Onwards and Upwards

5 Apr

I realise it’s been a while since I last posted on here, seems life for once has actually taken over.

Well what a few months it has been, finally getting to grips with getting over my S.A, don’t get me wrong it is still very much there and dominates a lot of my thoughts, but I seem to be able to get passed them now and find things a little less scary.

My work life is a millions times better than it was in my last job, where S.A would totally ruin it for me and I wouldn’t progress in my job,  now I can’t get enough, having a job where you are asked for advice/help by other members of staff is quite a nice feeling and for once I don’t actually feel like a kid any more!

Social life has totally done a 360, I’m spending more time with my friends and socialising, even meeting people I have never met before on my own, something which is a BIG trigger for me to turn into a recluse again, but I did it and I couldn’t be more grateful for the confidence it has given me. Onwards and upwards from now on.

Well that’s a brief update on what’s been going on with me, I’m hoping to get to grips with this blog over the next few weeks and start blogging more about other things, don’t want to bore people with my little life.

Till next time,

I am back…and for the better!

12 Jan

*Sneaks in* HELLO!!!

Been a while since I last posted, but it’s been an eventful few weeks, challenging but a great few weeks!

I spent Christmas and New Year in the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, my first proper abroad holiday, was a great experience!

Starting off, before I went away I had a massive challenge to complete, the work xmas party, which in my last job was a complete no no, would get myself too anxious and not go, but this time was different, and for the better!

I find this job much more enjoyable and the people I work with are lovely, so automatically I felt more comfortable, well after being very nervous about it, I went and I had the funniest time from secret santa to a Christmas temp singing Lion King and Aladdin songs at the dinner table. I had no panic attacks or that dreaded feeling of wanting to go home, in fact I forgot all about it, which then put me in a great mood to start my travels to the Canaries!.

The day I left, I had no sleep, was feeling sick and very nervous about the plane as I had never been on one, and not to mention being away from home for 3 weeks, completely out of my comfort zone and not being able to leave!

Well, I done it! I got there and settled in perfectly, all my worries seemed to be left in grey London and I enjoyed my holiday to the fullest, from going out every night to the bar or seeing the entertainment, something I would NEVER do.

See, I had a great time! lol ( more photos at  http://www.flickr.com/photos/karla_duckula/sets/72157625807576264/ )

Even on the final day where I thought I would get nerves all over again, just didn’t happen, and I arrived back in blighty and within hours of being home and to sleep I was back at work for a longer shift than usual, again breaking this routine I have.

Now back at home, I trying to break this routine I have, where I don’t go out if I need to be somewhere the next day, that’s what’s been stopping me for so many years, well already that has been broken, have met up with old work mates and planning to meet my girlies at the weekend, need to start being a busy bee! 🙂

This has been the best experience for me as I have come back feeling fresh and a weight has been lifted, I have great feelings about 2011 and I’m going to make sure my S.A doesn’t spoil it!

till next time,

a belated Happy New Year!
Karla x

CBT all done!

6 Dec

Well today has been eventful, I have completed my 3 year stint with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, today was my final follow-up appointment, just to check up if I was okay and that I was coping well.

Normally when I arrive at these sessions with my therapist, I have a long list full of problems and situations where I felt I couldn’t cope and felt like it was getting on top of me again, but for the first time since I started this program, the only list I had was all the things I DID cope with and how I aim to improve on them.

As we sat down and spoke about the activities I had been doing such as social occasions, work and family life, we looked over my progress charts, which is basically data taken from a questionnaire I fill in every time I go to visit the therapist, from this you can get an idea of how I’ve been feeling, for example, have I been worrying a lot? have I avoided anything? do I feel the need to hurt myself? have I been able to sleep or sleep too much? etc.

So from looking at my charts from when I started where all the questions were in the high levels, today they were in the mild sections which is a great improvement, which shows my mood has changed, my outlook on things that originally scared me are now just small issues and I don’t spend hours worrying about the problems, I just do whatever is it I need to do and see if the “worst” happens, and pretty much 10 out of 10 it never does, proving to myself it is all in my mind!
Whilst we carried on our chat, I moved onto starting this very blog and she seemed very interested in how I was using it, and was pleased that I had found a way to just get my thoughts out and nip new worries and concerns in the bud before they escalate like the issues that have me been bothering me for a good 5-6 years.

