There is no end to it, it will own you forever, social anxiety is going to kill us all!
At least that’s how I feel writing this at 6 am. Okay I may have exaggerated the killing us all bit, but generally I feel like there will be no end to the torment. But let’s start at the beginning…
Going for a meal with a mix of people you know and a mix of people you don’t know, it’s always nerve-wracking as you don’t want to say the wrong thing to the wrong person and ruin everyone’s night. Now picture yourself as a person who is outgoing, the word ‘bubbly’ is used a lot to describe you (I’ve always thought this as code for ‘doesn’t know when to shut up’), You laugh loud, you talk ALOT and find yourself secretly searching the face of your dining companions for a clue as to how annoying you are truly being. Welcome to my life, take a seat, you’re in a for a confusing ride.
So that scenario is what I was faced with last night, Mr T was also there and I feel guilty as right now I don’t remember him saying an awful lot because I was too preoccupied with worrying about sounding like a tit. This isn’t new, Mr T always has social anxiety but deals with it in a total different way to me, whereas I don’t shut up and will just talk my way out of my feelings, Mr T will sit quietly observing the room worrying about what to say and when. And that breaks my heart a little as it must be so hard married to someone who doesn’t stop talking long enough to let him speak some days!
Now none of these feelings or thoughts were in my head until 5.30am, we were the first to leave the meal last night as my back had started to ache and was in need of a rest. It was a meal for a colleague who was leaving, an awkward situation for me anyway, at the end I awkwardly said “Oh well, bye and good luck, see everyone else on Monday” then to save myself slightly (god only knows why I thought THIS was a good idea) I said “sorry I didn’t really know what to say and I’m awkward, so that was awkward” then waved slightly and walked away. Yeah. That’s what I did. See it? See the faces of the people who don’t know me looking amused, confused and ever so slightly baffled? I see it in my nightmares!! (I don’t, again exaggeration for your effect…but I do keep replaying the situation.)
Then It Hit Me
On to the way home I was driving, Mr T had a pint or two to make himself feel at ease in a room of people he doesn’t know awfully well. Nothing hit me, I didn’t feel like I said anything awkward, been too loud or attention seeking and we had both had a good night. Success! It could have been because I was so tired from lack of sleep that nothing set in at first. And then 5.30am (you bastard). BAM! Wide awake, laying in bed and replaying every single thing said during the meal the night before.
Have you ever seen Russell Brand’s first stand up DVD? You know that point where he says his brain likes to point shit out to him? Like “Russell, Russell, do you remember that time when you said…” So my brain does the same thing. I woke up to “Sarah, Sarah, you know that time when you thought you were being so funny and you said, and I quote, ‘what is this green stuff on my dessert?!’ Let’s think about that right now shall we?” I am not kidding. But then there is other stuff I worry about too, like how I kind of only spoke to 3/4 people the whole night, out of a table of 10. Now that is just plain rude, I should have divided the time up equally and spent it with each person individually, that would have been the right thing to do. I also feel bad as Mr T was sat next to one of the loveliest people on the planet, but he was too shy to say anything really and I can imagine she was too, I should have sat him on the end and then I could have helped the conversation flow better.
Oh also I hardly spoke to the guy who was leaving, maybe two words before saying, a very awkward, goodbye, and now I will probably never see him again. I should have made more of an effort, I should have over come my aversion to human contact and shaken his hand goodbye, or pushed the boat out and even given him a severely awkward hug! I should have told less stories about me and Mr T and should have asked more about other people, how they were, how the houses were coming along, how was work, what were their plans this weekend…anything. The Loveliest Person I Know’s boyfriend has just moved in with her, I don’t think I even said hello, let alone asked about that huge, important thing to have happened in his life! Seriously, laying here thinking about it all is kind of stressing me out at how rude and self-centered I came across. (Also Mr T’s train snoring isn’t helping an awful lot either to be fair…)
It’s Okay Though
Luckily all is not lost, I will see the majority of people on Monday and can explain/apologise for being so rude. Loveliest Person will say she totally understands, or that she didn’t even notice and not to worry, because she’s lovely, duh. And everyone else will concur. This will not ease my woes, as I will then worry that they are lying to stop me from feeling bad. But I do feel better knowing that half the room was filled with people who understand my weird, outgoing, loud mouth, reaction to social anxiety, and knowing that they themselves, if not suffer from the affliction, know someone else who does too. This eases my stress.
So welcome to a little 5.30am peak into my brain, wanna come live here? It’s not all bad though, I’m pretty creative, generally funny, loyal, normally a good listener, but yes, I do moan ALOT. You guys get the brunt of this, I am so sorry… (oh Hi online version of social anxiety…) I promise to put up happy posts soon…
Now to wake Mr T up and ask him to make me a cup of tea, as I am incapable of doing that on my own, I have had a back operation after all… Also get the puppies up in the bed for some morning snuggles! I’m feeling much better after writing all this down, it calls for a bowl of Coco Pops!
Much Love My Dear Reader!