Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

The Forums Forums Most X-treme! Where I Struggle Most I Struggle Most… Fear

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  • Anonymous
    #89425 |

    I am scared to put my self out there, and some days, its hard to even leave my front door……


    I want to learn how to drive a car. I am so afraid of the tests, driving, and too many cars. That I have no intention to learn. There are days that I feel like you. However I enjoy outdoors too much, and like a good thrill. Good luck. Here is what I would just take one step at a time.


    i was really afraid to learn to drive. i put it off for years after my friends all learned. i was sooooo convinced that i’d never manage it, that i’d drive into walls at high speed, forget how to braek, hit the wrong pedal, not be able to work the gears (we drive manual in the uk) and all kinds of other dreadful things. then one day a friend of mine got out the yellow pages and threatened to book me a bunch of driving lessons if i didn’t just get on with it and do it myself. so i did it.

    yep, i found it really hard sometimes, i had moments of panic, i screwed stuff up, and it took me absolutely ages to get my head around going backwards, and how roundabouts worked (my instructor had to use his small sons toy roads and matchbox cars to explain things to me, and i had to practice feeding the steering wheel with a biscuit tin lid until i got the co-ordination down- i felt like such an idiot) but the moment i stopped thinking about how dreadful it’d be, and started actually doing it, and got more and more proficient at it, a lot of the fear went away.

    usually the fear of whatever you imagine might happen, is a hundred times worse than the actual event itself- cos we’ve got incredibly creative imaginations, us ADDers- and we make up wonderful stories in our own heads- we’re super sensitive and used to being made to feel not good enough too, so they’re usually negative ones. but it’s important to remember that they’re just that- stories. imaginings. fiction. even the real stuff is biased- because how we percieve things isn’t usually how everyone else does… we remember stuff they don’t even notice, etc.

    it took me 5 tries to pass my british practical driving test. i was so freaked with nerves each time i took the exam that i’d have an upset stomach for days beforehand, had nightmares, blanked completely when they asked me my name, couldn’t speak or use my legs properly, nearly threw up, made crazy driving mistakes from second-guessing myself, etc- the works. then on test number 5 i did something stupid right at the start of the practical, and automatically decided that i’d failed yet again right then and there, and that i wasn’t going to take the test any more cos i was sick of failing- so the fear totally went away, i gave myself permision to screw up as much as i wanted for the next 45 minutes, and i just drove the car, waiting to get back to the test centre, cry, feel sorry for myself a bit more, and for it to be over and done with.and low and behold i relaxd and stopped screwing up, cos it didn’t matter enough for me to be worried about and over-think any more. and i bloody passed.

    then i was frightened about driving on my own…. i got over that too, eventually- when driving became as automatic as walking is- they’re both just a series of co-ordinated movements. the fear of stalling in the middle of a junction went away after i did that, and lived- other drivers just slowed down and stopped, i just composed myself and restarted the car… my fear of crashing went away after i backed into a wall with a carful of my rowdy drunken friends in the backseat (awesome move jen!) and after i drove into someone at a junction, doing 5 miles an hour, and ripped their bumper off with an audience of about 20 people looking on…. my fear of getting a flat vanished after i got not one but two at the same time- and handled it like a pro…. etc.

    i think my point is that 99% of the dreadful stuff we think about isn’t likely gonna happen, a fair bit of it is out of our hands anyway and will happen if it’s gonna, regardless of how much we worry or don’t worry about it, and if and when something does go wrong, it’s usually not that huge of a huge deal looking back, cos we’ll cope. you just take a breath, swear- if it helps, then dust yourself off, someone puts out a hand and helps you to get back up again, and on you go. life does go on….. we invariably survive… and if sooner or later we don’t, once we’re gone i doubt that we know that much about it, nor care. :D

    big dissaved- do you know what exactly you’re afraid of, and why? wanna share?


