36-year-old African-Caribbean female; District of Columbia
(written story)

“After 5 months of participating in weekly group sessions with seven other amazing people from all other the world, I got my life back!”

 

I joined Larry’s Social Anxiety CBT Group in the Fall of 2017. At the time, I was struggling with moderate to severe social anxiety at work, within the family, and within my personal romantic and social life.

In the workplace, I would experience anxiety speaking up in meetings, leading meetings, dealing with conflict, speaking impromptu, giving presentations, and participating in networking and team building social activities. In these situations, I felt nervous, tense, self-conscious, and paralyzed by the fear that others would notice my anxiety and ridicule or think less of me.

I attempted to manage my anxiety by rehearsing answers, spending extra time overpreparing for meetings, and finding a range of excuses to avoid social events. I was seen as shy, anti-social, and unemotional, traits which did not represent me and labels which became very limiting for me as a corporate professional. I was disappointed in myself and felt that I was operating well below my potential. If I ever wanted to grow or advance in my career, I had to tackle my social anxiety.

In the family environment, I was a complete giver who sacrificed constantly and chose to please others to avoid conflict at any cost. I avoided parties, holiday parties, and every other invitation that came my way. I feared that asserting myself would erode my relationships and alienate cherished family and friends but this was really not helping me at all. I felt constantly drained and resentful that my needs were not met and that others did not reciprocate in implicitly understanding what I was too afraid to ask for directly.

Coupled with those experiences, was my total avoidance of romantic relationships. I found it difficult to navigate the dating environment, often avoiding potential partners and cancelling dates when I couldn’t control my social anxiety. I fixated on all the things that would go wrong and avoided what I believed would be certain embarrassment as much as I could.

I say all this to say that my life was controlled, and severely limited, by social anxiety. I felt that I deserved a higher quality of life, and in my internet search for help, I found Larry’s Social Anxiety CBT Group. After 5 months of participating in weekly group sessions with seven other amazing people from all other the world, I got my life back! I moved forward in my job, started a consulting business, and may, just may, have found the one…we shall see (lol)!

 

Do you have a personal story of learning to overcome your social anxiety you wish to share?

 

If you are a former client of an NSAC-affiliated clinic or clinician, we welcome you to share your story if you believe doing so will be helpful for you. Sharing your story—or not doing so—will have no impact whatsoever on any future services you may seek from any NSAC-affiliated clinic or clinician.

 

You may put your story in writing, audio recording, or video. Discuss any of the following: how social anxiety affected your life; what you learned in therapy that was most helpful for you in lessening your social anxiety; how your life has changed as a result of your work.

 

NSAC reserves the right to decide which stories will be posted or not based on how helpful we believe they will be to other consumers. NSAC also reserves the right to edit for length and clarity, but we will get your approval on any changes before posting your story.  All stories will be posted anonymously. Once posted, you retain the right to have the story removed from our website at any time.