Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Anxiety

I love when I sit down to write a post and then realize what I was going to say is not quite...right.

For instance, this post was going to try and explain my social anxiety. I doubt most people really realize that it is an issue for me.

But then I Googled "social anxiety" and the article that I read (yes, I read just one) said that social anxiety is a fear of being judged by other people. In fact, it says, "Social anxiety is a discomfort or a fear when a person is in social interactions that involve a concern about being judged or evaluated by others." And that's not exactly what is going on with me. For the record: I don't really care what people think about me. No, let me rephrase that -- I am not afraid of other people's judgments of me. How else would I get away with being as blunt as I am?

Anyway, the problem is the fact that I moved all the way to the big city to meet new people (men) and expand my social (dating) circle...and so far, it's all been moot because I can't find whatever courage, gumption, or other extroverted traits I thought I possessed in order to do this very thing! It's frustrating because the rational side of me knows that there is nothing to be afraid of, and the emotional, messed up side of me is really just getting in the way.

This isn't all entirely new, however, my anxiety is largely diminished whenever I have just one cohort with me in groups of people. Even if I'm off on the side, watching the person be center of attention, or talking to other friends that I don't know, I feel much more comfortable than I do by myself. I don't think that this is somehow abnormal - in fact, I'm sure most people are more comfortable in group settings if they are intimately (and by that, I do not mean romance-novel "intimately") acquainted with someone. I've almost always had that in my life. In grade school through sophomore year in high school, it was my best friend. My junior and senior year it was a different good friend or my sister. My first weeks in Provo were greatly eased by my just-moved-to-town-too roommate, and so on and so forth.

There was one munch and mingle that I went to by myself when I lived in southern Provo, and I had a full blown anxiety attack. This was a year or two after I had gone off anti-depressants, and had not had any issues, except, I was the youngest person in the ward, and I knew only a handful of people, none of them well enough. I felt myself hyperventilating, and close to tears, and I bagged the whole thing. I went home immediately, and it wasn't until I walked out of the crowded hallway did I feel like I could breathe normally. Since then, I haven't had to worry about those situations. Not to long after that, I moved into the Omni and gained a very close-knit, large group of friends; and I've had something along the same lines ever since. (Even in The Single Tree, where I moved in and knew no one and somehow developed friendships with the girls in that ward...Still not sure how it happened, though, none of the friendships have really "stuck", since I moved.)

So now I live by myself (which I still love) and spend a lot of time by myself (which I mostly love) and by the time Sunday rolls around, I am so unused to being around people, that the thought of approaching people, or attending a munch-n-mingle by myself literally has me tearing up and quaking in my boots. I've missed several activities that I've actually wanted to go to simply because my brain could not fathom the idea of going and being by myself. My imagination (of which I have already proven gets carried away) starts putting scenarios in my head of walking into a room and standing there utterly along, tongue-tied, deaf, and mute. Or sitting on the edge of a lake watching everyone have fun while trying to pretend like I am enjoying reading and talking to no one. (Our ward had a campout that I wanted to go to, but could not bring myself to attend alone.)

So Sunday, while my whole ward was feasting on something that smelled truly delicious, I left. Thinking that if someone stopped to wonder at why I was taking off before the food, I would plead a headache. Only, no one stopped me, so I didn't have to use that age old excuse - true though it was.

So what is my problem? I really am not worried about what people think about me -- unless it's subconsciously. I am worried about going in and being that lone person, sitting at a table with no one else, quietly eating while trying not to make longing eye contact at the group of people obviously having fun. I don't want to be the awkward, fat girl with no friends. Which makes this all a giant Catch-22. How can you make friends with people if you don't attend activities? And how can you attend activities if you are near-tears at the very thought of going alone? No wonder people drink as a social lubricant.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

$$

In order to save money, I am considering the following:

  1. No more wearing make-up.
  2. Or getting my hair done.
  3. Wearing sack cloth dresses everyday. (Less maintenance, easy to wash and care for, no accessories needed, only one pair of shoes needed...)
  4. Changing my diet to 1) 1 bag of carrots a week...and, oatmeal?
  5. Becoming even more reclusive than I already am (no social life means less money spent, sitting in the dark saves energy, not going anywhere saves on gas)

Sure, I might just be a homely hermit in this scenario. A 27-year old with gray hairs and blotchy skin...but at least I won't be spending $100 at WalMart for a few make-up products and lunches for work.