    My fears are more social I would say. It is the fear of being ridiculed, made fun of, bullied, belittled, shot down….. the list goes on. Until I met my wife-to-be, I was terrified of females. I was afraid to touch them, in ANY sort of way. I had fringe friends, ones that where your friends, but never a hey, come on over…… no birthday parties, nothing….. I find it hard to feel that people love me. I know they do, but to see it and know it, I can not. (Or, I do not know what to look for with them loving me back)

    Another thing that kinda fuels it is that I am a heart on my sleeve giver. I will passionately give to people till there is nothing left. Its apart of my nature. Instead of giving back, it feels like they keep, and give nothing back.

    I want to get out, and enjoy life, but that desire is just a bit smaller than the fear wall that stands at the the door…..

    I have to have something to eat, then pick up my fiencea from work.




    Oh, I forgot to add something. It is like a marry-go-round…. sometimes I get over that wall, and life is fine. It then builds up like water behind a damn, and then that wall is back there again…… and when the damn breaks, It takes all I have to just be sane, and survive the day……..


    i know how that goes. *hugs*

    it’s a big old self perpetuating cycle, isn’t it? people don’t realise how sensitive we are, so we get hurt by stuff others don’t even notice, they can tell we’re edgy, so they get an odd vibe and don’t wanna let us too close, we’re afraid to be hurt so we keep them at arms length too, or we try too hard and dive on them, smother them, and scare them away…. we overanalyse the hell out of everything without realising we’re doing it, and it rapidly turns into a much more complicated mess than it should reasonably be….then we feel disheartened and give up… or try too hard in another way, meanwhile being incrediblys elf-critical, and telling ourselves negative stories about how useless we are-digging that emotional hole deeper… urgh.

    do you think that deep down, it might be a self esteem thing for you? cos it sure as hell is and was for me. years of being told negative things about my personality/behaviour/ability (by my father, and by myself), of feeling like i was making big mistakes ettiquette-wise, etc….just conspired to create a nervous wreck who kept feeding herself more and more poisonous feelings and negative stories that she thought were true (that she was stupid, unloveable, destined for misery, a burden, yada yada). :D

    eventually i got myself some decent head drugs to help me be a bit less miserable, and a bit more realistic, and a bunch of therapy- and learned to like myself pretty well, to make more fair and decent assessments of situations and myself, and to *shock horror* trust my own judgment. i had to learn that i’m really no worse or better than anybody else- i’m just me, and i’m alright- and to not give myself hell all the time. it took a lot of work and effort, but i think thats the only way i could really get there- no shortcuts, no easy fixes, just a bunch of cognitive behavioural therapy, support from loved ones, and bloody hard slog. :D seriously worth it though.

    the thing about give and take- probably the hardest thing that i had to learn, is that how i feel…. deep down, thats about me- i own that. how i perceive things, the value i put on myself and pride i feel in what i’ve done, etc- it’s on me. with practice, i can feel however i decide to feel- to reward myself and compliment myself and feel worth and respect and satisfaction and acheivement in what i do. happiness and kindness and acceptance and friendship are gifts i give myself, not things given to me by another- if i feel it, and they’re in the right place mentally, they’ll pick up on it and reflect it right back at me.

    it’s sort of like how we take direction from an authority figure without questioning it- they feel and exude confidence and power, we assume thats what they should be getting, and they get it. it doesn’t matter deep down what others try and give me, if i can’t see it, i don’t think i deserve or own it, and it’s neither real or valid to me. i bet over the years i blocked out a million compliments, and missed a bunch of potential invites, cos i didn’t read things right- my mentality was off and all i saw was the stuff that was negative- it’s all i knew how to see, and was comfortable with seeing, cos it felt real, and true, and familiar. any time people made moves towards friendship i pushed them away subconsiously, cos i was afraid of the pressure, of screwing it up, of them realising i wasn’t as awesome as they somehow thought i was, of letting them in and being rejected, etc. becuase i was clearly mentally downtrodden, it was easy for people to tread on me without really seeing they were doing it, and for me to allow myself to get trodden on, etc.

