Social situations are one of the things that I find most difficult. I plan to meet up with friends in advance, I build it up in my head and once it gets to it, I kind of just shut down. Recently, I made arrangements to meet up with my group of friends, to celebrate a birthday. It had been arranged about 2 weeks in advance, and the plan was always to go for a meal. There was one person going who I had not yet met, and he was a good friend to my boyfriend and the other 2 people there, so I felt like I had a lot of pressure to make sure he liked me too. Aside from that, I was just overall nervous to be around people outside of my own home, because I worry that if it gets a bit too much, I won’t be able to deal with the situation.
Now, my friends know and understand that I suffer with anxiety, but I still worry that they would get offended or mad if I cancelled last minute. Especially when it was a birthday celebration. As it got closer to the day, I began feeling more and more nervous. When these situations occur, I feel physically sick from the nerves. But why should I get nervous? These people are my closest friends, but even still I get very anxious to the point where I cancel on them because I cannot bare to be out with people.
Fast forward to the day of the meet up, I thought that I was feeling better. I planned that morning what I was going to wear, how I would do my make up and what a great time we would have. But when I only had a couple of hours to go, I began to shut down. I was at my boyfriend’s house and all we had been doing during the rest of the day was just chilling out, having lunch and watching YouTube. It wasn’t as if my day was stressful enough to cause all of this anxiety. Nevertheless, all I could bring myself to do was curl up in bed, not talk to anybody and (over)think about the worst possible things that could happen if I went out.
My boyfriend tried everything to get me to go out, he practically dragged me out of bed because I was so unresponsive to anything he was suggesting or saying to me. There came a point where I point blank refused to move. All I could think about was that they didn’t really want me there, they only asked because they felt sorry for me, they don’t even like me. I couldn’t get these negative thoughts out of my head and once I’ve reached this really low point, it becomes very hard for me to get out of it. Hence why I’ve cancelled meeting my friend on numerous occasions.
However, this time was different. It took me about 2 hours but I finally overcame something that I have been struggling with for the last year or so. I sat up, I got my outfit ready, put on my make up and I walked out that front door. I met up with my friends, I met a new friend, and everything was fine. The only downside is that because of everything I was thinking prior to this, I still felt extremely anxious and uncomfortable being out with people. But I stuck with it. We ate our meal, and we even went for drinks afterwards. I went outside of my comfort zone and faced one of my biggest fears head on.
I know that there will still be times where I do let my anxiety get the better of me, and I do cancel my plans, but at least I can be proud of myself knowing that I can do it if I really try.