In the past few months, I have had a few situations propel me to the level of anxiety which would be caused, in a normal person, if they woke up to discover their house were on fire or if they were about to be run over by a gravel truck on a major highway.
Now, as many of you know, I am very isolated, due to my medical condition. I get out of the house once a week at most. I think that this is becoming a problem. The first incident was at a 3-year-old’s birthday party. There were many small children, jacked up on sugar, running around, in and out of the house, with very loud voices. I mean, they were cute and everything but the environment was unfamiliar. The adults were talking about “mommy” issues and “parenting” things. All of a sudden something just took over my brain and I’m like “you have nothing, absolutely nothing in common with anybody here and you do NOT belong here and why did anyone invite you and now you’re getting jacked up on sugar and now you’re sweating and you need to sit down or hide or get out of here aaarrgghhh helllppp….” and I ended up sitting next to my father, who is always very quiet and never gets jacked up on sugar or anything. Basically the equivalent of hiding under a blanket. This is problematic for a 43 year old grown ass woman.
Another, much worse example, more recently. Which is part of the reason I haven’t posted for a while. I try to post regularly, not like every 12 days. Sorry guys. So anyways, I invited someone over, you know just to watch a movie. And then a few hours later, as I was trying to sleep, my mind did THIS:
My emotional state of mind and my physical body have always been very close friends. Whenever I get emotionally chewed up, well, so does my body. So I’m sitting in bed, then getting up, thinking: omigod. I have nothing to wear. My home is not clean enough. I have stuffed animals everywhere. There is still a Christmas tree in the corner. My bathroom needs guys in hazmat gear to go over it. They also need to pull out my stove and fridge and clean behind them. There’s this little bug that’s been flying around the house for the past month. I need to find out where it is. Oh nooooo I have those speakers that don’t function. What if they malfunction? What if they don’t work? What if they crap out at 20 minutes like they normally do? What are we going to do, talk? I have nothing to eeeaaaaat! And then I got sick. Very sick. I had to take an anxiolytic which I don’t often take. And then I couldn’t breathe through my nose. And then I got a fever and this weird rash behind my ears and by the time I got done researching it on the internet I had either German measles or cancer. And I had to call my friend and tell him I didn’t want to spread a cold to him. Which was true.
Maybe I have a problem with anxiety? I dunno. I went online and found this website called “Joyable” (well it sounded happy and non-threatening) and took a test. I love tests. Well, this kind I do. So here is a shortened version of the test (and my thoughts):
In the past week, how much were you bothered by the following problems?
I am afraid of people in authority.
Sometimes I’m afraid of them. Sometimes I want to run and if I do, I’m certain that they will come after me with a strap or a rope or just taser me. Whatever they do, it will hurt.
I am bothered by blushing in front of other people.
Don’t own blush. Or the proper instrument to apply it.
Parties and social events scare me.
I don’t go to parties and social events.
I avoid talking to people I don’t know.
All the people I don’t know that I talk to are online. Does that count?
Being criticized scares me a lot.
Nope. I just block them.
I avoid doing things or speaking to people for fear of embarrassment.
Sometimes. In these cases, I write out what I’m going to say beforehand and memorize it, practice it in front of a mirror, then speak to the person.
Sweating in front of people causes me distress.
Absolutely. Then the sweat evaporates off of my skin and I go pale and cold and clammy. Life hack, to avoid visible pit sweat, cut a maxi pad in half and use the 2 pieces as sweat guards under your armpits. Duct tape, glue, staples, whatever works.
I avoid going to parties.
What was the question?
I avoid activities in which I am the center of attention.
Actually, that is not true. I used to sing opera and was in Toastmasters. What the hell happened to me?
Talking to strangers scares me.
Not really… do dogs and cats count?
Heart palpitations bother me when other people are around.
Not if I’m in the emergency department. Shouldn’t heart palpitations always bother a person? Like it shouldn’t matter whether you are alone or in a group or swimming or showering. You need to get that shit checked out.
Apparently, my score was 44 which is “Severe?” And, my top contributor is “authority figure.” Which does make sense. I don’t know. I’m not ready to go and get diagnosed and medicated just yet.
I should just try more of what I used to do. Go out and DO something, anything, that scares the shit out of me. Like audition for a play. Lol.