Facing the fear of social anxiety

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There have been some changes for me over the past few months.

The great news is I have been clean and sober for 114 days ~ that’s nearly 4 months! I have had nary an aspirin in all that time. I am (at the risk of bragging) really proud of myself. The more time I get under my belt, the easier it gets. But I am aware that urges and situations that could cause trouble are always just around the corner so I am still very diligent and always keep it in the back of my mind that I have to be strong.

But the change that is not so great is that I have for some reason gone back to my agoraphobic/crippling social anxiety again. I have barely seen the outside of my apartment in the last two months. I only go out when I am needing something like groceries or medication. Otherwise I have become a prisoner in my own home.

I have not been to my N/A meetings in about a month because I am just too scared of being in a room full of people and knowing I will have to read something. (They want everyone to read different pages of stuff for the first half hour – taking turns and everyone has to do a few paragraphs) This terrifies me. I can’t even do the readings so there’s no way in hell I will be able to ‘share’ when it comes to the part where people share how everything is going in their lives. Theres a meeting tonight and I really know I need to get there, but I’m not sure I can. Right now my mind is saying ‘yes, I will be going,…’ but by the time its 7:00 and I need to leave I just can’t seem to get in the car and actually go. This is becoming a problem.

Here it is the middle of summer and I don’t even go outside! My brother has a pool that I am always welcome at, and I would love to go, but just stepping outside my apartment door has me panicking.  There are people in my life who I am better with than others. My daughter’s (obviously) my brother and sister-in-law and my 3 childhood friends. I still feel uneasy and anxious when I’m out with them but at least I can talk to them.

I’m starting to push myself a bit now though. I went to a movie (Yes, a MOVIE ~ with hundreds of people) with my daughter and sister-in-law last Saturday. And I did go my doctors appointment in Elora this week. I am going out for the afternoon with another friend on Saturday. I have also made plans to meet up with my 3 friends (Together we are the Bramalea fab four!!) on Wednesday night. I’m just hoping if I start off with the people I’m comfortable with it will help give myself a kick in the ass to try more.

I get so depressed and lonely when I get in this state. Life doesn’t happen inside the four walls of my apartment and it can get to feel like a prison. It’s not fun. I feel horribly embarrassed and just don’t feel like a productive person in society, making me feel worthless.  This social anxiety is deeply crippling. And it devours me turning me into a bit of a recluse. There are times when I just long to be “normal”.

But, I am going to try to overcome it. As I already mentioned, I have made plans for the next week which will make me go outside. And will make me socialize. I will just try not to do too much all at once. I have definitely been in this state before and it took a long time and a lot of work but I did overcome it for awhile. Not completely. I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable in a social setting, but I do have bad and good periods of it. Lets hope I can enter a “good” place soon and start living a little bit again.

The one good thing about life is,… if you fail today, there is always tomorrow. I will just go day by day.

I would love to

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. robbear13
    Jul 24, 2015 @ 16:42:02

    Gutsy you, Jacquie! You went through mobs of killers and monsters, and got to a movie and your doctor’s appointment. (I’m kidding about killers and monsters — it feels like they are around, but they’re actually not.) Well done, Jacquie! Now maybe you’ll be able to beat back more killers and monsters and get to an NA meeting. I hope you can! And I trust that you can!

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

    Reply

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