Avoidant Coyote

Hey guys,

I just wanted to let you know, I won’t be very active on the blog for a while. I’m going through a particularly hard time right now and I don’t have the energy required to give appropriate replies or advice. Some asks have been sitting in the ask box for a while because I couldn’t find the words for what I wanted to say before today. Now the inbox is empty, and I’m sorry it took so long. You can send non-urgent messages and submissions still but I don’t know how fast I’ll reply.

Sorry about that, I’m not very good at replying to messages it seems.
I hope you guys are doing okay, I’m sending you all some positive vibes <3

- Reki

People are terrifying...how do people handle social stuff, especially on the internet where thoughts tend to be more public and so conversations actually have weight as you’re more likely to hear their true opinion of you, to find out how awful you truly are what a fucking shitty confusing weirdo you are, everything is confusing what am I supposed to say and how, why do I keep daydreaming about having friends when I wouldn’t be able to handle it, at all, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it either
Anonymous

I’m sorry to hear you’re going through such a hard time, Anon… I agree people can be very scary sometimes. The internet does make it easier for people to bully others sometimes and I’m sorry that these words were said to you, these people had no right to bully you like that. People don’t seem to realize how hurtful their words can be…
I think there are better, supportive, healthy communities on the internet though. They might not be the majority, but they exist. Social interactions can be tough, whether they are in real life or on the internet, I can definitely relate to that! Even with the anonymity of internet I tend to avoid people and I am scared of any negative reaction to what I say and do. Even replying to this ask is scary!
I do think it’s possible for you to make friends though, on the internet and in real life. I’m sure you are an amazing person and there are people out there who will appreciate you for who you are and support you! It’s okay if you don’t feel ready for it right now. Maybe you could try to find forums or other online communities that are relevant to your interests, and lurk for a while, see if you like the people there before joining? Or just check out other people’s blogs? Even if you don’t immediately talk to them, following their blog can give you an idea of the kind of person they are, and sharing common interests is always a good way to have conversations with people. :) Even just small conversations, short comments on other people’s posts, etc, are a good way to start. Even sending this ask is a big step to make! Eventually, you might get more confident and start making more connections with people. It might take a long time, but that’s okay, and I’m sure it would be worth it!
If you think you’re ready for it, getting professional help would be a good idea too. Even though it might sound intimidating to talk to a stranger about all this, they could give you some advice to guide you through the process and make it easier for you. Having someone to support you and listen to you is important.
If you feel like it, you can contact me off anon and I’ll give you the link to my personal blog, if you would like to talk. I’d be glad to listen. :)
Take care of yourself, okay? <3
- Reki

I am having my on-the-job training as a wait staff at a fine dining restaurant. I am able to take care of guests but once there are numbers of people in on table, I try to "avoid" it because I always have the fear of messing up. There was one time where a bottle of beer spilt all over the guest's table and I was so embarrassed I walked out of the restaurant.
Anonymous

I’m sorry to hear your job is so stressful for you! To be honest, I probably would have reacted the same in that situation… Even though it could really happen to anybody, even the most experienced persons have embarrassing moments and that’s okay! I think most people would feel sorry for you more than anything, very few would actually judge you. But even knowing that, I probably would have walked out too!
I hope your job becomes easier and more enjoyable as you gain more experience! :) It’s important to have fun while working sometimes, because you spend a lot of time there and if working becomes a negative thing, it’ll soon burn you out. I hope your coworkers are supportive of you and respect your pace!

This is what I have, certainly. No doubt whatsoever. I did get a diagnosis of "social anxiety" about fifteen years ago based on a three second discussion with a doctor, but doing some research recently has made it clear. I have exactly this, and have had since I was six or so... and it's not getting any easier with age. My question is: does it help to find a forum online to chat with other avoidants... and if so, which forum do you suggest?
Anonymous

