Depression stinks. Social anxiety stinks. Together, they’re such a bizarre concoction to deal with. Depression tells me that to cure my loneliness I must go out and make friends (and keep them!). Social anxiety tells me that going out is scary and that every interaction with another human has the potential to be the most nerve-wracking or embarrassing moment of my life, and that the world is a big, scary place.
So what’s a girl to do when she’s an ambivert with depression and social anxiety?
Well, aside from taking her trusty Prozac (fluoxetine), this weekend she decided to make herself go out on the town by herself and tackle that social anxiety head-on in a night of pub trivia with a group of (mostly) strangers.
OK, enough of the third person. 🙂
For at least the next few weeks or so, I’ll be here in Big City by myself before starting the move to Dear Boyfriend’s city. January is such a fickle month for me. I do enjoy bouts of cold weather — particularly a light dusting of snowfall — and having the NFL playoffs is entertaining. But the emotional let-down after the joyous holidays can feel rather hollow.
In all honesty, what’s really helping me right now is knowing I’ll be moved for good in just a couple of months’ time. Until then, though, I’ve been devising ways to proactively keep my anxiety at bay, which is no easy feat.
Self-guided therapy, you might say. In no particular order:
- Making myself attend, on average, one MeetUp a week. (If you’re not familiar, MeetUp is a social website to find like-minded individuals with whom to literally meet up in person. For example, rock climbing, wine tastings, hiking expeditions, football watching, political rallying, dating, etc. You name it, there’s probably a MeetUp group for it, though they of course vary by city.)
- A trip to the nail spa every couple of weeks. Gosh darn, those massages they give just send me straight to heaven. The atmosphere is just … blissful!
- Working from home one day a week. This is something my boss is very cool with, and I need to take advantage of it more.
- Volunteering at least every couple of weeks at the local food bank. Nothing compares to the humility and gratitude that come with volunteering.
- Write, write, write. No expectations on word counts or syntax. Just, write. Even the silly stuff that sounds funny in your head and looks even funnier staring back on the screen. It’s all sand for a sandcastle, after all.
- Watch football. It’s very rare for me to watch TV. Not because I’m a snob — I just don’t like nearly enough of it to justify the cost. But football, man. Football. My poor Titans may be out, but my Panthers are in it to win it, I can just feel it! Football, unlike any scripted TV show, has this magical way of drawing me out of myself and wrapping me into its adrenaline-fueled, spandex-clad, heart-pounding rhythm. In my apartment complex, I’m known (affectionately?) as “that runner girl who really likes football.”
Where was I going with this post? Ah, yes. My weekend of fighting social anxiety.
After a quiet Friday of Destiny and Twitch, I went on an 11 mile run yesterday, which felt ah-may-zing, and took the longest nap in the history of ever, which felt equally ah-may-zing.
Then last night I attended a meetup for pub trivia at a place in the heart of the city. On the taxi ride there, I rolled the window down slightly, letting the cold January rain hit my arm as the cabby blasted Taylor Swift.
What if no one else shows up? What if I trip and fall on my face or make a fool of myself with stupid answers? Why is this so nerve-wracking?!
These are the thoughts that spin through my head when I’m going out on my own. Go out with other people, and I’ll be the life of the flippin’ party. Go out by myself, and you better believe I’m wishing the Invisibility Cloak were real. (Shout out to my fellow ambiverts!)
Last night, though, as usual, my social anxiety fears were unfounded. Everyone was perfectly nice, thankyouverymuch, and I ended up already knowing one of the guys there.
My team came in 4th place overall, which wasn’t bad. But, alas, no prizes for us. On the cab ride home, I watched the city lights buzz by, reminding myself that I had fun and that the world isn’t such a scary place after all.
Once back in the cozy comfort of home, I dug into some writing and pulled up the live drawing of the Powerball lottery on my phone.
I’ve never bought a lottery ticket. Ever. Last night was a record breaking drawing for an $800,000,000 Powerball jackpot. Being far too frugal and pragmatic to buy into the whole lotto thing, I was lucky to have a coworker who thought it cute that I had never played, so he bought me a ticket.
He asked me for my six luckiest numbers. I rattled off, in all seriousness, the first six digits of pi. He said that repeating digits weren’t an option and let the computer at the convenience store pick my number for me.
And, if you followed the media, you know no one won the jackpot.
BUT! I did win $4!!!
Lol, I am SO not the lottery type person. I hate spending money, and I’m super risk averse. But I’ve got to admit, given that someone bought a ticket for me, I sure had fun spending a day imagining what I’d do with those winnings.
But hey, winning is winning! I’ll collect my four bucks and be happy!
How is everyone else’s January going? If this is a hard time of year for you, what do you do to alleviate stress/anxiety/depression? If this is one of your favorite times of year, paint us a picture of what you love about it!