I would like to share my story with you all in hopes that it may help with your own situation. Allow me to explain a little about myself. I am 28 years old and have been suffering from anxiety pretty much my entire life. It wasn't until I was a teenager in highschool that I found out what social anxiety disorder was. I suffer from social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety, a mild form of agoraphobia and bouts of depression.
completely withdrew from life and only went from work to home and that was it. I joined a group for people with Social Anxiety disorder on Facebook and saw a link to Anxiety Social Network and immediately it was like I had found my life line. When I joined I was severely depressed finding it hard to get out of bed most days. The best way I can describe the way I was feeling was disappointed that I was alive and looking for a way out. I thought about suicide constantly as my mind was filled with nothing but thoughts of ending my pain. I decided that I had to do something or I was going to end up dying by my own hand. I am introverted by nature and value my privacy very highly and I don't really confide in anyone. For some reason, after joining ASN I started to open up to the people here like I never thought was possible.
I used my real name, location and picture and decided that being honest and open about everything was the best way to deal with this since I hide it from people in my "waking" life. No one really knew how debilitating my anxiety was or how greatly effected by it I was. No one knew how diminished my life had become and just how deep and dark my depression was. I describe it as a black whole that was draining the life out of me and I felt there was no way out and no escape. One of my biggest fears was just addressing the problem. I felt like once I confronted it, it was real and I was trapped underneath the weight of it. With the encouragement and support I found at ASN slowly over time I was able to talk openly and freely about it.
I updated my status about the way I was feeling and wrote in my diary about things I could never say to anyone else at least not face to face. The members of ASN were so supportive and encouraging that I starting gaining back my will to live. Just knowing that other people truly understood how I felt and seeing them overcoming their fears gave me hope. I no longer wanted to die. I wanted to live and give myself a chance at happiness. I took the first big step in my journey with anxiety and made a doctors appointment to talk to them about it. I have begun to confide more in the people in my life ranging from family to friends. I would have never had the courage to do that had it not been for ASN. This community has truly saved my life and I do not know what would have become of me if I hadn't found this site. Hopefully if you are reading this it will give you some hope as well. While this anxiety will never go away we can manage it and get through it. We can't do it alone but together we are unstoppable.