Hello fellow seekers,
I would like to introduce myself here. I just registered on the forums.
Why now? Basically, my anxiety and fear are on the march again, and I would love to get some support.
We suffer alot, and a great part of our suffering is the inability of others to understand.
Most likely the people on this board have experienced the same confusion and can relate to my experiences.
I am 26 years old and live in the Netherlands. I think I have had a pretty regular upbringing.
My father owns a small tax and administration office of about 10 employees. He is a hard working man,
spending most of his time working to support the family. My mother is the caring type, supporting older people in need.
We have never experienced real hard times in the past. Financially we were able to support ourselves.
I have one older brother and one younger brother. I am the middle son, the average one.
Tho I do not feel average at all. It seems that I have a significantly harder time living life then my older brother.
I can see much of myself in my younger brother, and this frightens me. Maybe this is the strongest reason for
me being here. To change certain things in and around me, to be an honorable brother, a warrior.
Let me start by writing about myself. I percieve myself, looking back, as average. My memories start
around primary school. I always had some good friends. In the first years mostly children from the neighbourhood.
I used to play outside all the time, after school, before school, in the evening. Hanging around, football, games, etc.
I was never bullied. Even tho I was a 'fat' kid, somehow I was never a target. Neither did I bully, I was just there.
The end of primary school I changed friends somewhat. I became a member of the popular group of kids.
I was the least popular of the popular group of kids, but I was in there. I fell in love twice, but never acted on this.
I even arranged the relation of one of these girls with a friend of mine. Guess I didnt feel worthy, it all starts at an early age.
During my primary school years I can recall two instances of intense fear. The first I was about 4-5 years, attending
a cowboy festival in a neighbouring town. A cowboy walked up to me (pretty impressive at that age) and he pointed his gun at me.
Ofcourse this cowboy was probably aquainted with my father and was just playing around. For me, I was terrified, I remember
diving under the table and crying for quite a while. I did really fear death back there. Probably the only time I really feared death.
He was surely gonna schoot me after all.
The second time was when an older kid from the neighbourhood beat me up. He punched me on the face and trew me in de bushes.
I feared this person for a long time afterwards, always anticipating his whereabouts when outside. Certain safe places were born.
The schoolyard, the climbing tree, the church area, these were the safe places. Further away it was dangerous.
Then my highschool years. As I am writing this I am recalling more instances of pretty intens fear in those years. The transition of
primary to high school. The older people in highschool, the cool guys. I avoided certain places in the first years highschool.
The group of friends from primary school disperged pretty quickly at high school. We were all at different levels.
I did HAVO, the 2nd highest level, 5 years. I never failed a year. I was pretty good in learning, I just never tried hard.
I did what had to be done, nothing more. This consisted frquently of writing down homework from a friend.
The last couple of years my group of friends was completely different. none of the former friends was included.
I now went about with the 'skaters', baggy jeans smoking marijuana 24/7. Just before I started drugs and alcohol
I was pretty addicted to gaming. I recall gaming for long hours, suspending other activities for gaming.
But the last years of high school consisted mostly of trying to belong to the group of people I had chosen.
Music, smoking, alcohol. This went on after high school. I started an accountancy education which I stopped, started working.
Next year started again, psychology. Went to university after, psychology. My worldview started to expand.
I thought of myself as a social guy, open to everything. During the years I managed to lose alot of weight,
and I was reasonably handsome during these years. I experimented alot with girls, had 5 relationships, but none lasted.
Most of them I quit. The first one broke my heart. I did the same with others.
I never had a consistend hobby or never developed something I was proud of. I was not special to myself.
My life was pretty good actually. Till about first year university I was doing fine. Loved to sport, regular healty eating,
good friends, travel, parties, no worries about money, good parttime job.
Then, I had my first panic attack. This happened being around a guy I truly admired. He was somewhat of a new friend I met
at college. We shared most of our classes together. He was german, and I still marvel at his appearance. He was perfect.
He was authentic. He was enlightend. He was exeptionally smart. Genius. He didnt care what other thought about him at all.
He wore the same pants every day, had a long beard, smoked all the time, used lsd and other drugs regular, hosted parties,
I can go on and on. He was popular, not because he was standard, but because he was authentic, he was present.
He had 0 worries, 0 doubts. When he had to speak for an audience, he would do it freestyling. He was tapping into the source. Flow.
