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today i am isolating myself more than ever and I don't see how I can break out of it. I was supposed to go out on a date last night with a beatiful girl I met a week ago and I blew it by getting discustingly drunk on friday night and was too sick to go anywhere. I don't know if I could of handled it anyway, as I am so deeply self conscious at the moment. I walk into a room of people and the it feels incredibly tense, more than ever. I don't seem to worry about stuff so much but when I am in situations like this I feel dibilitated and unable to function properly. The only time I can function freely and relax is when I'm completely alone. I have been looking for 2 and a half years almost and feel as miserable as ever. when will it end?

I realize how self-absorbed this post is.

I hear you Jim. I've felt in a similar manner and still do occasionally. I was watching one of John's retreat videos and he said that things just fall away, one by one, without any fanfare. New material then emerges and we find out who we really are, without the fear, piece by piece (I hope I'm recounting that accurately). He said there is nothing magical or abrupt about this process, it just happens slowly and inexorably over time. After almost 3 and a quarter years I find this to be true. Generalized anxiety, which I felt almost always, throughout my life is pretty much gone. Situational anxiety, related to a specific external source, fluctuates, but is rarely unbearable or intolerable. More and more I feel I'm gaining mastery over my life, or at least better at accepting the way things are.

I would look for negative patterns and habits falling away. Maybe keep a journal to keep better track. Writing things down has helped me. Noticing that things go away quietly might help you feel more optimistic about troublesome responses, like your social responses, eventually disappearing. In my experience they do eventually see themselves out.

Thanks for response Jackx. just wanted to mention, today I am picking up a prescription of paroxatine (think it is), an antidepressant. hopefully might have a positive effect as i'm not waiting round for the looking to work forever and maybe in vein. does anyone have any experience doing these type of drugs while looking?

It happens. It's just a process. Don't buy into it. It fundamentally doesn't mean anything.

I understand where you're coming from.

oh well,

giving them a go anyway.

it's a shame there is no quick, easy access way to talk about this thing we do with each other


I hope it works, Jim. My wife has done the looking and started anti anxiety meds in the process. Something worked.....she I far less anxious. I personally would have an I eye on stopping the meds after about 6 months......would make it a short term goal. See how you feel then.

thanks Jackx.

i have been on them for three days now and I feel pretty awful to be honest; insomnia, dizziness, nausea etc. lovely! Good to hear your wife is doing well on them. still very unsure if this is the way to go though. I like the thought of having a purer experience with the looking rather than not knowing whether it's the drugs or the act itself that is presenting changes in me.

I would appreciate any other opinions/theories on this. Especially from someone like John who I think is the clearest and most intelligent person that talks about this process. I have never heard anyone talk about their experience with drugs at the same time. Kind of feels like I'm the first one.

When I took this same drug quite a few years ago I remember I was always defining myself and trying to work things out with my thoughts.. As the drugs kicked in or seemed to kick in (im not ruling out placebo effect) my definitions of myself became more positive and I began feeling much better but still, I was defining myself in my head 'i am better. i am better' self pride and esteem shot up i suppose. Since the looking I think the constant trying to define myself in the world has died down and i find myself thinking less and being more in the present. What I'm trying to say is I think this time round it's going to be a lot different on these drugs..... will i notice changes I didn't before?. will there be a self that needs defining? i kind of know the answer. I just want to feel good.

After just one look the context of fear is in a word--obviated. Old thought patterns may continue or not moment to moment. But here's the deal, any felt suffering is the residue of embers of thought vaporized by the no gap between me and my life. After a while suffering is the graceful allowing for the sky of the mind to be simply--here. Which is what you and me are all the time. We are engaged in a wonderful life here beyond the clarity and wisdom of any and all thoughts to even say this. Finally, it is enough to look at me! And look at me. And look at me again. This suggestion of John Sherman is touchstone. Now life continues ordinarily with thoughts serving function not havoc. This is what is happening in my life. I suspect this is what happening in your life as well, Jackx.

That's beautiful, Paul.....and comes at a timely point, rough several days. Thanks.

OK, so your character, your personality doesn't always like what it thinks it is or what it does. I got one of those. Got the tee shirt. If you have looked once you will look again and again and that is all that is needed. Open your mind to the great possibility that you are already through much of it and are just experiencing the momentum. Looking at that which you've always been seeing sounds really stupid to the mind so it tries to add conditions like how long it should take and what it should do / feel like / produce, etc. Just look.

"...does anyone have any experience doing these type of drugs while looking?" Before the very first look in my life I smoked marijuana as a drug and got pleasure out of it. Now I bake it and use it in lieu of blood pressure medication. So I am helping my body function with this drug as opposed to thinking about using a drug while..." not waiting round for the looking to work forever." Jim Glover your comment here is obviously from a mind free of fear. Looking at me does not obviate the intelligent use of drugs but it will obviate very quickly endless machinations about such use. As BradleyP says you, me, John and Carla and all who read this here are involved in our unique momentum. So this stuff arising as your thoughts may be felt as a fever and as a cool breeze passing. But whatever it is, it is still you and your life. And after reading this we get to continue our life. Yours expressed your way and mine my way. After just one look at me, this is our life.

This is what John promises. this is the medicine. After just one look we become our own medicine. Any and all bewilderment and wisdom thoughts equally pale before you are greeting your life. And that is what we are doing here. We are greeting our life. Just one look at me. Anybody still inclined to write here always feel free to look at me while whatever thoughts arise.

I have felt dysfunctional a lot throughout my life.I still do but now I agree with it without judgement.Before I would somehow use the thought process or review of life as unsuccessful as a way to support self hatred.It seems to be a pattern that needs to be processed and released.So I breath and observe these influences as a helpful message about what I no longer am.

I was in a social situation yesterday, with about six people i haven't seen in a while, and though I was fairly quiet and wasn't adding much to the conversations going on, I didn't feel any huge panic or anxiety like I used too, if I wasn't feeling 'my best self'. One thing that was difficult during it though was my attention wondering so easily from what was being said. I think this is anxiety, it's like everyone else there but me was functioning fine and engaged the whole time. I am aware that they too also feel their own insecurities, but my focus in social settings is something i want to improve but i don't know if focused attention will help it. It's probably just a case of practising and practising and then when these situations are over, to move attention away from any mind games that serve me no good.

I did feel the need to drink yesterday though, and feel much worse off for it to be honest. It's something I need to stop soon. Even writing this seems pretty tricky right now, I don't feel very alert and I'm lacking a lot of energy it seems.

I want to add, not focusing on the conversation could be down to just not being interested. Maybe I'm just easily bored of what most people talk about too make themselves at ease with each other. I know it can be fun though...

Hi Jim,

I too have social anxiety and have tried the path of prescribed meds, no use to me I found. I now use a natural substance called ashwagandha, this in a powder form has helped me deal with my anxiety and also gives me energy when required, this and another natural product Rhodiola which also works very well, check them out on YouTube or just in Google. I find the loose powder is both more effective and cheaper but the convenience of tablets may suit.

Best regards, Chris.


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