Tuesday, December 11, 2007


For any of you that have visited this blog before, and God forbid, if there are any regular readers, then you'll notice a new layout. But it's not just a pretty picture...

Besides the layout, you’ll notice a few additions, beginning with the Amazon advertisements. Just to set the record straight, it’s not my intention to make money from this blog. The ads are there for the sake of curiosity more than anything else. Neither do I intend to lure anyone into any bum deals. There’s currently two books listed there (which may or may not change in the future) that you will find recommended throughout the socially anxious world. Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness is what you’d expect from a CBT based self-help book and is definitely worth a read. Diagonally Parked in a Parallel Universe I have not read yet, but in the extremely unlikely event that I make enough money from those ads to buy it, then that is what I’ll do and I’ll review it right here for you. How’s that for fairness?

You will also find the addition of RSS, so you can now subscribe to this blog rather than checking back everyday for the next three months only to find I haven’t posted anything. Considering my somewhat sparse and intermittent approach to writing here recently, I thought that would be a good idea. I’ve got no idea if it actually works properly, I’m just clicking a few buttons and hoping for the best. But hey, it’s the effort that counts, give me a gold star.

Other than that, partly because I don’t post here much and partly because information on social anxiety, especially blogs, can be impossibly difficult to find, I’m trying to generate a worthy list of links, to sites, blogs, articles, etc. Much of the stuff linked up there I haven’t read yet but I have had a quick flick through and some of them look half decent. I don’t want to discriminate against tastes either, if it doesn’t suit me, then that’s not to say it won’t suit you. I’d love to hear of anymore stuff out there, so long as the entire thing is not one long whinge, let me know.

As always, feedback is appreciated.

Monday, December 10, 2007


When I suffered from acute anxiety, I would blame my avoidance tendencies and growing agoraphobia on one thing only – nausea.

See, if I didn’t feel like I was going to throw up at any instant while standing at the checkout in the local supermarket or simply talking to a neighbor, there would be nothing to fear, surely? So what if I get a little flustered, I can handle that. But knowing that at any moment I could erupt, forcing a violent projectile of carrot-based matter not only onto a freshly cleaned floor, but into the minds of everyone present, I just could not deal with that kind of embarrassment.

It took me a long time to learn the truth. Eventually I dealt with my fears and overcame the agoraphobia and it was all good. Until I relapsed. This time my anxiety manifested itself in every way possible, as if aware of my increased strength and subsequent immunity to what had plagued me for several years. The sickness didn’t hold any great presence anymore. But what remained was a passionate fear that could disable some of my most powerful efforts. It sucked. However, I came to realize that the only fear I ever had, was not of the nausea, but of fear itself.

We’re always looking for something, or someone, to blame. If you didn’t have x, y or z, then everything would be just fine. Or maybe if you did have x, y or z, then everything would be just fine. So many times I’ve heard the same of social anxiety. If you didn’t have social anxiety you’d wake up to the smell of roses every morning. Riiiight.

The truth - everything is just fine as it is. We use blame as a means of control, or justification for our weak efforts. It allows us to play the victim and throw the towel in to something we believe has a hold over us. But SA is not an entity in itself and you are certainly not owned by it. And you are not unique.

Your difficulties come down to the same fundamental issues that everyone on this earth experiences.

We all fear and we all struggle. The manifestation of our fear varies but it is there in each one of us. Regardless of how it presents itself, whether we have SA or not, we have fundamental needs and must make noble efforts each day to attain a contented life. What I am saying is, we have struggles outside of social anxiety, which may well appear to be part of social anxiety, but social anxiety is merely a term for a specific combination of manifested fears. The fundamental fears behind this are natural throughout humankind.

There is a starting ground, which is no different from the one each one of us walks. The way you talk to yourself, pro-action…getting things done! Without which, the words of a million books are of no use. You don’t need to think about social anxiety to get started and we all know roughly what we need to do on a day to day basis. Are you doing it?


