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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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JenI really get what you are saying and part of me knows

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Hi Jen
I really get what you are saying and part of me knows that what you say is so right. The odd thing is that I really don't have a problem talking to strangers - in fact I enjoy it. What I seem to have difficulty with lately is the clique we seem to have got into at our local pub. When I've been in their company - which I seem to enjoy whilst I'm out - I go to bed and hold a "post mortem" which usually keeps me awake most of the night! I do wonder if one of the reasons I now have these problems is when you say "be yourself" is that a year ago I weaned myself off
Sertraline Hydrochloride which I'd been on since my marriage break up 30+ years ago. I always felt they made me into somebody else which is why I wanted to come off them to find myself and face real life head on. However, I seem to be haunted by the person I used to present to the world and feel as if I maybe have something to live up to. I feel now that the tablets maybe turned me into the person I wanted to be. Also, when I have a few glasses of wine I completely change into someone really silly etc but when I'm in bed in the middle of the night I don't like that person. I realise I probably just shouldn't drink but I seem to need it to overcome my shyness. I really want to just drop out of all this socialising but we keep getting invited to various events and so my agony just goes on and on. I retired a year ago - which is why I decided to come off the medication ( I never dared to try whilst I was working as I didn't know how I'd react) so I wonder if - approaching 65 - it's too late to change. It's also quite strange that my older sister is like this also only a lot lot worse which makes me wonder if it's in the genes. My husband has been great because he only became aware of all this a few months ago as I've managed to "hide" it for a long time so I'm very lucky but it's really getting me down. Thank you for your answer so far and I'd love to hear if you've any more to add. I wish you could be my therapist as I really feel that you "understand". Thankyou!
Thank you for requesting me and I am glad to be of help.
I admire you for wanting to get off the tablets and try "life" without it as well as have insight to realize what is going on. Sometimes people feel something they do not like, but do not know what it is and ignore it. The fact that you realize and want to change is the first step to becoming the person that you want to be.
You do not need to live up to any particular person or type of person you were before. As we age we continue to grow and learn. Happiness and growth is not a destination, but actually is a process throughout our entire lives. Therefore, the fact that you may have changed does not mean you need to change back or live up to the person you were. Right now you can be the person who you want to be. There is no need to please people. We will never please everyone and people will always have something to say no matter what we do. Therefore what is important is doing what makes you happy and when you are asleep at night you are satisfied by the person you are as well as with your actions.
If you feel that the people you are around cause you to become someone you are not then it may be best to avoid those certain people. It is important to surround ourselves with positive people as well as people who bring out the best in us. We may enjoy the company of certain people, but if they are bringing bad feelings afterwards then we need to stop and analyze why this is happening. It can be the people themselves or it may be the person we ourselves turn into when with them. If we change into someone we do not want to be then next we need to analyze if it is soemthing we can control, change, and still enjoy the relationship. Or if it is soemthing negative within the other people involved and if best to stay away.
You say you want to stop the socializing. If that is how you truly feel then maybe that is best. However, think if the reason you want to stop is because you are not enjoying it and rather be doing something else or if you are actually enjoying it, but do not like needing to deal with all the emotion that come along with it. If it is something you enjoy then I would suggest you do not take that away from yourself, but rather wprk on the issues and ensure you surround your self with the right people.
Also,constantly remind yourself that it is okay to be you whoever that may be and if you are not so sure right now that is okay too. During our lifetime we go through various changes as well as phases. Being actively participating in getting to know yourself as well as embrace the good and the bad while working on the things you do not like is hard work. But if you are persistant then it can be natural in time where you would no longer be second guessing yourself. It is not easy to get out of our comfort zone and work on ourselves, but remember it is a process.
When you have the feeling to rehash all that went on try not doing it even if you feel uncomfortable with that feeling. Try to let it go. You may feel uncomfortable for a few hours up to a few days, but that feeling will eventually go away. If you continue to give in then it can even turn into a habit even kind of like an obsession that you feel the need to do in order to make sure you did the right thing and feel better. I have seen people do these types of behaviors that have OCD or such tendencies. You want to be sure you do not give in and remind yourself that you already know what you did because if you did not then you would not be able to play it back to yourself. Since you already know be happy about the good and learn from your mistakes.
I understand how hard it is to be shy, but if you feel silly after drinking then it may be better to be shy and sober. That way you will also be able to work on these things more clearly and in a better way.
I do believe these feeling or tendencies can be in your genes along with environment, the way you were raised, and etc. But the fact you are aware and want to grow and improve is what matters most. Remember no one is perfect, so don't be so hard on yourself.
If your husband is supportive it may be good to open up to him as well. He may have advice to offer since he has known you for so long and may even have his own thoughts about the company you both surround yourself with.
I appreciate your kind words and wish I could be your therapist as well. However, feel free to request me anytime you feel I could help.
I wish you the very best and stay positive. I hope this was helpful!
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you so much Jen and I will try and work on myself as you have suggested because I know you are right - I just seem to keep losing my way so I must try harder in future. I have the poem "Desiderata" on my wall - "you are a child of the Universe" etc - and it really helps to read it but I wish other people could too and then they might not be so judgemental. Val.x

It is my pleasure to help and I thank you for the rating and bonus.
That is a good poem to read everyday and I know sometimes we want people to read and learn certain things. However, sometimes people may read things, but still do not get the point within themselves until they are truly ready. There will always be judgmental and negative people in the world. We can not help that, so since we can not change people and situations it is important we change ourselves and the way we react to all situations and circumstances. This is the key to staying positive and happy.
All the best to you and I'll be here if you ever need :)