I am anxious.

I cannot say why. I’m anxious, though. Very anxious. I am, dare I say, spiraling.

I hate anxiety. When it comes on, it comes so strong. There’s really nothing I can do to stop it. It just hits… like there are bricks laying on top of my chest, making it difficult for me to breathe, or move, or think.

I hate anxiety.

The thing about working in confidential circles is that you can’t share things with people. When you cannot share things with people you have to keep them inside and that is hard. That’s really hard.

I’m whining and I really need to stop.

I’m just anxious tonight.

I probably should sleep.

The reality of social anxiety

A while back I shared “Life with social anxiety”. In the post I go into great detail about what it’s like, from my perspective, to deal with social anxiety.

The reason why I mention that post today is because I want to, again, talk about social anxiety.

For people that don’t suffer from social anxiety, it’s hard to understand it. For people that do, it’s hard to explain it. This can lead to confusion, misunderstanding, misrepresentation of how conversations are carried out. It’s a tangled web.

See, I’m not very good with people. I’m not the type of person who will start a conversation. In fact, if you don’t start the conversation, we might not even have one. I don’t find silence to be awkward. I actually find silence to be calming. People often, though, mistake my silence for attitude.

If there’s one thing that this pandemic has done for me the past year-and-a-half, I haven’t had to explain myself as much. I haven’t had to come up with excuses for why I couldn’t go somewhere or do something. The pandemic did that for me. Now that I’m fully vaccinated and the majority of people in this province are also vaccinated, or getting vaccinated, it’s much safer to go out and do things. Events are starting again. People are meeting for coffees, or dinner and drinks, or just to sit around the table and talk.

All of those things are good. Believe me, ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE GOOD. They’re just hard for me.

I’m awkward.

I don’t love hugs.

Most days I don’t even appreciate handshakes.

In social settings, I won’t deny someone a hug or a handshake if they gesture for it, but I’m definitely not going to initiate it. Sometimes I get the sense that people think I’m cold-hearted because of that.

It’s been nice to not have to force myself into situations that make me uncomfortable for a year and a half. I know, I know, I know all about how we’re supposed to do things in life that make us uncomfortable to ensure that we grow, but, when it comes to social anxiety, it isn’t a situation in which if I do it more, I become more comfortable with it.

I’ve come to the realization that I will always be awkward.

I’ve always been that person that smiles and nods at a stranger if they ask me a question or give me a compliment. Actually, when it comes to compliments, I don’t take them well at all.

Being vaccinated has given me a lot of freedom back. For that, I’m grateful. Wandering the aisles of the grocery story without worry is a really good feeling. It will take me some time to adjust, though, to being around people again. Conversations in passing, meeting for coffee, going to birthday parties (haven’t really started here yet but I know they will), getting my haircut… these things will take me time. I am that girl who will sit in the stylist’s chair for several hours (I have long hair) and maybe say two or three words the entire time. Over the course of those several hours getting my hair cut, I will worry about what the stylist is thinking of me. But, I won’t open my mouth to talk. That is social anxiety guiding me.

For those that know me, they know that I struggle with social interactions. For those that don’t, I’m all too sure they think I’m rude. I think about that a lot, actually. I think about what everyone thinks about me. All the time. They don’t dictate who I am, or who I get to be, but I still do worry I’m leaving the wrong impression.

I guess, as the world opens up again, it’s important to be patient with people.

I am who I am. My social anxiety guides a lot of what I do. If I say no to an invitation, that’s not a reflection of the invitee, that’s me. If I integrate back into the world slowly, there’s a reason for that.

Social anxiety is complicated.

Some days

Some days I wander around this earth waiting for the rug to be pulled from beneath my feet. Some days all I do is wait for the other shoe to drop. Some days, I say. Some days.

There are days when I am confident, when not a thing in this world can touch me. There are days when the smile on my face is genuine. There are days when I don’t have to worry. There are days.

These days I worry a lot. These days I’m sad a lot. These days I’m very lonely. These days I don’t know what to do. These days I’m afraid to be honest with people because everyone always says ‘Oh but you have so much’. It’s true, I do have a lot in my life. Things don’t always equal fulfillment, though. Things are just things. Fulfillment comes from within. These days…

One day I’ll figure out what exactly it is that I am chasing. One day I’ll feel as though I finally fit in this world, somewhere. One day I’ll have all of the answers. One day.