Now the CBT is over, I feel great, I feel more positive about life and challenging things that would nearly put me into a blind panic. Although it will be strange to not speak to a professional about this any more she assured me that I am not alone, as I can contact a therapist at any time using a self referral number where I could get in touch with my local Mental Health and Well-being service where I could start the process again if need be.

But after today and the positive feedback I have received, I believe I won’t be needing that number for a VERY long time, everything is starting to look rather rosey!🙂


Palaver and work!

5 Dec

So far I seem to have just done brief blogs on my anxiety but thought I’d write one about how it affects my working life.

For so long I am posed with the question from other colleagues and acquaintances “Why do you only work part-time? You don’t have children or full time at university”, a question that has bothered me for some time as I can’t just go and spill the beans on the real reason, which tends to make people believe that I am lazy and don’t like to work.

Which however is the complete opposite, I have tonnes of ideas for careers I’d like to get involved in but my social fear puts a block on that and makes me retreat into a job that I feel I can cope with, even if it’s not in the field I wanted for my career originally.

From the start, I got offered a job in retail at the age of 18, fresh from dropping out of university, and of course I accepted it. The main things that frightened me was working for a large company which employed a huge amount of staff, I had to mix, I had to face my fears meeting new people who didn’t understand how scared I was. But I soldiered on and I formed friendships with colleagues and after a while opened up to a few of them, who helped me get through my working days.

The real things I used to dread at work, were Staff Training sessions, my first induction day was the worst, being forced into a classroom situation with people I didn’t know and even though I wasn’t the youngest there I felt like such a child as I was worrying over the most stupid things and the younger people were just getting on with it and having a laugh.

The more I sat there the more the anxiety creeped in, I became hot, stressed and would freeze, my muscles were so tense it hurt to move, and just as I started to come out of the panic attack I heard the dreaded words “We won’t be leaving this room until this is done and it could be a few hours” and to me, being told I cannot leave is a HUGE trigger for me to start panicking!

I did however keep my cool and by the end of the day felt great for achieving something I found so scary and stressful.

After this had happend, I opened up to my line manager about my “disorder” and she was so understanding as a close friend of hers had experienced the same, to my relief. As the months and years passed, she helped me alot with coping and always asked how I was, she even once told me that I had to go for training and walked me up to the training room, much to the amusement of the guy doing the training. This horrified me, and I felt like a small child who needed their parent to take them anywhere, this really got me down and made me shut down even more.

It was during this time, I had started my CBT which helped me come to terms with the fact I am not a child, I’m an adult that needs to do things for herself and not rely on other people to take care of me, to this day is something I always try and drill into my head, and it works, I feel now that I can do things on my own without needing another person to be there to “protect me” from any situations I feel threatening.

After a couple more years, I found myself in the position I dread, I was going to lose my job, not because I had done anything wrong, just because I couldn’t get leave for a few weeks, and I was forced to look for another job that frankly petrified me, as I was some what settled in this place.

But now after finding a new job, albeit in the same place but with a different company, I am so happy I done it, cause I’m in a job I find more interesting and have more responsibility,  which in turn has really boosted my confidence and made me believe that actually I can be “normal” and have a job where I could cope with full time and not panic at the thought of staying longer than my contracted hours.

I always thought I was the type of person that when forced into a sink or swim situation would always sink, but I proved to myself that I done it and I’m swimming along with it and I’m much happier for that!

So over a few years of ups and downs, I faced alot of my fears, although they are still there, they are definitely a smaller trigger for me.


Your Thoughts

4 Dec

Would be great to see your feedback!

Social Anxiety Facts (via A Motivating Place to come)

4 Dec

A very informative blog on the facts of social anxiety and it’s triggers, experiences and treatment.

Social Anxiety Facts Social Anxiety Disorder (social phobia) is the third largest mental health care problem in the world. Latest government epidemiological data show social anxiety affects over 7% of the population at any given time.  The lifetime prevalence rate (i.e., the chances of developing social anxiety disorder at any time during the lifespan) stands at above 13%. Definition: Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other … Read More

via A Motivating Place to come

Schweet Day

4 Dec

Evening all!