It was with this guy I had my first panic attack. Smoking marijuana, working on a project we did together. I was searching for peace, he knew.
I got more and more anxious, I couldnt relate to the guy, we were functioning on a different level. My thoughts started to clutted, emotions started
to boil, self loathing, fear, disgust, jealousy. I started to sweat, got dizzy, couldnt breath. Did he, THIS guy, of everybody I knew, see me in this state?
UNACCAPTABLE. I had to win his heart, I had to impress him, not go crazy. Well, I did, and I ran. Ran from his appartment, ran from his life. I became
a detective, working on finding a way to avoid this guy. These feelings I was experiencing, what is going on? I fled from all of this, from the people, from college, from myself. I didnt know what was going on, I thought I was going crazy. There had to be a reason? I started reading, fanatically. Religion, psychology, philosophy. I started doing more drugs, mushrooms, marijuana, xtc, mdma, mescaline, salvia. I wanted to become a shaman, a monk, a world traveller, anything that could lead me away from this awefull world (now: myself). So a period of about 3-4 years ensuid. I went to hell a couple of times. Ive made myself so crazy, its hard to imagine. I didnt know how to stop. I had 0 skills in self regulation. I tangled my own web.
I messed up relations. Mostly the ones that were most dear to me. I pushed people who were close, or who got close away. I was afraid.
I still am afraid. When im honest. I try to tell myself different, but patterns keep repeating. It is hard to deny this fact. Over the last couple of years I
managed to finish my bachelors degree, told myself to NEVER ever go back to college, went on a 4 month travel, come back, enrolled back in college, bailed out again because the panic attacks recurred. I tried buddhist retreats, even went to birma. Looked for myself in ashrams in India. Tried the life on the road. obsessed over every detail of my life. Only to get back to where it all started, anxiety and depression. Its scary. I dont know if I can do this.
I honestly still am confused. The only thing I know is that I dont like where I am at right now. After I bailed out of college I picked up gaming.
I am 26 and playing video games most of my time. I pay hardly any attention to my relatioships. I work as a chauffeur a couple of days in the week.
I live at my parents house. I would love for it all to go away, but I know it wont. It cant. The only way is to work trough it, to get to know the pain.
But, I need help. Atleast support. I pretty much know what to do. Yeah, thats what I tell me. But I do have the program, I know which areas to approach. I have the attacking anxiety and depression workbook and audio tapes. I did this program once, and benefitted pretty good.
I can question my beliefs with the work by Byron Katie. I tend to believe alot of things, and get caught up in them. Like: I have to eat raw, I have to make music, I have to find god. These beliefs obstuct me again and again. Letting go would be much more comfortable then holding on.
Lastly I have the presence process by Michael Brown. I have read alot of raving comments about his 10 week program. I do fear this one a bit tho.
Because it can uncover some unintegrated emotional charges, with which I cannot deal with atm. Well, this is were I am.
I have job with which I can financially support myself. I kinda like my job, and really really dont want to lose it. The thing is, it is only me and my thoughts whole day long when I am working. little distractions. A valueable asset when I try to live, but a nightmare when I am in avoidance.
I have these times I have to work for 14 hours in a row after playing video games and watching movies (avoiding), which are not so much fun.
But I want to keep this job, make some money over the summer. I am gonna need some money.
I have some friends. Not where I would like to be, but I the door is open so to speak. Its not like it is very very hard to go there. It has been alot worse! I have had agoraphobic times, panic attacks everywhere. But I would like to find some people I can relate too. I can talk about feelings and the like. Some quality girl talk, not impressionate man talk.
And I would like to invest in my life, in my future. Not being afraid to even start living. I loved to practice yoga. And the time in my life I did practice with a good teacher was the best in my life. I kinda knew this is what I wanted to become, a yoga expert. I loved it. And during my time in India 3 months back, I kinda felt the same again. I loved the classes, but back home the obsession and expectations kicked back in. So did the lach of social structures and acceptance.
Well yeah, thats me in a nutshell. I guess. Alot more could be said, and I kinda like it. Writing soothes me, gives me structure. Paces my thoughts. Brings me back,
A warm heart to those who took the time to read my story.
Any comment, thoughts, tips, feedback would be welcome!
Matsya (kinda hesitant using my real name on a public forum)