    i’m probably explaining it very badly (no sleep, long day) but i think we need to give and take by ourselves, for ourselves…. regardless of who else is or isn’t there, and of what they’re offering and receiving. we have to own that sense of reward, respect, approval, value, and fullfilledness- it’s not something we can go asking for and looking for and seek to be fed, cos it’s already in us- and it’s not something we should let people take, either- it’s ours. :D

    have you got any professional support for how your feeling? i’m sure your fiance is awesomely supportive, but it’d be a gift to both of you if you could work on your self esteem with a qualified wonky feelings -fixer….. :D


    Do you have an HD picture into my mind? WoW :) :) :)

    Growing up, I Mentally, emotionally, etc shut down and just went numb…. Alls I herd was the – stuff.

    I did see a Registered Psychological nurse a few years ago, she is the one that suggested that I might have it. She saw things in me that she saw in her son. (They just had him diagnosed.) The next step was to PUSH the psychologist to test me. He just wanted to do the Depression and the Anxiety. With the meds, He said they are either working, or do nothing at all. It did not take long, and did it Ever Help!!! I had a still mind. :):):) But, her and her family moved away, so I am with out any professional help now.

    One thing that I find hard is that I see in stores and on TV, all of the perfect things. I am a handy man, and I love to build things. I have this idea in my head of something that I want to build. I start building it, and I make alot of small mistakes. It does not turn out to be what I pictured, perfection……. I am learning, reminding myself, that it takes time to prefect my skills.

    I know that most of what I have to do is develop positive responses to the nagging negative thoughts that solve to pounce upon me at anytime. Most of the time, I need an outside mind to help me make the positive thought… and I am to scared to ask, for fear of rejection/ridicule/belitteleing…… It is getting easer, but I still get really tense before I ask……..

    Thanks for your response, it really does help. :) :)



    yeah, i do. :D i can see into your sockdrawer too- you should tidy that up sometime… :P

    if someone ridicules and belittles you when you ask for help- their behaviour is that of a huge giant arse of the highest magnitude. if they reject you, they’re probably unable or unwilling to help you for some other reason. their choice says absolutely nothing about you, mate- don’t forget that! :D we get so focused on our own stuff that i think we often forget that everybody else is almost totally focused on their own stuff too- what they say and do says a lot about them and where they are mentally. :D

    it sounds like you’re off to a REALLY good start with the help you’ve got- you just need to keep at it! give yourself a bit of a nudge, maybe. your old nurse mighta moved, but i bet there is a directory for mental health services local to you, somewhere- like your doctors office, local social services helpline, etc….. maybe even online….. :) not that i’m pushing or anything. :P

    i know what you mean about perfect things. everything on tv is an illusion though, and we can’t get everything perfect, we’d implode with the stress of it, and i have no clue where we’re meant to find the time either- all we can do is our best. part of that is not setting the goalposts too high to begin with. it sounds like you’re practicing that- give yourself a cookie and a compliment. patience is HARD to master when your imulse control and attention span are limited (i doubt i’ll ever get it down 100%- i aint no zen master(mistress), but i’m getting somewhere in the right direction at least! :D), and obviously you know that mistakes are a really important part of the learning process…. right?! right.

    you’ll get the mental dialogue worked out soon enough- it’s just habit for the mostpart. thoughts travel down these little neuron pathways in your brain- it’s easier for them to go down a familiar route (which is why old habits die hard, and why you have to do things a few times when you’re learning them, before they stick) but the more you work a decent groove into the new thought pathways, the easier you’ll find it to slide your head that way- it’ll become automatic to think more constructively over time- just keep at it. :D

    you’re gonna love CBT, once you really get into it. thoughts and feelings and beliefs are really interesting stuff, so is how your head works. it’s really liberating when that big jumble starts to make sense, and rewarding when you start to catch yourself sliding and make helpful changes. you’re gonna learn a whole bunch.

