All my life for as long as I can remember I have been shy and withdrawn. I just accepted that as my personality. Well long story short I am the child of a now and then alcoholic father. I grew up in a household where my dad had drunken rages, got missing a few days at a time, and there were nights where he kept my sister and I up to the wee hours in the morning just talking non sense. I also wasn't very popular among my peers so I was also picked on in school. Any case I found refuge alone and I stayed in my room alot. I was an excellent student. I learned to cope with my life that way but now its ruining my life. I can't keep a relationship. People tell me I have an emotional wall up. I don't know how to break that wall down. Trusting someone is really hard to do. I feel like if I leave myself open it will open up a world of pain that I can't control. Losing control is a huge fear. I have to maintain order and stability in all situations or it drives me crazy.
In public places where there is a lot of people that I am not familiar with, I have anxiety attacks. My breathing gets labored, I get hot and sweaty and my mind starts racing. I have come to the point where I limit the public places I go to. I avoid going to social event with other people, I have avoided Wal-Mart and even the movies just because those attacks.
One of my greatest fears is that I really start isolating myself and it affect my life more than it already has. Has anyone experienced this and do you have any tips on how to overcome it outside of therapy? I am currently seeking that now but I want to move on with my life and this is just hindering me from doing so.