Social anxiety can leave you housebound, bored, frustrated and late paying bills.
A few of the things that fuck up my anxiety.
First of all, ill fitting clothes. Anxiety makes me feel like everyone is watching me. If I’m panicky and panting like a thirsty pony then I feel everyone is avoiding coming anywhere near me. Like crossing the street level avoidance. Anxiety also messes with my body temperature, so I could go out in a t-shirt in November and I would feel warm. Comfort is key. I personally would go out in my slobbing around the flat clothes if I didn’t want to, you know, keep up appearances.
Roads. Traffic lights. Buses. I live in a town that is dominated by roads, unfortunately. The traffic lights make me nervous. So nervous. Cars make me equally as nervous. Especially as drivers don’t seem to have any consideration for the people crossing the road and pay no attention to the stop signal. It would make anybody nervous! Funnily enough I love trains, and airports. Probably because there is a bit more pause time.
Noise. I’m an extremely sensitive person. Noise unnerves me to the point where I want to melt away and disappear. Why is the world so noisy!? Shut up, people. Civil tongues, stop yelling. Honestly, I avoid going out at three when the kids come out of school because there’s nothing worse than a bunch of kids mucking around on their bicycles and screaming at each other.
People. Oh, people. I love people. Certain people. The world is made up of billions of people. But people on paths, having to get past them, passing them, small talk with the ones that have adorable children that have run into me, or cute dogs that sniff my shoes, leaping out of the way of people on skateboards, people with their shopping. People. I cannot control people. The unknown of what these people might do scares me. Like, the possibilities are unknown. And … also outlandish and unlikely to happen.
THAT MIDDLE BIT
Basically then, if there were no roads, traffic lights, buses, noise, or people I would be living in paradise. Do you know of such a place?
As you can imagine the very thought of leaving the flat can make me have second thoughts. So I tend to go out before I start thinking. Shower, eat, bag packed the night before, outfit picked out the night before, get my shoes on and go. Acclimatise as I go. Mindfulness can help too. Think of something as it is and how good it would feel to get it over and done with. Nobody wants that Monday to do list to stretch to Friday because your TO DO LIST WILL BE LONG AND UNMANAGABLE.
Last year I spent an enormous amount of time indoors but have taken those experiences and developed an iron will. I am determined to spend more time out of the flat (not entirely convinced why. After all in here I have ice cream, books, and my sofa)
I have recently developed a habit of washing EVERY DAY. Some days I could barely get out of bed and if I did I would get back into it fairly quickly, let alone wash. But after many months I have a habit that makes it impossible for me to not wash. I have to wash. This blows my mind, but it’s true. I have observed the making of a positive habit. It’s very different to breaking a negative habit, but ho hey. If I can make a habit of going out every day I would say my quality of life would have improved.
I say this not to brag, but to give assurance and hope. Things can change. Things can change without you noticing. Sneaky. To be honest, if you have a lot going on you aren’t going to notice you’ll just think everything is shit everything is going to shit everything is always going to be shit I’m shit why is everything so shit shit shit shit. therefore, you don’t immediately notice the small shifts that things are improving.
What are your thoughts?
Do you have any methods to manage anxiety?