    your ‘positive responses’ bit- you’re definately headed in the right direction with that- but the trick is to go for *realistic* responses. your brain won’t beleive you if you sugar-coat everything, you’ll not be convinced one bit – you’ll say “i’m totally awesome, huh? sounds like a complete crock of *grumble grumble* to me…” before you know whats happened. :D realistic is more… well… realistic.

    i did a mood and anxiety course at my local hospital recently, we used a lot of paperwork from this group- you might wanna read the paperwork module by module (i know its a lot, but its GOOD stuff!), and even have a bit of a go at the thought diaries bit (part of module 4). maybe ask for the help of objective fiance for backup to get you started with the whole ‘being more realistic’ end of things, if you come unstuck. i come unstuck a fair bit- i have an objective mum who helps me with mine. :D



    I am just off to be now, but just a quick note, the positive is just wahat you said it was, reality ish. I am not saying the the glass is 100x overflowing, just seeing that it is 1/2 full. :)

    I will respond much more tomorrow. I need sleep.. :):)



    With the Mental health, It is a medical service provided in the health care system in BC. I am from a small town, and there was only 2 nurses for this in my area….. When the one that was helping me left, all of her parents went to the other nurse… and the same thing with the psychiatrist…. He is in the main hospitable, an hour and a half away. The other psychiatrist went to a private practice, so the one I was seeing is not just taking all of the hospitalized mental patents. BUT, my GP loves me, and he is helping me with all that i need, and keeping me on the concerta. He even wrote a letter to the BC Medical asking for Exemplary exemption so that the government health insurance would then cover my concerta. He is a awesome doc!

    The biggest help that has been to me is my wife-to-be. She is the only female that wanted to get close to me. Its hard being alone, with not even a hint at an idea of anyone wanting to be with me. I struggled with this for at least a decade and a half. (Im 27 now) She is the reason that I am sane, and I have a full and active desire to “fix” my self, and be all that I can be, as a husband, and as a father to our children when the come along in a few years.

    You are right, it is a habit with the positive thoughts. What I struggle most is with the……. positive thought is…..

    If all you know is a lie, then you do not know any different. But, when you know the truth, you see the lie for what it is, and you move into the light. For me, I am trying to articulate the truth into small and memorable thoughts to confront the lie, over and over again, untill my mind abandons that lie nuro pathway, and always follows the truthful pathway.



    oh, that really sucks. :( good thing your doctor is awesome then- i suppose i’m really lucky here that there seem to be enough crazies to warrant a lot of help for us. :D i think. hopefully things will improve there soon too. :)

    i know what you mean- it’s both a mindset thing and a life experience thing, the thoughts. i struggled for the longest time (and still do now, sometimes) with my bf being kind to me- my ‘what does he want? is this a trick? when is he gonna hurt me?’ suspicion radar kept going off, and i struggle with arguments- or the lack of them- i’d never seen a really healthy relationship in action, just one full of sarcasm, placating, enabling, pointless nitpicking and put-downs. i remember once in the middle of a heated discussion (no doubt about something frivilous) yelling at him “why won’t you just shout at me, and tell me that it’s all my fault and you hate me?!” and the look on his face as he said “because… i love you, it’s not, and i don’t want to hurt you?…”. it took me ages to work that one out. :D

    nobody seemed remotely interested in me (beyond really dodgy alcoholic men in their 50’s in bars, who really weren’t that interested in my personality or my looks, i’m sure :P) either, until my canadian (i’m english) randomly came along when i was 23- i was seriously starting to panic! which looking back now is a bit silly, cos at 31 i feel no older than i did then, and i’m definately not over the hill. from talking to a few people, it turns out that i pretty much had a big red ‘danger! emotionally damaged! do not touch!’ sign written all over me- from every angle. apparently i was throwing off an incredibly intense vibe of depression, dysfunction, and desperation. and there’s me thinking i was covert with that stuff. :P i’m so glad there are a few awesome people around who can see our potential even more than we can, and love us despite our challenges- or even more because we battle them.

    anyway yeah- good luck while you keep working at those pathways! and don’t forget to keep giving yourself a bunch of thumbs up from me as you do it. :D

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