Advice please!

Hello, I'm new here but this site is amazing it's so nice not to feel so very alone. I'm posting to every community I follow because I couldn't decide which community to post this on as my problems are with IBS anxiety and depression. I could really use some advice from people who know how awful it is to feel like this.

I'll give you the cliff notes version to catch you up. Since I was six I've had really awful IBS-d, school was hell and I wasn't able to do all the things normal people do at that age because I was to ill with my IBS or because my anxiety about my IBS stopped me participating. I strruggled through school but with my IBS so bad I couldn't imagine how I'd manage a life after school and crippling anxiety of having to leave the house every day to go to uni or work. So after I finished school I got badly depressed and couldn't figure out how my life could work. I ended up not being able to leave parents house for a year and I mean at all...walking round the garden was the furthest I got... It was mortifying to admit I couldn't leave even if I wanted to. I pushed away every friend I had, except one, incase they found out how bad things had got.

Now a couple of years on I've made a lot of progress. I've started my own business and work from home and after over a year of putting myself through twice daily exposure therapy I am now able to get to the nearest town (my parent live in rural area) and get out of the car. So it's time for the next faze of my 'getting better'.

I'm attempting to move out of my parents house. I got the keys to my new house today. I can see myself being happy there. And the super market, doctors and shop/pubs cafes are a short walk away. So it perfect for starting the next faze of my of recovery. I'm looking into CBT and already have weekly therapy. I'm doing the thought diary and am on anti anxiety meds and IBS meds. I've written a plan for small steps for exposure from go into the house... Spend an hour there walk to the supermarket, so I'm all set with a plan. Ive been anxious and excited in equal measures about this which i think is good sign. But today going into the house I was massively anxious about all the people around me. I'm used to living where I can only see one other house. And my new house is terraced. I was recently asssed and diagnosed with IBS, social anxiety, panic disorder, depression. So I know dealing with other people is a cause of anxiety for me. I guess I'm just asking for some advice on how to get used to dealing with people again and especially neighbours. I'm terrified of what they might think of me and that they might try and start a conversation with me. Please anyone with some advice I'd really appreciate it. I do have good social skills when I'm not stressed at home but this new situation it's a terrifying prospect to be seen by anyone let alone talk to anyone. This is really causing me a lot of anxiety and worry and Im scared I won't be able to deal with feeling like this for long enough for me to get used to my neighbours! But I'm determined to succeed and really want to be happy's so frustrating.

Sorry for the long post, thanks for listening x

6 Replies

  • Perhaps you could talk to your immediate neighbours one at a time just over the garden/ yard fence if you have one or just knock at their door under the pretence of needing to borrow something. That way you can just introduce yourself but not have to speak for too long initially . Most people are nervous when they first move so it is doubly difficult for you . Good luck you are obviously trying to make your life better and with your current attitude you will succeed, just take small steps and be proud of yourself

  • Try and hello and a smile, to start with, and well done for moving on

  • Thank you for your encouragement and kindness.

    To catch you up...I'm still feeling quite overwhelmed but I've been to my new house everyday now since I got the keys, just for an hour or so to sort things out, and I'm already feeling the anxiety getting a little less. I managed to walk down to the bottom of the garden yesterday which I'd been too nervous to do until then and I'm managing to spend more and more time there each day too. It's such a relief to feel things getting a little easier each day, on the first day I was feeling such an unbearably high level of anxiety I think I was scared it wasn't going to go away ever, but now I'm feeling a little better everyday I'm able to relax and know that I'm going to (hopefully) continue to feel better every day.

    I haven't met any neighbours yet. But when I do I'll just try to smile and say hi like you suggest. On the first day they were having a dinner party and were quite loud, and I know it's crazy but it did scare me a bit, but since then I think they've been on holiday cos there's been no sign of them. I did get an odd look from a neighbour opposite but I think that was just because we had parked outside the house to unload stuff, and we're not really meant to do that. I'm trying not to read too much into it.

    Thank you again for caring and answering it means a lot xxx

  • I think you are doing great. You have obviously had a very difficult time, suffering with IBS since you were 6yrs old must have been horrendous. I have suffered since I was 18yrs old(so 20yrs now for me)and that has been bad enough! I agree with previous advice of just saying a polite hello to your new neighbours, or even just giving them a little wave or smile, that way you dont have to deal with a lengthy meeting but they will still see you as polite & friendly. Try not to worry too much about getting odd looks, surely its not a problem to unload your things outside your home, how else are you supposed to get things there. Most likely they were just curious and having a nosey at the new person in the street. I dont suffer with social anxiety but I know from life experience that first impressions are often wrong, so the neighbours that were loud & scared you are probably lovely. After all, I dont know anyone who doesnt get louder when in a group, having had a drink or two. Keep doing what you are doing, maybe try a little meditation when you're in your new house to try and help ease your anxiety(I have recently started this & it helps me). Take one day at a time, be positive and know that each day will be better.

  • Thank you for replying it means a lot. Your right I haven't tried doing any relaxation in my new house yet, and I've recently started to do breathing/relaxation exercises so I know what to do. I'll give it a go next time. I've heard the neighbours that were being a bit loud are actually a really nice italian family so maybe I've got nothing to worry about.

    Thank you again, I hope your good too xx

  • After many years of suffering it still gets me everytime, when in very bad situations where i can't get out of I tap chest and use deep breaths and also i wear a mini tena pad everyday. It HELPs to know that its there trust me!.

    there are times where you cannot get out or the train stops but if i can walk anywhere i chose that option rather than public transport. I only work part-time now because the stress of work made my symptoms bad. I eat well and avoid lots of things especially if im traveling soon or the next day i won't eat any gluten, dairy, eggs, chocolate, drink lots of water any stimulants.

    I would also use huge distractions such as loud music, doing my makeup, reading a magazine or even working on my blog.

    Its a sad life but 13 years on this is what I've found to work. Also i take imodium and anti-anxiety meds everyday.

    Let me know if you have other ways in coping. I live in Hong Kong so travel is all about bridges, tunnels highways, boats, traffic and very expensive free from and western food too!

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