No excuses.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I got my first comment telling me to go suck myself today, I feel like a real blogger now. Actually, that's a lie, I got it about two weeks ago but only picked it up today because I completely forgot I even had a blog. Yup, professionalism is my middle name. Apologies to all two of you whose comments were left standing for a while, even if one of you does hate me.

It's been a long time since I posted here, and I can't tell you what will be posted in the future, although I'd expect there will be a few of my thoughts jotted down from time to time, and if I ever devise a structured plan, it'll be getting wrote up on here. I'm thinking RSS might help the few of you who are interested in this blog but I don't know much about it, so if anyone wants to help me with that, send me an email.

Walking through a busy retail park, I was inspired to make a post here because of a totally random thought that occured to me. Of course then, I remembered my blog and I thought up a million and one other things I could write about, but they'll have to wait. This is the thought that occured to me:

I have written a fair bit on daydreaming, introversion and the fact that the socially anxious spend much of their time, mentally, not interacting with their immediate environment, but instead choosing to interact with their imagination. The thing is, in my mind, I can walk into a shop (I was about to walk into a shop when this thought came to me) and present myself to the cashier with no anxiety, no nerves, give a friendly smile and even start a little conversation. So why is the reality so different and why do I feel so uncomfortable?

It came to me, that I have full control over my imagination, which is something non-existing in the real world. Within both of these parallel worlds, I am the same person, with the same abilities and social skills, yet in one I often fail merely because I fear the loss of control. I understand this doesn't mean too much in itself, but I do believe that it is this fear that attempts to hold me in my imaginative space, which in turn will keep me from interacting with my immediate environment, learning to overcome social anxiety, etc. If you have read and understood the rest of my blog I'm thinking that you will be at least beginning to understand what I'm saying.

There's so many other elements to this, and I may get back to them, but this really was a random out of the blue thought. I do have other, probably more insightful things to say in the future should I get round to them. On a serious note, I am interested in speaking to people who have a deep interest in overcoming social anxiety, who have ideas to share, inspiration to give and all the rest of it. You'll find my email address somewhere around here. Thanks.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Firstly, if there are any regular readers, I must make one final and sincere apology. I started this blog almost a year ago with a lot of time on my hands. I was able to post on a daily basis along with researching social anxiety. I no longer have that freedom to spend hours and hours making my way through vague ideas and turning them into something usable. But it's not just that. I have a confession to make, for I am a compulsive procrastinator.

I know I said, quite enthusiastically, that I would pick this blog back up and start posting something worthwhile. Then. There was silence. I haven't completely backed down from my original statements, but my progress is slow in a world full of distractions, so I'm making a new statement. I may or may not post here on a regular basis, and I may or may not offer information that will be of your benefit, but if you do pop by, then there may or may not be some worthy reading. I'm making no more promises, no more structured plans, but I will continue to progress in my own way and you'll probably see a few posts about it. And I do continue to make my own progress following much of what you read here and then some... Try it for yourself.

Anyway, back on topic. Reading the comments, something jumped out at me (Thanks for all the comments by the way, it's always encouraging to see people showing an interest in what I write). It jumped out because it was something I realised could be misinterpreted when I originally wrote about it but for some reason I still neglected to elaborate. This is not to say that the commenter did misinterpret my words, but the words he used are very common and often used in negative expression. This is what caught my attention:

"I've also been trying to cultivate a 'fuck you' attitude..."

Very much like the original post I made, comments like this can be interpreted in two very different ways. Opposites in fact. The 'fuck you attitude' is often used by those who are the most insecure and low on self-esteem, followed by the words 'Am I bovvered?' If you use that phrase, then yes, you probably are bothered. You probably even cry yourself to sleep about it. That is exactly where the 'fuck you' attitude comes from. It's a defence, a way in which you can (very badly) hide your pain and fears from those around you. What it really says is, 'yes, I am bothered, but I don't want you to know that because I don't want you getting one over on me.' Now there's something enlightening. You're worried about someone getting one over on you? Someone else? It's just another case of you being worried of what others think of you, which is the exact opposite of a real 'fuck you, I don't give a shit' attitude.