Monday, August 05, 2013



Megan and I have driven to Wyoming two weekends in a row. We've taken different routes to get there, obviously, but we've done it. And it's been stunning. 

Last weekend, we tried to hit up the Uinta County fair, and ended up driving through the Wasatch Mountains, which are absolutely gorgeous.

This weekend, we drove to Bear Lake and took the "Evanston"-way back to Salt Lake City. There wasn't a forest, but there were thousands of acres of farmland and it was beautiful. 

I love being out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but tall grasses, shrubs, clouds, and sunlight (or stars) to color my view. There's something about the big expanse of sky that is breathtaking. And there's a tranquility that you can't find in the hustle and bustle of a city.

I can't seem to get enough.







Friday, August 02, 2013

Unique

Last night I went to a little fireside where Sister Elaine Dalton (former General President of the Young Woman's program) was the speaker.

First, I went by myself. Which is fine. I do a lot of things by myself, and I actually like it. But I have found that when I am determined to be by myself, that things don't always work out that way. I always sit towards the front and center of church. I have always done this, and I don't know if that's because that is where we sat when we were growing up, or more, because I like to be front and center so I don't get distracted by other things, which I inevitably do if there's too much to look at. Also, it maybe seems less obvious if I'm towards the front, because almost always, someone will sit down next to me. Which, two someones did. Perfectly friendly girls that made the 20 minutes of earliness pass away quickly (yes, you read that right: I was 20 min early) and offered me a piece of gum.

This is not the first time that I have not had to sit by myself because someone has decided to be friendly and welcoming. I wish that I could be the same way.

I have full pages of notes that I think I will blog about later, but there were two things that I wanted to note about Sister Dalton's talk.

1 - I think a lot of us (as members of the church, as people in society, etc.) think that because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is primarily run by older men, that they are out of touch or unaware, or too old to understand the things that younger members of the church are facing. I know I've thought it a time or two. But listening to Sister Dalton talk about the things that she was trying to implement amongst the Young Women of the church, I had the impression that our leaders are very aware. They know the troubles we are facing. They understand the pressures and the demands that society and life place on us. They know, and they trust that we can overcome it. They do not counsel obedience because they are sticks in the mud, square, and ignorant. They tell us to be obedient because we need to be obedient. Because blessings and strength come from being obedient.

2 - This fireside was part of a series that my stake had been doing for the Relief Society that they called, "Healthy U". I wanted to go to the workshops, initially, because they sounded interesting, but with family reunions and not attending my ward for a month, I didn't get to any of them. But because we were focusing on our health, Sister Dalton talked a lot about our bodies. She talked about lots of things, and again, I'd like to come back and write down my thoughts about all of it, but one of the things that she said really stuck with me.

She was talking about how we are all made uniquely, and that we were given the very bodies we needed in order to accomplish the things that we were sent on earth to do. If God didn't want us to be different, He would have made us the same. This goes against a lot of criticisms that I hear against the church. There are people who think that we are sheep - taught to do and say and think only one way. But that isn't doctrine. We are all given different skills, talents, and bodies, in order to accomplish different things, to experience different things, and feel and think differently.

Along that line of thinking, she encouraged us not to hate our bodies and not to wish for a different body... That's hard for me to do, as I would much rather have the type of body that was "a skinny 78 lb., 5'8" girl" (as she kept referring to herself) instead of a...oh, I was probably last 78 lbs in 3rd grade, type.

Search This Blog

Related Stories

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow by Email