I think the answer would vary for different people!
For me I can say online forums have been very helpful and I don’t think I ever would have found to courage to try to get help if I hadn’t had the continuous support of these communities. It took some time (as in, years) for me to find a community I really liked. Some forums have more or less members, so if you’re looking for some support I think it’s worth trying a few different forums to see what works for you (smaller communities allow you to get to know the others better so it may be easier to make friends, but larger communities may provide you with quicker responses to your messages and for some people it can feel safer to be in a larger community because it’s easier to join a group when you’re not the only new person there, etc). Forums may not be as helpful for everyone though, so I think you’d have to try it yourself to see if you like it!
I personally don’t know any forums that are just for AvPD, but some broader mental illness support forums have sub-forums specifically for AvPD. The PsychCentral forums and PsychForums have one, but I’ve never tried any of these websites so I have no idea what they’re like! They seem to be more or less active. But even if the community isn’t just for people with AvPD, you might find other people who struggle with similar symptoms so I think any kind of mental illness support community could be helpful.
The one I personally liked the most was the RecoverYourLife.com forums. It’s more of a self-ham support community, but there are a lot of people who come for support about other things as well even if they do not suffer from self-harm, and in general the community has been great and very supportive. I haven’t been active on there for a while though so I don’t know if the community has changed much since. They also have chat rooms to talk with other people if you need immediate advice or just need to distract yourself.

Do any of you followers have forums or websites to suggest? Or anything to add, experiences to share about online support communities? Feel free to reply to this or send a message so I can publish it on the blog! :)

- Reki

(1/2)My brother recently committed suicide and a couple months back he had told me if I ever did he would be right behind him and I told him the say thing. Ever since then my life has been shitty and I know every problem can be fixed but it all seems
Anonymous

(2/2) like I know things get better but they always go back to being shit again. Im ready to just give in and meet chris on the other side. Is there something im missing?

I’m so sorry to hear this Anon. :( Dealing with a loved one’s death can be very painful, and it must be very difficult for you since it sounds like you were already struggling before this happened.
Do you have anyone around you to support you? I don’t know what your relationship with your parents is like, but do you think you could talk to them about this? Or maybe some close friends or teachers that you trust? If you don’t know anyone, maybe you could check if your school has a counseling service? Having a support network is important, especially during hard times like this. 
I don’t know where you live but do you think you could try to find the phone number of your local crisis hotline? Keeping it in your phone or another safe place could be a good idea, even if right now you don’t think you’d call them. Imalive.org is another alternative where you can chat with someone instead of talking on the phone. Sometimes it’s less scary like that.
I can relate a lot to the feeling that even if things get better, it doesn’t last. And I don’t know if this is true, I can’t promise you that things will get better and that it won’t get shitty again, because I don’t know that and I think unfortunately shitty moments are part of life we’ll always have to deal with. But I think if you are willing to get some help and support, you can find the tools to better deal with things when they get shitty. You can learn to cope with these negative feelings and thoughts and it would make it easier to get through hard times, and this could make a big difference. I hope you can try to find someone, anyone, to support you through this, because you deserve all the help you need.
Do you think you could try contacting one of the resources I mentioned, or talking to someone you know about your feelings? It’s okay if you don’t feel ready to talk about the harder stuff to anyone right now, but just having an ear to listen when you do feel like talking or someone to help distract you when thins get rough can be very helpful through times like this.
I hope you can stay safe Anon. I’m sorry this happened and I’m sorry you are struggling so much. :( I wish there was something I could do to help… You made it this far and I think that’s amazing and I hope things will get easier for you! Try to take care of yourself, okay? Let me know if you want to talk about anything, I can give you the link to my personal blog too if you want and I will be glad to listen. Take care. <3

- Reki

It's the fiancé anon from before. Thank you so much for your advice. I really want to help him in any way that I can and I will definitely remember what you said. This page is great and just looking at it has helped me understand what he's been going through. God bless!
Anonymous

I’m glad to hear this blog has helped you! I wish you both all the best! :)

Things not to say to someone with Social Anxiety

bladeofice:

- “Why don’t you talk to anyone?”
- “You’re awkward.”
- “Why are you so quiet?”
- “Why would you say that?”
- “Why don’t you talk to them yourself?”
- “Calm Down.”
- “Why are you scared of people?”
- “Why did you do that?”
- “You’re embarrassing yourself.”
- “You’re making a scene.”

