Dealing with Loneliness and Social Anxiety

by NoviceLocs14 20 Replies latest jw experiences

  • smiddy

    Welcome Novice locs 14 (how did you come up with that handle ?) never mind .And no need to feel nervous anymore most of us have experienced that when we first posted on this forum.

    You are among friends here who have had similar experiences as yourself.

    I tend to be a bit of a loner ,I dont just jump in and try to make friends with people I first meet ,rather I will sit back and analyse what type of people they are .( I know people who jump in at the first meeting with someone as if they are long lost friends and then live to regret it LOL)

    My wife and I joined a few clubs ,senior citizens ,their Opportunity shop ,Probus ,and a table tennis group ,just to meet and socialise with people ,and at least you get to know people in the world are not like the WT portrays them to be.

    Human beings are the same everywhere in a religion ,in politics ,or in social organizations ,some people you like some people you wont like.

    Thats life.

    My husband has encouraged me to just ago out there, find out what I enjoy and meet like minded people who do those things.

    Your husband is a wise man ,take his advice

    I wish you and your husband both well ,especially in your journey exiting the JW cult.

    Take care.

  • Xanthippe

    Hi Novice, I totally understand your feelings. I left with my husband but lost all my family and friends like you. I have recently joined a Meetup group online. Just google it if you don't know what it is. We go to see plays and have meals out. There's also a book group within this Meetup.

    I've found it brilliant because Meetup is basically designed for people who want to expand their social life. You can check out what the group's about and the age range. Join several if you like, you don't have to go to anything you don't fancy and no one will be like 'where were you' if you don't go as they are in the JWs. Try it.

  • Tallon

    Hi Novice.

    First of all, welcome to the forum.

    Do you enjoy sport activities? If you do, maybe you could join a club or leisure centre. It is a great way to meet other people and enjoy life. You could ask your husband join you in this.

    Wishing you all the best.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I don't know where you live, but I do know that in these United States and in other places, there are wonderful groups of ex-JW's that meet semi-regularly or occasionally. Let me briefly tell you why that has been my way of finding people to hang out with, be tight with.

    I am an alcoholic. But I stopped drinking for "Jehovah" back in 1988. When I came outta the religion, I fell off the wagon a little bit. Still, I don't relate to the people at Alcoholics Anonymous. They focus on that avoiding drinking thing being the Number 1 aspect of their lives. But hey, I got back on the wagon and that is not my Number 1 problem. Yet my coworkers are heavy social drinkers- not necessarily problem drinkers, but I still feel a wee bit uncomfortable around them.

    If I found a group of hobbyists or enthusiasts who share an interest, that would be fine. But I knew for the first several years out of that religion that I felt awkward around people when discussing my philosophies and what I have been doing. Some ex-JW's can do it well, others cannot.

    But I found other ex-JW's through meetupdotcom and I found friends on this forum. I have been traveling to Tahoe every July to meet up with the group that does a weekend in the woods. Others here get me, I get them. No deep explanations are necessary, but long discussions are welcome.

    I am sure there are endless numbers of songs that can summarize how we are all milling about in close proximity to each other and feeling all alone at the same time. We ought to get together.

  • Giordano

    Nl14 welcome! Look at this forum as a meeting place for your lost tribe. A tribe where everyone is on individual paths but with many things in common. Hang out here and you will be amused, cuddled, liked for who you are.

    Commenting on different subjects strengthens your ability to communicate. Along with commenting comes research....non of us want to appear ignorant, though I can achieve that lofty goal on many occasions, so we look up stuff, that helps us redefine or add to our knowledge.

    Every minute that we can lose ourselves in our work, our family, in conversations........... is a minute that allows us to put more distance from the WTBT$ and their followers.

    I'll tell you a secret........ my wife and I have been out for five decades but I can still close my eyes and remember my friends among the friends. Some also left in their own time and way but alas we lost contact. We had to start over.

    Here are a few ideas to consider:

    What you are feeling is true and honest as we all need meaningful social contact. After all as a JW we knew ourselves by what other JWs thought about us. When we lose that feedback it feels strange. While you have the love and support of your close family you are missing the definition from others of who you are.

    So you are a mother........ find a Mom's group in your area. Your commonality is that you are all parents. My daughter-in-law joined a local Mom's group. There is always an event, birthday party, field trip. In that setting she has made many new friendships.