What I'm talking about is something else entirely. I'm talking about redeveloping your habitual ways of thinking and not just brushing the surface of your conscious thoughts. You can be all 'fuck you, I don't care', even start shooting everyone up with an AK47 at school if you want, but you're not going to be any better off for it. You can develop this attitude consciously, and many people do, but rarely do these people have a positive fundamental belief system. They still possess all the fear they had in the first place, and often more. I'm talking about something positive. A gift to yourself. Something which is extremely difficult to do but will be extremely rewarding if you give yourself the chance to do it. I'm talking about being you, and having the courage to be you, taking the responsibility, the decisions and everything else that comes with the package and standing up for what you are. If someone doesn't like you. Fuck them. So long as you like yourself. What I'm really talking about, is self-esteem, the confidence to be yourself, but trying to travel through the motions of explaining its presence, or lack of and why it exists in some but not others. I'm trying to explain where to find it.

I would write more but I've got things to do (this has been very rushed so I hope it makes sense). I will try to find some time to put this into words more lucid sometime in the near future.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I came across something of a revelation in thought recently. It's not something entirely new to me, I first came across it about 2 years ago; a book claiming that social anxiety is the product of an increased ability to think of yourself in terms of the third person. An interesting hypothesis I thought at the time, and one that could be partially true, but it was nothing more than free-flowing thoughts making their way around my mind without any real depth of knowledge, experience or inclination. So that is what it remained, an incomplete thought that I could possibly explore further when then new peaces reveled themselves.

Then something happened. I wish, for the life of me, I could remember what it was, but I can't. Maybe I was reading a book, or maybe it was some kind of social experience, or maybe God came down from Heaven and said 'Mico. I come forth, with a great treasure. You are to hold the secret of social anxiety as I present it to thou.' I'm pretty sure the latter didn't happen, and neither am I going to claim to hold the secret to social anxiety, but somewhere in the past couple of months I was suddenly overcome by an understanding that I never previously possesed. It was the understanding, that for my entire life, I have been acting not for myself, but for the image of myself. The image that I perceive others to hold. An image from a third person viewpoint.

I have no idea what I'm talking about. My thoughts come in waves, rippling through my body like a tidal emotion. I long for them to speak to me, but they don't. Instead, I feel them. The choice to decipher these thoughts is left up to me, and if you bare with me, then that is what I'm going to attempt to do now.

You see, when you perceive yourself in the third person, looking at yourself from an external viewpoint, the viewpoint of your peers, your enemies, your Gods, or whoever, you are encouraging the idea that you are acting to please. 'Acting' and 'please' are two important words here. From this viewpoint you can only do right if the audience is approving. But what happened to your own approval? And this is exactly where self-esteem comes in! You need to be able to stand there and approve of your own actions. Anytime you give that decision over to someone else, you're giving them all the power you have and you leave yourself with nothng.

The truth is, it's OK to be wrong. It's OK if someone dissaproves of your actions, so long as you approve of them. Take yourself away from the third person and ask yourself, what do you want. Refrain from asking yourself 'what would look cool?', or 'will my friends approve of this?'. Ask yourself 'what do I want?.' It's not selfish. And neither is it uncool. In fact you'll find it to be the exact opposite. Individuality and the confidence to display it is an extremely attractive quality. If you have strong opinions, or act in ways that some people find offensive, some people will hate you. But so what? People will hate you anyway for being whatever way you are. Everyone is hated by someone.

Wow, struggle is the word of the day. This isn't a good attempt at getting this one out of my head and into an understandable language. I obviously need to go away and think about this one, but I thought I'd lay the seed for thought. What you sow, you reap.

What do you want.

Oh, and wait. Just so happens that I was reading an article this very morning relating nicely to this subject. Check it out at Violent Acres.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I've got this to do, I've got that to do, I need a labotomy, a holiday, more time, a comfy chair, new beginnings, a top hat...I've had enough of hearing my own excuses for not getting involved in this blog. The truth is, the contents herein are important to my well-being. If I don't give them some time my well-being goes down, my productivity goes down, procrastination, depression, anxiety, well, they go up! The blog's back, for the benefit of myself, and hopefully for the benefit of you. Enough's enough. This isn't something added onto your life, it is your life. Time is a minor discrepancy, we need not be concerned with such things.

