So it's no news to some people that I have a lot of difficulty responding to people in a timely manner. Or sometimes at all. Not sure when this started, but I have social anxiety, and at some point down the line, even talking to people over the internet became too much for me, and instead of pro-actively working to kick this anxious habit in the ass, I just let it fester like a fool. Now it's, like, completely ingrained in me. It's a horrible cycle, and I hate it. Shit goes down like this: I want to [role-play, talk to an old friend, make new friends]. I feel motivated and healthy and think I can do it this time. I will make a big effort to be a sociable, dependable person. It's been [a few days or weeks], and I'm doing great. I've [started a few role-plays, exchanged a few messages] and I'm able to keep up with them. I feel confident and happy. SOMETHING HAPPENS OH NO! Sickness, I get busy, I get tired, I have a few depressed days. I don't reply to someone for a few days. I get embarrassed. I apologize to this person for taking a while to reply. They say it's okay. I try to keep things off the ground. I am still embarrassed. Talking to people is more difficult. I find it intimidating. I don't want to make a bigger fool out of myself. What if people don't like me? What if I say something wrong? I stop replying right away. I tell myself I'll do it later. 'Later' turns into 'much later.' I get too intimidated to even look at my inbox. I'm scared to reply. It's hard. I've disappointed people. I can't apologize any more. I should just give up. I give up. Months go by, with my continued radio silence. I take time to get my confidence back up. I want to [role-play, talk to an old friend, make new friends]... It's genuinely awful. I am a flaky ass person. I am not dependable at all. My life is totally dictated by my anxiety, yet I still think I can do something different and stuff will change. I desperately want to change, I hate behaving like this. I've made so much headway in conquering my other bad habits and recovering from depression, but this one little (big) thing just stays the same. I don't really know what to do different or how to go about it. I know it comes down to 'dude just fucking do it, like ???' but unfortunately the human brain is more complicated than that. I also know that theoretically my best bet is to make an appointment with my psychologist, but I can't afford that right now. Therefore I'm posting here in hopes some other terribly anxious people might have some coping mechanisms/ways to get themselves to 'just fucking do it'. I'm really tired of just doing the same thing over and over. :/ Life is too short for me to continuously shoot myself in the foot like this, and also one of my worst fears is to hurt or upset people, so this is just a really bad situation all around. I want to role-play, I want to make friends. I'm tired of being dictated by this stupid anxious response!