Social anxiety, blushing, C-PTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder) and depression ruled my life for many years. This is my story of how I overcame it. I not only overcame social anxiety myself, I have helped many people overcome social anxiety, blushing, PTSD, depression, childhood trauma and all forms of abuse.
My story of social anxiety from the time I was a child growing up
From a young age I was not comfortable around other people. Adults might have said I was quiet or shy. At school I was not very social. What they did not see, inside I was anxious; scared really. I think I hid it well. I remember in elementary school being socially anxious in school, not joining in the games at lunch-time or recess. Feeling anxiously alone. During middle school it became worse and I developed a chronic blushing issue. I was highly self-conscious. Everywhere I went, sat, moved was based on fear and social anxiety. I was strategizing all the time how not to draw attention to me. In high school it became much worse.
I hated being in school, and I hated being at home too. I learned to dissociate from my body and feelings. I felt fragmented, not really connected to myself or anyone else. I often felt like I was floating outside myself. I felt cold and sweaty. I often wanted to hide and get away from other people. I tried to be invisible and avoid interacting with other kids, teachers, sports, groups, invitations to parties, and anything else that might put any attention onto me. I hated being called on in class because I was afraid I would be embarrassed, give the wrong answer, be judged and blush. I was terrified to have the attention on me. Later, I cancelled college a few weeks before it began, out of fear. A year later I did begin college, but dropped out just a few weeks into classes due to my social anxiety and blushing. I had very little confidence in myself, procrastinated about everything, and lived a pretty isolated existence.
When I was in school, I was a very bright student, and if I liked the teacher and felt somewhat comfortable in that class I would get very high marks. It is a real shame how my low self-esteem social anxiety held me back. It stunted my potential and my enjoyment of life throughout my childhood and well up into my adult years, until mid-life actually.
Growing up, everyone seemed to miss that I had very serious social anxiety, blushing, depression and PTSD issues. Not a single teacher, parent, family member or friend ever even hinted that I had any such issues. I missed a lot of growth and opportunity by not going to college, socializing, participating in organizations, community and such. I mastered living life alone in order to cope with my deep, overwhelming fears and anxiety.
Discovering the origins of social anxiety, and chronic blushing
After over 30 years of practicing as a counselor and psychotherapist, and after a lifetime of receiving many hundreds of hours of private counseling and various forms of psychotherapy, I can tell you for certain that my issues originated in my childhood upbringing and early experiences. In my adult life, my anxiety, depression and complex PTSD was compounded by other traumatic family and life experiences. We tend to attract similar relationships and experiences as to what we were born into and raised in. People often marry or attract partners that repeat the past. This is how nature gives us an opportunity to revisit our wounds, so we can choose to heal and learn from these experiences.
I did seek help and therapy in my late teens and a few other times during my twenties. But I did not stay long enough with these therapists out of fear and denial. This is common. Many people quit therapy or don’t seek it at these ages. Though what is unconscious and blocking our potential will rise again and again, until it hurts so much that we choose to address it.
If I could do my life over, I would have gotten into therapy in my teens or twenties and stayed in it until I cleared my childhood wounding, until I was living at my full potential. I paid a big price for not doing so. I did not seriously dedicate myself to healing my own emotional issues until after a traumatic marriage and family breakup in my mid forties. That is when my journey of serious self healing and transformation began.
By then my life was so compounded by additional chaos, suffering and trauma, that it took almost ten years of ongoing therapy to bring me to a place of wholeness and a free, fulfilling life. As a result, I can finally say, I no longer have any serious issues with social anxiety, blushing, depression, or PTSD. My wish for others is that they do not wait as long as I did to address these issues. Put the time and energy in now to completely resolve everything holding you back.
The main takeaways from my story
I really want everyone to know, that even severe social anxiety, blushing, trauma, depression and PTSD can be healed and transformed. I am not only certain of this because of my own personal life transformation, but because of the many clients I have helped resolve these and similar issues.
The second thing I want to shout from the rooftops is, don’t wait until you are experiencing great suffering before you seek therapy. Painful experiences tend to get pushed down into our subconscious. It does not only need to be trauma, it can be needs not met that parents did not even know we had, or know how to meet. Unresolved and un-integrated experiences tend to fester, eventually leading to unfulfilled or broken dreams, divorce, chronic illness, cancer, heart attacks, addiction, alcoholism, broken relationships, broken careers, and the like. Therapy does not have to wait, nor should it wait until your life breaks down and suffering is unbearable. Please learn from my life, and seek therapy early in life and stay with it. Things like power, money, fame, marriage, the perfect partner and business success do not make it all go away. Sooner or later our unresolved anxiety, fear and trauma can come back to haunt and destroy our lives.
My experience makes me certain that really good holistic psychotherapy can help a person achieve success and happiness in all areas of life. Therapy is an exploration; a major, tremendous learning and growth experience. Good therapy expands our energy and ability to realize our full potential. Are you ready and willing to take advantage of it?
Somatic-based psychotherapy is key to healing social anxiety and chronic blushing
Psychotherapy helps a person clear fears and anxiety; it boosts self-confidence, power, mental and emotional strength. Therapy boosts awareness, insight and clarity. Therapy often reveals gifts and powers that have gone unrealized. Therapy deepens the capacity to love, communicate, relate, connect and share intimacy.
I have experienced psychotherapy as the greatest single force of healing, transformation and positive change in my life. The type of psychotherapy and therapeutic modalities I have experienced and witnessed that work best are somatic orientated: Gestalt, EFT, EMDR, Focusing, relational, experiential, somatic, mind-body-orientated and positive psychotherapy. Most important, it is about building a trusting and on-going relationship with an experienced, compassionate, relational, intuitive, spiritual and empathic psychotherapist. This is where repair, integration and healing can take place, because so many of us never had this.
I hope I have inspired you to enter into psychotherapy to improve your life. Feel free to speak with me to help answer any questions you may have in finding the right psychotherapist for your individual needs. I would be glad to make a referral if my schedule is full or if I am not the right therapist for you. Don’t put your health and happiness off another day, schedule your complimentary session here on my calendar.
Sincerely wishing you all the best in life,