
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I suppose that there are a few things holding me back... I don't want to tell my parents because knowing my mom's good nature, she'll want to do everything she can to help me, which probably includes therapy. We just don't have that kind of money right now! She would feel guilty for not being able to bring me to therapy and she has had a tough enough time as it is...

Also, I feel that my brother's problems are much bigger than mine... he needs the therapy, he needs the attention, not me. I'm feeling selfish...

I'm holding back from the guidance counsellor because I'm afraid he will tell my parents and I don't want to pressure my parents any more about money for therapy, or anything else I may need to get this anxiety to go away!!!

[Frown] I've survived with these issues now for 5 or 6 years... surely I can just ignore it like I have done since I was 9 or 10...

--------------------
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."
- The Dalai Lama

"The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open."
- Unknown

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Heather
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You know, don't you think it's really your parents place to manage their finances, not yours? Unless, that is, managing the household finances is something you do as a family member because they have asked that of you and invited you into that.

Really, I'm hearing a little bit here of what sounds like you trying to be the parent -- of your brother, maybe even of your parents.

But the thing is: you're not. Your parents are the parents.

You know, obviously you can't ignore these issues. Here you are: clearly being unable to do that. And I suspect you've never ignored them. After all, it's not like anyone can "ignore" severe mental health issues: they tend to impact most, if not every, part of your life. Mental illness is illness like any other. having a longtime history with mental health issues that are hanging on and saying you can just ignore them is a lot like saying, "Yeah, I have diabetes, but if I just ignore it, it'll go away or I'll be fine."

You're just a person, not a superhero.

[ 04-07-2013, 05:37 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Hawkward
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Wow Heather, that last paragraph was really wise...

I do not manage household finances and I've never been asked to do it...

Just because I'm not the parent does not mean I have the right to increase our family's money troubles... I'm not my brother's parent, I'm his concerned and worried big sister. I simply can't just forget about his troubles. The gnawing guilt of thinking about myself rather than others makes me feel sick...

True, nobody can ignore this sort of stuff. I don't know what I was thinking. Recently, the stress of being around so many people in school, made me feel so sick that I had to go and find a teacher in the middle of class and ask him permission to ring my mom so that I could go home. I was so sweaty and I thought I was going to vomit... It was horrible. That day, I went home, and found a sharp piece of metal in my room. I had been constructing a sculpture for an art project...

I had often contemplated self-harm... but I convinced myself for years that it would achieve nothing and that it would not make me feel any better. But I hated myself so much that day... I got the piece of metal and attacked my left arm violently. Not near my wrists, but still on my lower arm. I felt awful afterwards. I told my mom that the cat did it and she believed me. She put a sort of cast on it.

The cast thing has come off but I will never do that to myself again. My friend saw it and told me to show her the scars... she almost cried when she saw them. She didn't buy my cat excuse. I never owned up but she's convinced...

--------------------
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."
- The Dalai Lama

"The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open."
- Unknown

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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From everything you've said,, you have a mother who loves you.

So, all I can really keep saying here, and encouraging you to do, is to ask her for help, which is exactly what any mother who loves you would *want* you to do.

In fact (and this isn't a guilt-trip), it's usually NOT asking for help when you need it this bad that breaks parent's hearts, not the other way round.

It might also help to remember that if we're not good to ourselves, we can't be much good to others. So, this idea that it's you OR them in any kind of family or community doesn't make sense, because in those things, we're all an us.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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