- “You should try and make friends.”
Hi. I'm fairly certain that I have some AvPD related issue, but don't know what to do about it. I've been sitting here staring at this page for about an hour now trying to work up the courage to press the ask button, so I really don't think I'll ever be able to actually contact someone to get help. I have easy access to psychological services through the college I attend, but physically can't bring myself to call and make an appointment. I don't really know what I'm asking but any advice?
Anonymous

Hey there!
Congratulations on sending this ask, I’m glad you were able to do it! :) Progress is made of steps like this and you deserve to be proud of yourself for every step forward!
Have you tried to join online support communities before? There really is a wide variety of them, and although it can not be an alternative to professional help, sometimes it can eventually provide you with the support and confidence you need to get that help. There are communities on Tumblr, but there are also a lot of forums out there, some with more specific or broader support communities. I think it would be worth checking out a few, even if it’s just lurking for a while. :) Discussing with other people who struggle with similar issues and people who may be further along in recovery can be very helpful and provide you with some useful advice and support.
Otherwise, have you thought about sending a letter to your college’s counseling services? It could be a lot less stressful than going there in person or calling them. Sometimes they even have anonymous messaging systems or emails, you could explain your situation to them and they could guide you through it. Or perhaps you could ask a close friend or someone you trust to contact them for you? Maybe that would be less stressful for you.
In any case, it’s okay if you don’t feel ready to do this now. If you think you could be confortable enough with an internet community, that could be your first step, and you could slowly build from there as you go.
I hope this helps at all, and again, I think it’s really great that you were able to send this message, I am proud of you and I hope you are too. :) Feel free to write back if you need anything, okay? Take care of yourself!

- Reki

I don't have AVPD but I'm fairly certain my fiancé does. He hasn't been diagnosed but he was researching some disorders and said he thought this sounded exactly like what he felt was wrong. And I did some research and it is spot on. He has the hardest time even having a conversation with my friends or family, when we argue he completely shuts down, he'd go days without barely saying a word to me. I was just wondering as the significant other what could I do to help when he has those tendencies?
Anonymous

First of all I want to say I think your fiancé is lucky to have you :) It sounds like you really want to help him even though I’m sure it must be hard for you as well sometimes. It’s really great and I hope my answer will help you a little!
While it’s important to keep in mind that he is the only one who can really make the steps towards his own recovery, there are definitely some things you can do to support him through this.
People can experience the same disorder or symptoms differently. So it’s hard to say exactly what will actually help him, in his specific situation. I think communication is essential in any relationship, but especially when the partners are going through hard times and struggling with mental illness. Sometimes it might be harder for him to be honest with you, especially if he thinks you might disagree and reject him or feel offended by what he has to say. The fear of rejection might not always be rational or founded at all, but it is something that a lot of people with AvPD (and other mental disorders) struggle with. Letting him know that you want to support him and that you are willing to listen to whatever he has to say without judging him could be helpful. I know in my case (and I’m sure others feel this way too), I need my friends and partner to remind me often that they don’t hate me and that they won’t get angry at me for being honest with them. Of course you can’t force your fiancé to tell you things, but knowing that you’re there to listen would surely help him feel comfortable talking with you, and I hope he can have the same attitude towards you as well!
Another thing I can think about is to not force him to attend social events if he’s not comfortable with it, and don’t make him feel guilty for not going. Although ideally he should not totally isolate himself from other people, forcing him or guilting him will most likely do more harm than good. Respect his own pace, encourage him to keep trying even when things don’t go perfectly and celebrate when progress is made, even if it’s just baby steps. :) Also, don’t force yourself to stay at home all the time if you feel like going out. If social events are an important part of your routine, don’t deny yourself that. You can support him while also taking care of yourself.
And that’s the last thing I wanted to talk about. As a person who both suffers from mental illness and have close relationships with others who do as well, I realize that it can be hard and exhausting to support someone through this, and it’s often too easy to take on too much weight on your shoulders. Remember that your mental health is important as well. Ultimately, if you can help him get some professional help, I think that would be a good idea. Whether it’s a doctor, therapist or counselor, they could help your fiancé acquire the tools he needs to better cope with his feelings and I’m sure they could more effectively help you support him as well, since they would know more about your fiancé’s specific situation and the things he struggles with the most. In the long term it could be beneficial for both of you.
I’m sure he must be very grateful for your support. I hope you can both find ways to make your lives easier and work through it together.
Take care!

If any of you followers have anything to add, send us a message so I can post it on the blog so Anon can see them! All advice is appreciated! :)

the-treble:

willowpedia:

crazymolerat36:

ewitsmichelle:

not just followers, everyone.

same

I’m here if any of you need to talk<3

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