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My turn to stand up and admit that I suffer from social anxiety 
29th-Apr-2009 08:48 am
Ahhhh blue !!!
I have suffered from low self-esteem and social anxiety for most of my life, it is debilitating and has been preventing me from making the most of my life. Recently I was off sick with work-related stress, mostly because I didn't have the confidence to take control of my situation, my doctor put me on medication, referred me for councelling, and recommended that I read a book "The secret" by Rhonda Byrne. The recommendations for further reading have continued since. I have improved amazingly since finally giving and admitting I have problems. My friends, girlfriend and work colleagues have been amazingly supportive, and what I have found more astounding is the supprt coming from the very people that I perceived to be my biggest problems. My reading has prepared me for a lot of this change and it certainly has helped me bounce back in a way that I could not have ever imagined. I am speaking with confidence and feel a lot happier about my life .. and I know I still have a long way to go.

Tan has a poster (which sits in out bathroom!) with a Max Ehrmann passage quoted on it. For her birthday last year I surreptitiously removed it and had it framed properly for her. I have seen and read this passage many times. Today I read it and I nearly cried. I didn't just read the words, I felt them too.

It is a beautiful world, and we mean so much more to each other than we can ever realise.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

29th-Apr-2009 08:28 am (UTC)
I did notice that actually; didn't think to comment on it.

Wise words, though...
29th-Apr-2009 08:30 am (UTC)
Another one...

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

29th-Apr-2009 09:46 am (UTC)
These are wonderful words Tom.

Our society needs to spend more time taking stock and being grateful for what we have. If we have our health, everything else is within our reach.
29th-Apr-2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
"If", by Rudyard Kipling.

It was my grandfather's favourite poem...and struck a chord.
29th-Apr-2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
My co-worker has that on the wall in our office :) Have been meaning to look it up online and put it somewhere around the house. Thank you for reminding me.
29th-Apr-2009 09:30 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing. Good lessons to be learnt here, for everyone.

Incidentally I was also reminded of the Kipling poem hamsterhotep quotes.
29th-Apr-2009 09:41 am (UTC)
You are most welcome :)
29th-Apr-2009 11:23 am (UTC)
I think everybody has crisis of confidence from time to time and it's a measure of the person how they deal with them. I wish you all the best in your endeavours to improve your mental health and quality of life.
I hope to see you soon. :)

The Max Ehrmann passage nearly had me in tears. Sometimes you feel words more than other times...

~crappy internet hugs~ -_~
29th-Apr-2009 11:39 am (UTC)
It's interesting about support comming from those you thught might be problematic. I guess people often misinterpret social self conciousness as aloofness or arrogance when they see it in an otherwise very competent & inteligent man.

It's a damn shame there is no Infest 2009 to meet up at, but I'm only in Stevenage now so I might see you and Tan in some London night out.

You on Facebook yet?


What's your address?
29th-Apr-2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
Not meaning to be glib, but I don't know anyone who doesn't suffer from social anxiety and lack of self confidence to varying degrees.
29th-Apr-2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
I don't mean to be blunt, but what is your point?
2nd-May-2009 11:54 am (UTC)
My parents had Desiderata up on the wall too. In what was at times a rather fucked up home I found its calm wisdom really inspiring. I smiled when I saw it in your bathroom :-)

I must say I am pretty much in awe of how much of an opportunity you are making of this situation.
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