About Me

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23 year old going on 50. I take my carry basket to the farmers markets every week and Avoid getting a tan at all costs. I also have lots of tattoos. Two beautiful children and a "Hubby". And an obsession with cooking - moving into a place that doesn't have an oven...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anxiety, Awkward and Antisocial

I get anxiety.
I hate it. As anyone with anxiety does.
It's better now than it used to be. At one point, I shook if I left the house.
Even among my closest friends, I'd panic if I wasn't in my environment and I'd have to leave. I'd feel my heart start pounding and racing. I'd get hot. I'd feel dizzy. I'd feel like I needed to cry.
Put on top of this always having my blood pressure in the back of my mind - runs in the family - I'd worry more about what the anxiety was doing to my blood pressure.
Which would make it worse.

Like I said. I'm a lot better now.
But there's things that set me off. Like people you don't know talking to you in inappropriate places e.g.
Doctor's Surgery (where I went to get my BP situation assessed). Waiting room scene went something like this:
Lady: What a gorgeous little girl!
Me: Thanks.
Lady: She looks new?
Me: Six weeks.
Lady: Gorgeous. (At which point the conversation should have drifted into a comfortable silence)
Lady: My son was little like that. my daughter wasn't so little. She wasn't as cute as her either, but she's beautiful now. (said daughter was sitting right beside her) That's why we're here. She's getting pains in her shins. I think they're just growing pains, because she was short and then she just shot up! She went from having size 6 feet to size 9 overnight! You're tall, aren't you? Did you ever get growing pains? Do you remember what it felt like? How long did they last? Oh, your daughter will be lucky if she ends up tall like you. I'm not very tall at all.
Me: Awkward.

Does she not realise how awkward I feel? I'm not responding to her questions at all. I'm starting to panic. Please leave me alone. I don't particularly like social situations in places I'm not used to being. I don't like having conversations about these sorts of things with strangers. Please. Stop. Talking.
But of course, I don't SAY any of that, do I?

No, instead I sit there and try not to freak out, then get called into the doctor and get told my BP is 150/100.
How do I explain to him "yeah, probably because the lady in the waiting room wouldn't stop talking to me so I started panicking."

 Pushy sales assistants set me off too. Yesterday I went to buy Marvel VS Capcom for the ps3.
There was a new guy there, along with the guy (Steve) who was normally there. The new guy is a manager at another store.
He kept asking if I wanted to pre-order any games. To which I cleverly responded (remember I'm BUYING a game) "I don't game." AWKWARD. I then had to explain I'm more of a computer games kind of person. He then went into a big spiel about the new computer games being released. I started to panic. Me "I play WoW." please shut up
THEN he talks about the WoW like games coming out. Meanwhile Steve - wonderful man that he is - said to the other guy, "hey, you leave her alone, she's MY customer." (being friendly of course) so other guys wanders off occasionally mentioning a game in my direction.

Steve then has a conversation with me about a couple of games coming out that it's possible I may like, because he has bothered to ask about what style I enjoy. Not Awkward. Panic gone.

A lot of this leads me to be anti social. Going out and seeing my friends is sometimes a big effort for me. Not because I think they are an effort to deal with (if I did, why would I have them as friends??) But because I struggle to be in places that I don't feel in control. Not only that, I worry about not seeming in control. I worry that people will think my child is a feral, if he throws a tantrum. My child is NOT feral. He's a little boy who can't quite communicate what he wants so he's frustrated. Don't judge either of us! 
The silly thing is, I KNOW my friends don't judge me. I know they think my son is well behaved. But I still worry.
And the beautiful thing about my friends? They worry about me. They tell me when I'm being distant. They tell me when I'm being silly.
They listen to my fears. They know what I'm going through.

They NEVER make things Awkward. Because they know when to talk and when to just enjoy the silence (as much silence as we can have with 21 month olds).
So as much as I'm sometimes antisocial - they ALWAYS pull me back out.
They help remedy my anxiety and make me feel less awkward and more every day mum. With makes me less antisocial.

I love you guys.


  1. Completely understand where you are coming from Jess.
    I also suffer from an anxiety disorder and sometimes the thought of going out somewhere can be very stressful. But each time gets better and 90% of the time now my anxiety is only minor. In fact, the main time mine affects me is when flo is due for a visit. The hormone changes can apparently affect it. But for months I could barely put on a load of washing without having anxiety let alone leave the house. Now I can and do do everything (well almost) that I used to after a lot of harder work and some fantastic support from friends and family

  2. Isn't it wonderful to have friends who completely understand and 'get' you? I'm lucky that I've never personally suffered from anxiety, I have a good friend that does however and I know that if she seems distant or regresses into herself I just have to be "there" for her.

  3. I'm fortunate I've never experienced anxiety like this, and can't imagine how difficult it is. It's great that you can write about it though - and have friends who know just what to do to help.

  4. This is SO me, too. I suffered from anxiety big time back home in America, and it got ten times worse when I moved to Australia. I especially identify with the "my environment" bit. I never mind having friends over to mine, but when it comes to going over somewhere else -- oh, god, please let them understand when I gently tap my husband on the arm and say that it's time we head home.

    Most of my dear friends (not that I have too many here, anxiety makes it REALLY HARD to make new friends!) understand when I say, "I've had a great time, but I need to go home now." Something about being in my place, with all of my things, my bed, my toilet...the anxiety completely dissipates.

    I get the antisocial feeling, as well. When things get quiet with a new friend that I don't know too well, I feel absolutely devastated. I am certain they are judging me, absolutely internally flipping out by what a bad conversationalist I am, when really I would love just to sip my tea and enjoy the silent moment with a friend. Instead, the moment is filled with my brain screaming at me to say somethin -- ANYTHING -- to fill this awkward "oh-my-god-my-loserliness-is-showing" moment.

    It gets better when I'm around people who "get it". The mood is so different, makes it much easier to relax and just have fun, like you're supposed to. :)