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Posted 22nd January 2013 at 17:20 by Matt_1983

I want to write a blog about my thoughts on SAUK, this website that changed and kind of saved my life years ago. When i first discovered this place, it was amazing. Id never before heard, read or thought the words "social anxiety". In my mind, i was the shyest man in the world, weirdly shy, socially broken, unable to mix, unaturally nervous with others. The day i googled "extreme shyness" and was taken to SAUK, really did change my life.

I was back living with my parents in Cardiff after a horrible 6 month experience at University in Bristol. I had gone there so full of hope that new surroundings and different faces would give me the rare chance to completely change the person i was, to reinvent myself and just be some kind of normal. It would be hard but as long as from day one i pushed myself and talked to people, things would surely be ok.

6 months down the line id spent most of my time hidden away in my room, sleeping till mid afternoon and then binge eating and getting drunk into the evening. The whole time i was there i went to two lectures. That was all i could face. I felt so alone and so crazy at this time of my life. I honestly felt like i was the most shy person to have ever been born. Noone could be going through what i was, because it just seemed so strange, and so frightning. To be so scared to talk to people . . . is there anything worse? This was back in 2003, before all students had laptops in thier rooms or internet on their phones. The internet really wasnt as huge and daily used as now, this was a few years before Facebook and all that came with that.

So it was only when i moved back home that i had the time to privately go online and google my symptoms. When i typed in "extreme shyness" i dont know what i expected to find. I suppose what i did find was exactly what i needed. Knowledge that the way i was had a name, and that there were actually quite a lot of people going through the same sort of thing i was. It was an incredible feeling.

And so i started to use the forum, to write my story and read about others. It was strange and wonderful to read all these strangers writing their intimate thoughts and fears as if they were mine. Id read so many posts and be lost for words at how similar that persons experiences had been to mine.

After a while of being on the site i met a girl. She messaged me after liking a post id written. I later found out she didnt really have social anxiety, but she'd found the site through other problems she was experiencing. We fell in love via text and late night phonecalls where id sit out in my car to talk to her, too afraid to be overheard by my family in the house! A few months passed and i was totally in love, despite not yet seeing a photo of her. I caught a train to be with her, still not knowing what she looked like. It was the best two hour journey ive ever braved. When she opened the door i fell back from the step, checking the house number. Surely this was too good to be true? Seeing her was like falling in love a second time, she was beautiful.

For almost 5 years i was so happy with her, and so i didnt really need SAUK. Id pop back on maybe once every few months, just to check it was still here really. I hadnt gotten over my social anxiety, but i was just so happy that it didnt seem to matter. I still struggled in life and couldnt really face work but i was so happy with my ex that it didnt bother me.

When we broke up in 2008, i soon found my way back to SAUK. And it has helped me since then, in different ways.

But here we are in 2013 and i find myself increasingly annoyed and frustrated by this site. One of the main things that bothers me is my reluctance, my laziness, to actually read posts on here, or to join in. I dont know why but i just cant face going to the effort of reading most posts, even the ones that do interest me. I cant decide whether it is just laziness, or maybe im afraid it will depress me or get me thinking in negative ways. Sometimes i read the headlines and i just wanna scream at the negativity on here. Negativity that im guilty of everyday in my own life. Maybe i just dont like being reminded of it. Its frustration too, and the thought that if all these people on SAUK are struggling then what hope do i have.
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  1. Old Comment
    Sphinx's Avatar
    Hey, I can relate to a lot of what u've said about reluctance to join in with the site. I find it hard talking to people online, I think it's difficult to really make a connection with anyone unless you are posting all of the time.
    A lot of it burns down to avoidance with me.

    Anyway just wanted to let you know that you're not alone feeling like that, I hope you can get some positive things from sauk
    Posted 22nd January 2013 at 18:30 by Sphinx Sphinx is offline

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