Friday, 5 June 2015

The Fear

Imagine there is an elephant sat on your chest, butterflies in your tummy, you feel sick, your feet like lead, palms sweaty and all you want to do is turn and run, yet you are glued to the spot. You feel a panic attack coming and you start pleading, please let just let a hole open and swallow me up. Please just get me out of here. Panic is rising and you're blinking back tears, praying that no-one can see what's going on inside. For me this is a familiar scenario. Why do I feel like this? Because I'm in a room full of people! Just imagining being in a room full of people makes me anxious. As I'm writing this my shoulders are hunching, my teeth clenching, and my neck is disappearing into my body as I'm slowly pulling further and further from the laptop whilst my fingertips continue to type.

It doesn't even have to be a room full of people, just 1 or 2 people will do it, and it doesn't even have to be people I don't know. I'll never forget driving to my best friends 21st birthday party. It was in a restaurant I'd never visited before, I sat in the car-park for 2 hours before driving home again. I told her I couldn't make it and my parents that I'd had a great time. In reality I couldn't walk through the door. I sat in the car glued to the spot, I just couldn't go in. After an hour I gained the courage to walk around the car park but that was all I could do, I just could not walk through that door. Thinking about that memory brings back all the raw emotions all over again, frustration, embarrassment, anger, sadness, and did I mention frustration? Why cant I do simple things like that? 

Social Anxiety. The fear of talking to or being with other people. It sucks. It REALLY sucks. Over the years I've learnt coping mechanisms, ways to deal with it, hide it and manipulate it to allow me to at least pretend to be a normal functioning adult. But these ways drive Adam crazy! For example next weekend I am so excited to be going to Blogtacular, its a national blogging conference held in London. There are going to be so many people there and in all honesty I'm trying not to think about how I will cope with the day. Luckily I have 2 good friends going, so I think I may try and surreptitiously follow them around! Its a HUGE deal for me and I am really proud to be doing it, but in order to get there I am going on the train. A one of my friends is driving yet I've booked my train tickets and am getting up at 4am because that feels easier than getting in a car and driving with my good friends husband who I don't really know. 

Figure that one out!

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