Hi. Since I was a kid I’ve had social phobias and severe depression issues among others. Grew up in NY and had an interesting childhood after getting expelled from High School at 13 years old and sent off to a reform school/mental institute place for 4 years. Met some interesting people and that place helped shape me into someone who could survive and get by almost anywhere(the student/inmates more than the counselors being lots of us were anti-social so could relate). Back then I had an intensity(or craziness if you will) that even despite those limitations allowed me to spontaneously do things without so much fear(some good some bad) which seems to have gotten lost over 25 years ago. Every year thereafter I found myself hiding more and more into myself, becoming more the loner while developing increased hesitation and fear towards trying to interact with others.
Over the years I’ve even chosen mostly trade field jobs or factory positions that allowed me to just crunch down and work with minimal to no interaction with others(be them clients or coworkers). over 30 years of being antisocial and hiding have made some really bad habits that honestly I never thought id have to break. An amazing life changing event occurred just a few months ago however that requires me to come out of my shell now. Physically, mentally and emotionally Im now committed to changing about 80% of who I am, which is great as for the most part I didn’t much like myself anyway. Have overcome the depression and found a crazy motivation towards becoming successful but severe anxiety still lingers. It seems from what research I’ve found, that simply putting myself out there in public situations and trying new things is the best way to overcome this, which is helping a lot, but as I’m in a new area the last few months and have this crazy path that has me only working, going to the gym(another new things I’ve never committed to before), taking a couple of classes, and self-studying a couple different subjects there is not a huge amount of time for socialization.
Thus it seemed maybe I’d try to find someplace online for support and to meet people and see how that goes. Just for a baseline, took a test called the Liebowitz social anxiety scale where I came in with an 86%(Severe social phobia). No surprise there, just wanted a baseline to make it easier to measure improvement down the road. That’s basically where I’m and and what brought me here.