I have been formulating this post since last night. By formulating, I mean I laid in bed with a twitch-y leg trying to focus on what I wanted to write instead of thinking about the list of things that I worry about on a regular basis for no real reason.
If there are two things I know for sure in life, they are:
- Feeling like there are worms inside your leg while you are trying to go to sleep is pretty much the most unhelpful physical feeling (for serial, they don’t even know what causes restless leg syndrome and if it involves caffeine or sugar – do I really want to know?) Ok, I lied – they think a lot of different things cause it. I only get it every once and awhile, but I’ve had it for the last three nights while I’m trying to fall asleep. Most unpleasant.
- I will find something to worry about.
At first, I was going to discuss social anxiety. I was thinking about how I’ve recently done a bit better with social anxiety which has been an ongoing issue. I was going to tell you about when it first was bad which was 7 years ago in Nigeria. I remember one day I wanted to take Hobbes to the doggie playdate with several of my co-workers. I drove there, but I think I was already not feeling well. I drove in the gate. I parked. I started panicking as soon as I saw the people under the cabana. I never got out of the car.
In my experience, my social anxiety is better when I have a community or at least a friend, but sometimes that is not a real possibility and you have to go it alone. I’m not always good at meeting new people, but I have become very good at getting myself out of the house to do activities. Over the last month, I’ve volunteered several times (mostly with my camera) and I haven’t felt the overwhelming sense of unease come over me. I still forget to engage with people (or ask questions), but I’m working on it. I think volunteering or doing something for another person, helps me feel like the focus isn’t on me (I know realistically the focus isn’t on me and people don’t care, but my brain can also trick me sometimes into feeling like I don’t fit). I try and remind myself that I just need to focus on putting good vibes out there and be myself, however weird that may be.
If I could write a list of things that help me with social anxiety, it would be something like this:
- Some events with some people will always be a struggle to attend. There are some groups you won’t fit into and it’s probably not anyone’s fault. It’s ok if a group is not for you. You don’t need to force it.
- Cancelling at the last minute is really thrilling, but not always kind. If you always want to cancel, (and I mean always like circa 2013 Lindsay) then maybe you need to re-assess your activity.
- Getting out of your house is good enough. You don’t have to be with other people. Just get out there. Even for one hour.
- Sometimes, especially if you move a lot, there won’t be a community available to you. That can be tough. Some years are going to be tougher than others. Remember, sometimes the life long friends are the ones you can only talk to on the internet (because like distance…).
- You have to find a balance between adulting and giving yourself time to rest. Wearing yourself out around people isn’t going to make you less anxious.
I think this is more just a list for me than anything else. But, oh well.
So, I hope if you struggle with social anxiety that you have some victories and enjoy the pictures.
Homefront Room Revival
Hope for Warriors Race Series
New Bern, NC