But what about the others…

What’s worse than one socially anxious person? Two socially anxious people! That are married! And need to human!

I’m not sure when I started to have real issues with going outside. I feel like it was some time after depression came about and it must be long after OCD because I first showed signs of that when I was only a little Arbie, and, I was massively social when I was a child. Weird to think I used to have no issue with making friends, even weirder that I actually enjoyed it.

I know that when my OCD got severe in 2013 (I think) I could no longer leave the house without help and at times I felt I couldn’t leave my room. That was fun. But, when did it become a fear of being seen? I don’t know. I’ve always been a tad shy. I over compensated for that massively with alcohol for a time – huge regrets – and it’s one reason why I no longer drink. It’s too risky. This is a different animal though and, I’ve had the CBT therapy, I know that it gets worse the longer you don’t face those fears, but it doesn’t make it easier.

It is pleasant to have a laugh at it though. It’s also absurd that I want to vanish into the crowd but then also dye my hair green. Explanations are not my strong point. I don’t want to make lots of friends, really, I don’t. I used to dislike people and not trust, I come from a highly misanthropic family and it rubbed off on me badly. I try now to instead put faith in people, believe that there are good people no matter how much evil we hear of in the news. What I want, is to be able to go food shopping without it being a huge ordeal and to not creep around corners muttering “but what about the other peoples…”

And we did today! Woohoo! I know for some that reading someone view food shopping as an accomplishment is absurd, but I enjoyed the high five I shared with my husband when we came home with food. No more soup for days! We gots the greens! We gots the reds! We gots the tasty tastes! Hey, I never said my strong point was selling stock from a market stall…

One thing that doesn’t help, and this is going to make me sound awful, is that there is a super friendly person that works there who wants to talk to us whenever we go in. It sounds strange to complain about a good person, and this isn’t really a complaint, whenever I speak to my husband about it I always say: “and he’s a good person, I know the issue is us!” but it doesn’t make the difficult task any easier when we want to run in and grab something and neither of us have it about us to say “Can’t talk, gotta dash!” I’ve tried… and failed… I get about three words into the sentence and then he continues talking and yeah…

Ugh, how stupid this all sounds.

No! No negativity. Only positivity. I’m trying really, really hard with it. It is a positive thing that we went shopping, it is a positive thing that I am writing this, it is uh a positive thing that Fen (my cat) is trying to lick my toe. Okay, it’s not, it’s weird. Stop it.

I’m not sure if it’s because the chemicals in my brain are bouncing around differently or what it might be, but all of the techniques and different ways of thinking I’ve been taught in the past I’m trying my damned hardest to put into action and at times (which is much better than hardly ever) it is now working. It means a little more room is being made for myself and that I’m taking back some of the control I lost.

In the theme of creating headspace lost to bad stuff, I even contemplated keeping a journal and writing down every negative thought I have:my appearance, my fears, my anxieties that lead to compulsions etc just to see how physically it stacked up. I haven’t tried that yet. I don’t know if it would be beneficial or not. It wouldn’t be to look back on and read horrific thoughts I’d had the week before – “ah, I’m ashamed to be seen and so disgusting I don’t even want to shower because it means seeing myself, that was a good time haha, good time! I’m afraid to wash up specific knives because the impulse to stab myself – even when not feeling suicidal – is so strong I think I’ve actually done it! Ahahaha, that’s a laugh!” Although that last one, I do laugh at here and there because I’ve actually had to ask my husband if I’ve stabbed myself because reality gets all muddled with bad images. Fun!

“Stabbed yourself with a dish cloth?”

“No, with the… oh, huh, it’s on the drying rack. Never mind!”

Anyway, the notebook idea was to hold in my hand the physical manifestation of all the pollution that is in my brain and that has taken control for so long. Mental illness is often hard to understand because it can’t be seen. I only began to understand it more when I quit the ridiculous thinking of being weak and understood that the brain is an organ like the liver or kidney. If we can understand how unwell a sickness in those can makes us, we should easily understand how unwell the brain – our control centre – can make us when not functioning correctly.

So, maybe I’ll do it. But then, I’m also writing like this again (if only for these past couple of days and some fiction planning) and I don’t want to sully that. Sully that… haha… did I even use that right? I don’t know.

Anyway, I have food in the cupboards and that makes me feel grateful and happy. Until the next time we need to battle the supermarket, onwards to the kitchen!

Arbie X

8 thoughts on “But what about the others…”

  1. This is a fab post Arbie. And I empathise because both my wife and I are socially anxious. We have different comfort zones too – which means that the chances of us both feeling comfortable with the same group of people is nil!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s such a bugger. It’s acting up for us today and all we bloody want is mushrooms haha! Ah well. Hardly the end of the world! But you know, as much as I don’t love interacting with people I really don’t like the idea of everything being machine run instead. I think it’ll only make things worse! Sorry, random thought there from one socially anxious person to another!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly the same. I hate self service checkouts at supermarkets for example. A lot of introverts think they are great but I always worry that something will go wrong and lots of red flashing lights will draw unwanted attention to me and shout ‘numpty here can’t work the checkout’, whilst a line of grumpy shoppers forms behind me. Interacting with one checkout operator is far less scary.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha yes! I go through them with my husband as a confidence booster shield but oh my the fear, feeeaaarrr I tell you, of wanting to take anything discounted through and the dreaded boop coming! You’ve got yourself a kindred spirit in me, buddy!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you buddy! Unlike most introverts I also much prefer public transport to driving and I think it is because peoples behaviour seems so much more aggressive when they are driving.

        Like

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