Tuesday, September 18, 2012

17 September 2012: After a period of less focus on my social anxiety disorder, I've started going on the offensive again. The day before my birthday, I decided to cancel the Web part of my wireless service, and also stop taking printed matter with me when I leave home. I did this because these temptations were too strong and were diverting me from taking advantage of opportunities to make conversation and meet new people. This was shortly after deciding to be more selective about things I do after dark, particularly during the week, because I wasn't leaving myself with enough energy even to think of going clubbing -- with the added disadvantage that getting home late often meant not having time and energy to prepare meals for the next day, and ending up spending more on vended food.

The effects of my choice are starting to show. I made good small talk with several attractive women this morning. This included making remarks when I previously would have fatalistically though tthat "the moment had passed." I'm feeling pretty good about myself.

Over the past few months I had four dates with the same woman. The fact that she approached me and suggested we date doubtless did something for my self-confidence, but I think my willingness to break it off with her a few weeks ago (she was only interested in being "friends") probably did more. That would explain the steps I've taken subsequently and the progress I'm now showing.

18 September 2012: I talked with Jim again today. I really appreciate the way he's able to give me frank advice and criticism, like about the importance of eye contact -- not breaking it for extended periods while accessing memories, for example. It's kind of like having a therapist without the fees. Actually, it's kind of like having a parent -- one who involves himself more than mine often did.

I've made some more small talk today. While eating lunch I did some intuitive-type art (as opposed to the highly analytical "math art" I've done more of in the past), featuring oft-outre organic figures as it tends to when I do it. I put my logo on it as a signature and will put it on my wall (or rather a copy of it, as I just ran several off here at the library).

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