What a nice day it’s been, just got back from seeing the new Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part One, WHAT A FILM!! loved every minute of it!

I’d say the best HP movie so far, cannot wait for the next one. I did however jump like a little girl a few times, this one is definitely a lot darker than the rest, and I am an open Wimp, and proud of it! lol

Surprised myself with how calm I’ve been today, no panic attacks or little moments of fear, think starting this blog last night and reading all the nice comments have really given me a boost.

Had lots of tests today, first off, changing destination due to London tube engineering works, something that would previously be extremely anxiety provoking in the past, it was just a breeze today.

Secondly actually going to the cinema, which was once an enjoyable experience when I was younger, but until recently has been a terrifying task. Being stuck in a room with loads of people where you feel you can’t just leave as people will see you, used to be a horrible thought. Also realising the film was over 2 hours is something that would normally just tip me over the edge, today I just thought “Great!” instead of feeling dread and longing to be home.

However today was different, felt very calm and actually excited to do something I hadn’t done for years, I finally feel like I can start doing all those things I used to do with my friends all those years ago when I felt “normal”.

Probably the first time in a long time I didn’t feel the need to rush home, so I could feel “safe”, I was very comfortable in the company I was with and where I was, shame about the Christmas madness, which if you didn’t realise doesn’t make me anxious, just gets on my friggin’ nerves! I am not a fan of shopping as you can probably tell! hehe

Onwards and upwards I say, let the good times roll!

Karla Palaver

The Palaver

4 Dec

This section of my blog is to write down all my anxiety provoking jibberish.

Here’s hoping this will help me overcome my disorder, for years I have kept it all in and have made myself ill as a consequence of this.

For years I’d find myself getting more and more stressed about everyday social activities that before were nothing to me, such as classrooms, meetings, going out for dinner, even just going outside these four walls.

In my head, home means safe, anything out of that to me is a threat. Thankfully after a few years of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) my outlook has changed, and certainly for the better.

It all started at the age of 17, was young and at 6th form where I was studying for my a-levels, everything seemed to be going fine and I was excited about the big wide world out there. Then all of a sudden I became shy, quiet and scared of the littlest things, such as people not liking me, remembering embarrassing things I had done or said as a teen and that would be brought back up to tease me.

I would spend days in bed not leaving the house or speaking to a single soul, I would have weeks where I wouldn’t eat or drink for fear of feeling ill, which obviously had the same affect that I had been fearing.

Managed to somehow finish 6th form and then I was to start university, I thought I would be fine once I settled in, I was in my favourite place in the world, Central London, but even that wasn’t enough to help overcome my fears, I became so scared it would bring me to tears. I eventually dropped out of university and went straight into retail, which was again a huge step for me to overcome but it had to be done to survive.

After many tears and breakdowns I was sent to a threapist where I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety, which at first was a shock, I felt very alone and singled out. All my friends were getting new jobs, degrees and meeting great new people. Seemed to me like they were having the time of their lives, something I was very envious of.

As I’ve now gotten older, I realise if I want this gone, I’m going to have to work at it and prove to myself there is nothing to be scared of.

This is all I shall put for the time being, will update my blog when it’s at a more decent hour and I’m not falling asleep.


*pops in to say Hello*

3 Dec

Hello blogger people!

Have always thought about setting up a blog, but haven’t felt like I had much to talk about, but thanks to a lovely follower on twitter I have been brave enough to start one up.

We’ll I suppose a bit about me is needed, I’m 22 from West London, I currently work in retail and I’m studying for my degree in I.C.T with Open University.
I’m a keen gig goer, I love art, music, comedy and my all time favourite hobby is drinking lots of coffee. Known to be a bit of a geek but I like to think I’m more unique! :-p

I’ve been suffering with Social Anxiety disorder since I was around 17, finally coming to terms with it and pushing the boundaries. I shall use this blog for many things from the weird to the wonderful but will also try and get my Social Phobia thought’s out there and if anyone else has the same issues, can see they are not alone, as it is a very common disorder but one that can also make you feel very much alone.

Think thats enough of the introduction, I now declare this blog open *cuts red ribbon*

Hope people enjoy it and advanced apologies if I bore the pants off you!

Toodlepip for now,

Karla Palaver!