I'm sure you've said it before; 'I'll do it tomorrow...' Tomorrow doesn't exist I'm afraid. The only time you can take action, is now. So let's roll.

Come on, this is going to be fun.

Phase 1

I'm going to forget social anxiety for a while, you need to learn to walk before you can run. We're going right back to the beginning here, the priming stages. Many of you, I'm sure, have dabbled in personal development, cognitive behavioural therapy, spiritual practices or something similar. In which case I would have to hazard a wild guess that since you're reading this, you didn't get too far? Unfortunately, not many people do. Then when it does happen, those people are living it up somewhere in the Carribean and they don't want a Mr/Mrs/Miss Negative Pants like you bringing them back down again, so the chances of hearing from them are slim. Unlucky for you, you get me instead. But hey, if I don't provide any useful advice/exercises here, you have my promise, I'll eat my left arm.

There's a real problem with personal development (PD). Go to your local bookstore and take in an observation of how many shelves are filled up with PD titles. Unless you're in Adult Book Universe, or Colin's Comics, there should be a good few rows. The information is there, people are buying them, and from what I've heard, people are reading them too. A lot of people. So why isn't every one walking around with smiles on their faces, wallets bulging and radiating positive energy? Good question.

There are many reasons, and I'm not going to go into them all now because it's simply impossible in the scope of this blog. Neither is it necesarry or productive. What is important, is to take on one thing at a time, and take it on with commitment. Not so much so that it overwhelms, but enough to make positive progress. And I am not talking about positive steps in social anxiety just yet, but positive steps in priming yourself for the journey ahead. I spoke of this when I started the blog, and I'm speaking of it again. It's important. You need to build solid foundations, otherwise your house will tumble to the ground.

First, some reading material:
  • Relaxation is good. Read this
Relaxation is of prime importance. It has so many advantages over the way you feel, your mental focus, your levels of anxiety and even opens up your conscious mind. I recommend you give it a try no matter how useless you feel it is. I know, you tried it on the bus once and it didn't work... This is like your daily push ups. They don't do much on the bus either, other than make your body ache for a few days. It's the same thing, you keep up a regular routine and eventually (it may take a while) you will see the improvements. In fact, do some press ups too while you're at it. Exercise is good for you.
  • If you you haven't read it before, then read this. The Homeland.
Attitude. Like women. Can't live with it, and can't live without it. Your attitude needs to be healthy before you can make any progress.

I think that's about it for now. Much of what I really want to say has been done before in this blog. I will however will be moving on to more specific practices in my next post. Just wanted to give some general reading for now, but remember, if you want to do this, then do it. Read the links provided and concentrate on wat they have to say. Be positive.

If you're having any kinds of problems with depression, Steve Pavlina produced a decent article on the subject here.

If you wern't here the first time round and you're a little confused as to what this blog is, then read this

Contributions, research, articles, techniques, etc are all welcome. I'll try not to bore you so much next time.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


So, santa's been, the pies have been eaten and you've been stuffing you face with nothing but turkey sandwiches and party sausage rolls. If you're anything like me, then your belly probably doesn't feel at its best right now. But still, many of you are probably already looking forward to next year, and it's always important to look positively into the future, so with that in mind, all the best for 2007 peeps! Make it a good'n.

A Couple of people have asked about my blog. I haven't made a post here since...ok, I don't remember when it was. Due to unforseen circumstances since I began this little venture I've been overloaded with work and had little time to do what I wanted here, which is a shame because it's something I had a firm interest in doing. So, right now there's a little uncertainty in the future of The Day I Tried to Live. What I think I'm going to do, is leave it up to you... You see, I know there are people out there who read and appreciate what I'm trying to get across with this blog, but to what extent I don't know. Is anyone getting anything out of this blog, or reading it on a regular basis? Basically, if enough people beg me, I'll keep updating the blog as and when I can during 2007, otherwise the blog gets it.

Also, if anyone would like to contribute to the blog, let me know.

Happy new year to you all!