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  1. Hi Ba3inga, Thanks for your reply. I expect I would definitely benefit from learning some assertiveness. I recognise a lack of assertiveness in myself - I fear the confrontation which it can potentialy bring - and it does make life difficult, at times. My worry in asking my flatmate if something is going on is that I find I sometimes make mountains out of molehills, and have found it to have adverse affects on friendships in the past when confronted. I've had experiences where I've thought I've sensed changes in my relationship with a friend and started worrying about why it happened, and whether I had done something. When raising the issue with the friend, I've been accused of imagining it and worrying unnecessarily. The friends are probably right, especially as it has happened more than once with different people, but I also wonder whether I'm just quite sensitive to minor changes in my relationships with people. An alternative is that I'm mistaking changes in my relationships for differences in the mood of the other person, and that I'm worrying unnecessarily that I've done something wrong. I'm quite concerned that my aforementioned issues with relationships always occur with members of the opposite sex. Perhaps a desperation to cultivate relationships with members of the opposite sex is causing me undue stress and worry? Thanks for all the help you've given people on this site. Nick
  2. Hello, Found myself reading through the forums, and thought I'd introduce myself... I have ADHD and was on ritalin and antidepressants for the majority of my teenage years; I'm 29 now, and for the most part have navigated my 20s without any major issues. I struggled at first, though. I first came off medication when going to university at the behest of my parents - their belief was that I should learn to live without it, and I didn't really want to be on it for the rest of my life either. It was a bit of a shock initially, and my grades took a drastic U-turn as a consequence. I was struggling with most aspects of university life. I asked my parents if I could take the medication again until after university, but they thought it was a bad idea and I didn't have enough guts or initiative to pursue the idea on my own. I scraped through university (with the poorest of grades), but things got better on entering the world of work. I started in a low-paid job in comparison the majority of my fellow graduates and friends, so very much felt like I was starting at the bottom of a long ladder. I was willing to do this to make up for my time at university. I got together with my first girlfriend during this time - someone I had been "chasing" after for 6 years or so, since we were at high school. I was very much into her, but she saw me much more as a friend, and for this reason (amongst others) it was short-lived. In truth, she was very much out of my league, so it's a miracle I managed to convince her to go out with me at all. I sunk into a period of depression after it ended and saw a councillor to help me through it. My ex and I remained very close friends after it ended. In my mid-20s, I moved to a different city after being offered a job at a well-respected company, doing the sort of work many of my fellow graduates straight out of university. I was pleased with the move. I've since risen to a position of responsibility within the company and am very proud of this. I don't necessarily feel that I'm doing a great job, nor that my position is particularly secure, but I'm getting by. I feel I might not necessarily command respect in my role - I'm one of the youngest in our department, and consider myself quite immature, and whilst I should be working hard to prove everyone that I'm deserving of my role, I don't feel I'm doing enough just yet. In general, however, work is one of the more positive aspects of my life. The negative mostly revolves around my relationships with other people. I've never been popular, but at high school I had a modestly-sized, tight knit group of friends. I struggled to make friends at all at university, owing to a mixture of shyness and social anxiety - I virtually skipped our fresher's week which is where most social circles are formed! I did have a small group by the end however, but it was one that I made almost no effort to keep in contact with afterwards, and I do regret this slightly. My high school friends were the ones that I made the effort with, and still do. Over the past couple of years, there have been signs that we've been beginning to drift, and this has given me cause for concern more than anyone else in the group, I suspect. As relationships and marriages have formed amongst each of my friends, I still only have a short relationship to my name, and the same friendship group I had 10+ years ago. As everyone else's social circles widened, mine grew smaller. I've also found differences growing between myself and people I once considered very close. Unfortunately, my friends are very intelligent. I wouldn't call myself stupid, but my friends almost universally attended Oxford and Cambridge, and I was one of the few that didn't. This difference in intelligence seems to be making itself more apparent as we get older. It's highlighted through general knowledge board games and games of trivia which we find ourselves playing more and more, and more and more I end up becoming the butt of all the jokes as I'm unable to answer (seemingly) simple questions. It's a bit embarassing, and does little for my self-esteem. Then there's my inability to make new friends or find a new relationship. I still consider myself very shy at 29, and quite socially awkward. I'm dreadful at maintaining a conversation and even worse at starting them. I'm a bit better with people that I know well - old friends and colleagues - which makes me think that shyness is definitely a factor. I'm not very outgoing, so rarely meet new people, which, when combined with a (relatively) unattractive appearance and poor social skills, makes it incredibly difficult to find someone to start a relationship with. My living situation is the most recent source of negativity in my life, which pushed me on here. Last year, I was living with a guy when another girl moved in with us. She was foreign, stunningly gorgeous, and seemingly very pleasant. We got along reasonably well, despite not seeing much of each other. We were kicked out of the flat at the end of last year, and she asked if I wanted to move from a three bedroom flat to a two bedroom flat with her. I jumped on that opportunity because she was by far the easiest person to live with that I had encountered, and admittedly, I held out hope that something might happen between us, despite (again) being way out of my league. We're living together now, and still get along well, but I'm concerned things are going downhill with her and I don't quite understand why. We've never socialised much with each other, but started having evenings in front of the TV conversing and finding mutually appreciated TV shows we both liked. I felt like this was a relationship (friendship) that was beginning to blossom, but recently it has been going the other way. Rather than spending more time in the shared space, she is spending more time on her own, and (intentionally or otherwise) avoiding me more and more. I have found myself looking forward to spending time with her more and more, but it's becoming rarer and rarer and it's knocking my self esteem even further, because I'm thinking that I've messed up our friendship somehow. Besides my usual social anxiety, the only thing I can think that may have caused this is my penchant for doing overly nice things from time to time - this is a trend that arises especially when I find a girl attractive. I've recently left her a thank you note for keeping our flat tidy and apologising for not doing enough of it myself, and since then I also left some spare pillows out for her when she had friends staying with us (and told me in advance she planned on sleeping on the sofa). I'm wary of being overly nice incase it comes off as creepy, but have I already gone too far? I feared she was pulling away because she thought I wasn't particularly friendly or nice, and that those two acts might bring her around, but the trend of pulling away has continued. I'm afraid of bringing up the topic directly, incase I'm misinterpreting the situation. She is introverted like myself, after all, and this may just be her natural desire to retreat that I'm seeing. I'm envisaging a situation when our lease comes to renewal and she tells me she wants to move out because she's not happy with our living situation anymore - it seems nightmarish right now, because two or three months ago I thought we were flying high. It's knocking my already low self-esteem to the point where I'm questioning every decision and every shared experience we have. One problem that I recognise in myself is that I have a porn/sex addiction. It brings with it lots of shame and guilt, but it's something I'm actively combatting. I relapse often, mostly when feeling down, but find myself getting stronger at fighting this one aspect. I'm hoping to find ways to manage the negative thoughts that run through my head - so far I'm not having much luck! Thanks, Nick
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