    My wife and are are retired so we volunteer and have developed some wonderful relationships with a variety of great people. Volunteering gives back to the community at large. Find something you can support..... be it your local library or animal shelters or one of a hundred different options.

    If you don't know your neighbors consider inviting everyone to a block party or backyard party at your place. We did that when we moved into a small City and really didn't know anyone. We put a flyer in everyone's door or mail box and 60 people showed up, everyone brought something to share. It was a bring something invitation. What we had in common was that we all lived close to hand....... that was enough to put everyone at ease.

    We also started a New Year's Day house party. A lot of people don't go out New Years Eve...... we didn't but kinda felt we were leaving something out. Turned out a lot of folks felt the same way now we all look forward to our special day together.

    So welcome to the rest of your life...use the time well.

  • Rainbow_Troll

    Some of the more sincere JW kids never go through the teenage rebellion stage of drinking, drugging and having fun with the opposite sex; and so when we finally do rebel against the bOrg, we find ourselves as children in an adult world where everyone expects us to know the ropes. I believe the psychological term is 'arrested development'.

    Yes, it's frustrating, and I don't have any easy answers. The obvious solution of simply going through a belated adolescent 'rebellion' may work for some, but I have personally found the joys of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll to be insipid and overrated at best. I only found peace by acknowledging to myself that I really had no genuine desire to grow up and fit into adult society. That, in fact, I like being an emotionally stunted adult with the mind of a ten year old. Instead of wishing you were someone else, try accepting yourself as you are; maybe that's who you're meant to be. It may be alienating, but alienation is often the price of authenticity.

    And hey, you aren't the only kid out there who is stuck in an adult body. You'll have no trouble finding kindred spirits online or even in the real world if you know where to look. HINT: It won't be at a bar or a church function. Try coffee shops, sci-fi conventions, Subgenius devivals and other off-beat venues.

  • scratchme1010

    Just want to welcome. Other posters have provided you with great insights and kind words and a warm welcome. I just want to welcome you, and I hope you have some fun reading people's postings.

  • Phizzy

    Mrs Phizzy is still struggling for similar reasons to yourself. She lacks confidence, is anxious, and has lost all her former "friends" in the Org,including an extended JW family.

    We have to be honest with ourselves, we cannot replace, exactly, that which we have lost.

    Many of our former JW "friends" had children and grandchildren we saw grow up, some of the grand children are now parents ! Those sort of "friends" are gone forever, due to it being conditional upon our belonging to a Cult which we now have no time, let alone respect, for.

    But there are a lot of lovely people out there, through my contacts in a leisure pursuit I have had for many years I have a good number of firm friends.

    Mrs Phizzy I worry about though, although I have suggested many of the things mentioned in Posts on this Thread, she seems not to be able to push herself to follow through on any of them. Any ideas how I can motivate her to do so ?

  • Vidiot

    I suspect that some of us will never truly feel like a whole person.

    We do our best, though.

  • mentalclarity

    Welcome! I can relate to your feelings as well and I don't think it's unique to just exjw's. If you are an adult over 25 and moved to a new community, you might struggle with the same issues. It takes time to get to know people and form friendships (for everyone). I personally think a few genuine friendships are much better than a dozen artificial ones.

    If your daughter has friends from school/neighborhood many times you'll be able to meet and develop friendships with the parents. Don't be afraid to take the first step and invite them over for coffee or maybe a potluck dinner (nothing fancy).

    If there is anything that interests you at all..even just a slight interest...look into that. Meetup groups are a great way to meet people-a lot of times the people are in the same boat as you. Maybe they just moved or got divorced and lost all their mutual friends (it happens) so don't think of yourself as the "odd" one.

    Think about taking a class in something you're interested in. Photography? Dance lessons? Painting? Yoga? Meditation? Hiking? Cycling? Cooking? So many wonderful things are out there and without the restrictive prohibitions the world is really your oyster

    Stay open-minded. Some of my closest friends now are very different from me. I love that! How boring when everyone thinks exactly as you do about everything and is your same age/same stage of life. Mix it up!

    Volunteering is also a way to meet people. You can meet people who love animals, or want to improve the community, etc. It also helps to get outside of yourself and your own problems when you need some perspective.

Share this