Social events give me such bad anxiety that I don’t usually make it to said functions. Feeling like I’m on the outside of every room I walk into has never made me very self-assured, but when there was alcohol, there was no problem. Get buzzed and converse effortlessly, get wasted and don’t care about anything! Hooray! Much to my anxiety-ridden dismay, this social lubricant is no longer at my disposal.
Due to unrealistic projections on how every activity will pan out, I’ve developed a nasty habit of making plans and then immediately regretting them. My mind begins spinning a web of irrational excuses…. Who will I talk to? What will we talk about? What if they stare at this giant blemish on my face? How will I get there? What if there’s no parking? What if it’s so overly crowded that I have a panic attack? I’m too fat today anyway. I’m not going. Whew.
The second I decide I’m not going to go I feel wave of relief, but I’ve already let someone else down, including myself. I don’t know what’s worse about these destructive decisions; that I end up disrespecting the person or persons who invited me, or that there is a 99% probability that if do show up I’ll have a great time.
Confidence and awareness have sprouted in sobriety, and tools have been acquired to counteract old-behavior; sometimes I even implement those tools. I’ll remind myself to simply show up. Jesus, it’s not that hard. I’ll remind myself that no one cares if I have a zit on my forehead. I’ll tell myself to stop being such a selfish flakey friend, and that the world does not cater to my own self-centered fears.
Unfortunately, it’s a long road of awkwardness before I fully reach a point where ease comes freely and events are easy. At most completely sober settings I still feel like I’m standing around waiting for everyone to get drunk. It’s like going to a party that never starts…talk about anxiety.
Yesterday “The Committee” started generating the same old bullshit for an occasion I had committed to. A bailout plan was in the works, when sober thoughts kung-fu’d them in the face. It was extremely uncomfortable to go against how I have conditioned my brain, but because of step work and progress not perfection, I was able to tell my insecurities to shut the fuck up, show up, and stop ruining my chance at life.
Of course, it was a great time. All it took was some excruciatingly difficult recalculating! Showing up….what a concept.