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Offline fcoll9123

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College Student seeking advice
« on: January 09, 2014, 09:32:59 PM »
Hello everyone! I am a 22 year old college student. Here is my story.
 When I was a kid and all the way through high school I was a pretty confident person. I was a great reader and teachers would always choose me to read out loud for the class. I actually enjoyed it. I felt very confident reading out loud and I was very good at it. Also, during middle school I was in a couple plays with very decent roles. I had a lot of lines in these plays. I was always a little nervous before the show but I would get past it and perform excellently. I actually felt great on stage and loved the spotlight. I even improvised a few lines during one and got a standing ovation at the end of the play. Not bragging at all. These are just a few examples of how comfortable I used to be with public speaking and performance, just to give you an idea. I was a regular party person in high school as well. Smoked a lot of pot and also drank heavily on weekends. Well, years have passed since high school and I am in college now. Here's where it gets complicated. After high school I started drinking very heavily on weekends and even weekdays. I mean serious partying, not average partying. I would easily drink around 15 beers and take plenty of shots. It was all fun and games until I developed a pretty serious addiction to alcohol. I would usually have about a six pack on weeknights and drink my *** off when the weekend came. This went on for about a year. After smoking pot one day I had an anxiety attack. I thought I was going to die which was odd because I had been smoking pot heavily for years. Since then, I have completely stopped smoking pot and its been over a year since I have done it. I finally cut down a lot but I was still drinking very heavily on weekends. The problem never really went away and carried itself into the classroom. I started noticing that I would get extremely nervous when I had to read out loud or do a presentation. I mean EXTREMELY nervous. While reading, my heart would race and my voice would tremble. I could barely even look at the book without the words getting blurry. I once had to do a small presentation about what I learned in class and while standing up there in front of everyone I couldn't keep my head from shaking. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed. I've realized that the anxiety got way worse when I thought about it. I started drinking a lot more because of it. I eventually slowed down again and only drank on weekends. I feel like all of the drinking I have done has made me develop an anxiety problem. I was never a full fledged alcoholic like other people I have seen but I definitely drank more than the average party person. I have recently quit drinking all together. I really want to regain my confidence as a speaker/performer. I really do believe that the alcohol made me develop this problem. I don't want to live my life in fear of reading out loud or speaking in front of people. I want to do a lot with my life and I can't avoid doing presentations or public speaking forever. I realized that I was going to be starting school again so I haven't drank for about a week. Today was the first day of class. I thought the problem would have gone away by now. The teacher wanted everyone to say their name and a few things about themselves. While everyone was introducing themselves, my hands were literally shaking. The anxiety of even having to introduce myself was pretty bad. My heart was pounding and I was really scared that my voice was going to tremble and I was going to get shaky again. I actually got up and went outside to avoid having to introduce myself. Thankfully she was done when I got back and I didn't have to do it. Why am I scared to even introduce myself to the classroom? I am really good looking guy and I see chicks giving me the eye all the time. They sure as hell won't want to talk to me after they see how nervous and shaky I get when I have to speak out loud in front of people. I'm scared people are going to think I'm weird or on crack or something. I NEVER used to be this way. I don't have any problems speaking to people in general. I have no problems introducing myself to girls in person. I'm very talkative and people really seem to like me. The problem only happens when I have to read or speak in front of people. I'm also a damn good guitar player but I've never really played in front of anyone except close friends and family because of this problem. I eventually want to play in a band but I fear I will never be able to do it because of this. I'm so sick of this ****. I want my confidence back. I'm gonna do my best to stay away from the booze and see if it helps me get better. I'm willing to do anything to change this. Has anyone ever had a similar experience? Did you ever get past it and regain your confidence? I would love to hear from some people with similar stories. Any help would be great. For now, I guess I will avoid reading out loud or speaking in front of people at all costs, which totally sucks. Please help if you can. Peace
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Offline BuzzBee1

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Re: College Student seeking advice
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 12:08:01 AM »
Hi fcoli,

Welcome to the forum.  You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

fcoli, I hear many people say they think their anxiety was initiated by smoking pot.  And, drinking and anxiety do not blend well.  You will find many people here who have experienced the same issues, and are willing to offer support.

Good luck to you, and again, welcome to AZ.

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