Struggling to connect with people

Postby iHatePaws94 » Sat Oct 09, 2021 7:50 am

Hi everyone. I find the most difficult part of PAWs is my struggle to connect to other people. I am essentially a social outcast now. I sense that I make others very uncomfortable when trying to converse with them. This was never an issue for me in the past. I was always confident and popular before my addiction. Now I have very few friends and even simple tasks such as going to the grocery store are difficult for me. I feel so alienated from others. I can't shake the feeling that this will be permanent. I was hoping to hear some words of encouragement from others who experienced this as well. I've also noticed that my looks have suffered. I used to be fairly good looking but now I look sickly and deranged. My eyes look crazy kind of similar to Gary Buseys where one looks normal and the other looks cracked out. It's very stressful to see myself like this. I'm also really pale and puffy. Is this something that any of you have experienced and has it gotten any better. I'm at 9 months and on my good days I feel a little better but I still look bad and struggle socially.
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#1

Postby PAWnorama » Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:32 pm

Hey,
I kind of know what you mean. I used to greet and speak with everybody I met but now I try to avoid a lot of social interactions. I think this comes from confidence, which is very hard to have when we feel uncomfortable with ourselves. Just take baby steps, I believe in you!
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#2

Postby MMJnomo » Sun Oct 10, 2021 8:34 pm

iHatePaws94 wrote:Hi everyone. I find the most difficult part of PAWs is my struggle to connect to other people. I am essentially a social outcast now. I sense that I make others very uncomfortable when trying to converse with them. This was never an issue for me in the past. I was always confident and popular before my addiction. Now I have very few friends and even simple tasks such as going to the grocery store are difficult for me. I feel so alienated from others. I can't shake the feeling that this will be permanent. I was hoping to hear some words of encouragement from others who experienced this as well. I've also noticed that my looks have suffered. I used to be fairly good looking but now I look sickly and deranged. My eyes look crazy kind of similar to Gary Buseys where one looks normal and the other looks cracked out. It's very stressful to see myself like this. I'm also really pale and puffy. Is this something that any of you have experienced and has it gotten any better. I'm at 9 months and on my good days I feel a little better but I still look bad and struggle socially.

I know exactly what you are talking about. I feel like people are repulsed by me and can’t wait to get away from me. When I am out and about I almost hope I don’t get into an extended conversation with anyone because it is just so difficult to maintain it when the anxiety kicks in and my head starts spinning from the anxiety-induced brain fog and dizziness. It is even a struggle for me to converse with family members and old friends right now. I felt this way somewhat for most of my life because of childhood and adulthood traumas, but weed PAWS has made it much more worse. So, I understand what you mean and just wanted to tell you you’re not alone. As we feel better and are more able to handle conversations and interactions, I think it will get better for us. I am about a week away from 9 months, so very close to your timeline.
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#3

Postby Backtothebasics » Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:58 am

Crazy you guys have posted this. I thought I was the only one. I feel I have nothing witty to say, my social skills are almost completely gone. I used to be popular and most people liked me, now I can’t even hold a conversation. Everyone calls me quiet now which no one ever used to call me. I feel completely awkward while conversating. Every thing from body language to my responses are just off. It’s hard to believe I was once very popular and likable and now I can’t even hold a conversation. I’m just over 9.5 months of paws. Similar to your timelines. Not being able to connect with people, even my close friends has been very difficult and has led me to actually lose a lot of relationships. It’s easy to tell my mood, social skills, and body language has changed.
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#4

Postby DerJogge » Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:47 pm

I am 25 months of PAWS and not out yet and still stuck with a lot of symptoms but since 1-2 months I am able to connect with people and to let social situations happen naturally. It took a long time but I feel like it’s been improving a lot lately on that front.

I had times where I completely isolated myself but at some point I just had the urge of talking to people again and getting myself out there. Force yourself in social settings from time to time to test yourself but don’t be hard on yourself if it’s not working.
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#5

Postby Blinkers » Thu Oct 28, 2021 7:15 am

25 months is a very long time. I just wonder why it has been so long for you.
Did you take heavy dopamine stimulants for an extended period before you quit?
Have you maybe been drinking tea, coffee or coke these past years supplementing the stimulation?
Just seems like the receptors have taken a long time to rebalance. Which might be due to you still taking a stimulant in some form slowing this process perhaps.
Does anything spring to mind for you that could be the cause as to why its taken this long for you?
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#6

Postby DerJogge » Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:14 am

I was addicted to a lot of things like amphetamines, weed, cigarettes, alcohol, video games, sex, porn/masturbation.

I also started using weed since the age of 15 and even prior to that alcohol and excessive video gaming, PMO. I think my brain is just addicted a very long time and that’s why it’s taking so long.

And no, I drank coffeine maybe for like 3-5 times in the last 25 months and this was mostly also by accident. Beside that I was very paranoid about using any stimulant that might sabotage the process but my only form of unnatural external dopamine sources is like fast food from time to time and maybe the usage of my phone but I don’t think those two are responsible for prolonging this process. It’s just that I in fact caused a lot of damage to my brain and that I had multiple addictions. A sexual addiction is also something that is burned into the brain pathways but I also stayed abstinent of any orgasm for the last two years.

Beside my multiple addictions I suspect that a lot of existential stress could also be prolonging the process. My father had brain aneurysm which popped while we were jogging and he barely survived but since then I’m basically managing my life (job, university) and the life of my parents, selling their house and doing all kinds of sh**. The first year of recovery was so stressful and I could imagine that this might delay recovery because my brain was so busy processing the emotional suffering of this whole situation.
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#7

Postby RMont25 » Thu Oct 28, 2021 10:38 pm

iHatePaws94 wrote:Hi everyone. I find the most difficult part of PAWs is my struggle to connect to other people. I am essentially a social outcast now. I sense that I make others very uncomfortable when trying to converse with them. This was never an issue for me in the past. I was always confident and popular before my addiction. Now I have very few friends and even simple tasks such as going to the grocery store are difficult for me. I feel so alienated from others. I can't shake the feeling that this will be permanent. I was hoping to hear some words of encouragement from others who experienced this as well. I've also noticed that my looks have suffered. I used to be fairly good looking but now I look sickly and deranged. My eyes look crazy kind of similar to Gary Buseys where one looks normal and the other looks cracked out. It's very stressful to see myself like this. I'm also really pale and puffy. Is this something that any of you have experienced and has it gotten any better. I'm at 9 months and on my good days I feel a little better but I still look bad and struggle socially.

I feel like I've been able to just be open about almost anything about my life with people, I ask questions that are unusual, and I answer questions in a way nobody expects. In real life I'd think people would push me away or just think I'm weird, but they don't, they still treat me as a human, a quirky one, but a human.

Be honest, be sincerely interested in other people for the sake of them being people, and you'll get acquaintances and friends flying at you left and right. I would avoid putting up too many or too high of walls, they keep people out, you don't have to tell them your deepest darkest secrets, but let them see your weak side so they know who you are, I'm the king of showing people my weak side, and it shows, just don't push it as far as I do.
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