Hello everyone,

My name's Stacy and I'm going to share with you some of my experiences in learning to overcome social anxiety.  I tried many options first before ordering the audio series "Overcoming Social Anxiety: Step by Step", and this is what happened to me as I learned to get proactive and rational.

Before ordering the audio series, I was 35 and I didn't have a job.  Although I had a good relationship with my partner of 12 years, I was extremely socially anxious in every other way.  I found it extremely difficult to go outside on my own, and I would feel very anxious when I did.  I wouldn't answer the phone or the door.  I stayed in bed most of the day, I drank a lot, and after contact with anyone other than my partner I would mercilessly criticize myself.  It felt like someone was drilling holes in my brain.

Most of those symptoms are gone now, however, due to the audio series.  Now I can't wait to get up in the morning.  I exercise first thing, I answer the door and phone, I can go outside without make-up (a huge thing for me as I had Body Dysmorphic Disorder).

I don't drink alcohol, I know what career I want and am doing what I must to achieve it.  I talk to people, I am in control, and my relationship is better than ever because I am so relaxed.  Everything is different.

In the past I had seen two psychiatrists and a handful of psychologists (a mixture of private and NHS).  They didn't seem to believe in the possibility of completely changing people with mental health problems, however.  There was a lack of vitality, assuredness and results.  So in 1996, I decided to read some books written by experts and see if that would help me.

I have always believed I was going to get totally "better" and I just kept going.  The books helped a little but I still had the negative beliefs that led to negative behaviors.  These included believing that I was defective, ugly, fundamentally different in some way, intrinsically incompetent and many more nasty things.

Then I finally found my way to the Social Anxiety Institute site and after reading it, I took a leap of faith and sent for the audio therapy series.  

I just kept going and going, and when I finished the series after about 4 months, I went over bits I was still having trouble with.  I then began the series over from the beginning, and the second time around it really started having a big effect.  I started to believe what I was reading and hearing and I had many "of course" moments.  

I did join a group and even though it wasn't ideal, and we never did formal behavioral work, actually going there was a big behavioral success for me. 

I now know that I am totally fine.  I have a tiny shadow of negative thoughts left, but I know that is all they are and they are fading every day.  My new beliefs are developing and becoming stronger all the time.

I have had to develop some new skills, having hidden away for so long, but these are fun to do as they symbolize my being a responsible, capable adult.   

I feel good and enjoy challenging myself.  No longer trapped being a certain type of person because of what I believed in the past and how I thought I had to behave.  I am no longer a list of disorders! 

This has taken time but it is so worth putting in the time.  I remember you saying something about how the audio series would help people get over social anxiety, but more than that it would lead to a never ending journey of development.  That has absolutely been my experience. 

I read some other books while I was doing the series the second time round - one on body dysmorphic disorder for example. But it was your audio series that broke apart the prison of false neural connections and beliefs I had been trapped inside.  You enabled me for the first time to see outside of the box I was in, so that I was able to believe what you and other books were telling me. i.e. That there has never been anything wrong with me and any problems I developed were a result of compensatory behaviors.  

Now I am at ease with my past, I see it as a great developmental journey that has led me to where I am, and I feel very lucky.  If I had been able to cope, like many other people spend their lives doing, I would have had less leverage to change.  Now I am more sorted than most people.  A definite tortoise and hare experience, as my life is now going in such a fantastic direction. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

My life has radically changed!!