Until then, I don’t have the answers… just a lot of questions.

Reflecting on my 2020 Resolutions

Tonight seemed like a really great night to look back on the resolutions that I made for myself at this time last year… before the reality that was 2020 hit all of our lives.

2020 Resolutions >

The gist of last year’s resolution is in bold. My explanation of how well or poorly it went follows.

I want to be more aware of time. This is a resolution that I genuinely feel I accomplished in 2020. While it was likely forced on me because of the pandemic, I do feel that I am now, more than ever, aware of time. The time I take, the time I make, the time I kill and the time I waste. I’m more aware than ever of how much time I both have and don’t have and why time is both my best friend and worst nightmare depending on what day fo the week it is.

I want to love and appreciate myself. I’m going to say that I got half-way there in 2020. While I love and appreciate certain aspects of myself, I still have (and probably always will) major insecurities. There are parts of my life where I’m too confident for my own good and parts of my life in which I’m a shell of a human being. Overall, progress was made, but there’s more room for growth.

I want to proofread my posts before I hit publish. I epically failed at this. I genuinely write my posts as they come to my head. I know that it sounds like an excuse, and that’s because it is one. If I worried about checking my spelling and grammar before publishing, I’d never get anything published. My spelling and grammar sucks. I’m okay with that.

I want to put myself ‘out there’. I started working and lost both time and motivation to make this a project for me.

I want to take better care of myself, my mental health and my well being. While anxiety is still a massive issue in my life, I’m happy to say that I cut a lot of sugar out of my diet. I still do believe that my body is a temple and that I need to treat it a lot better than I do, but I’m accepting of the fact that I am a work in progress and that quitting Pepsi and Redbull might not be in the cards for me. Though I definitely can cut down on it a lot.

I want to learn more about photography and how to take beautiful photos. I took two courses in photography and one course in editing this year. I’m not sure if everyone would think the photos I take are beautiful, but I definitely do.

I want to go somewhere that I’ve never been and experience something I’ve never done. Pre-COVID I was too broke to go anywhere I’ve never been. Since I’ve started working, I’ve been playing it safe and not going new places because, I both don’t want to get sick and I don’t want to make anyone else sick. This might need to be a plan for 2021… if vaccines roll out by the end of next year.

I want to teach my friends and family of the importance of sustainability and making eco-friendly choices. I’m really proud of how far my friends and family have come with respect to making sustainable and eco-friendly choices. I think having an open dialogue and teaching one another about waste accrual and hyper consumerism and the negative effects they have on the planet really made the people in my life take positive changes. It’s amazing to see.

I want to reach a point where I no longer need to worry about money, or how I will afford things. I am not there yet, but I am trying.

I want to spread kindness to whomever I meet, wherever I go.  I truly believe that you can never give too much kindness. We all have our bad days, I know I’ve certainly had mine, but through it all I’ve tried to do good by those I’ve met.

I want to test out Vessi’s Waterproof shoes to find out if they’re actually as good as they’re hyped up to be. I got these for my birthday and they are AMAZING. I am so glad that I own them. They’re a pricey item, but if they are within your budget, I highly recommend.

I don’t ever want to spend another New Year’s Eve alone. Epic fail on this one.

With all that’s happened in the past 12 months, I’m really not sure if this year was about openness, honesty, generosity and goodness in the way that I had hoped it would be. But, I still have hope for this world. And at the end of the day, I definitely still do want everyone to remember that you cannot do all the good that the world needs, but, the world does need all the good that you can do.

Blogmas Day 16

If you read my post two days ago (prior to my removing it), I did manage to get in contact with the person to which I was speaking of. Because I was able to get in contact with them, I decided to remove the post. Due to the nature of the post, I didn’t want it to stay there.

I fell of the Blogmas motivation train. I’m a few days behind. Rather than trying to catch up, I’m just labelling this post with the applicable day.

I’ve been sick for about a week now. I’ve also been dealing with extreme amounts of anxiety. Between the two, I haven’t been sleeping much and I definitely haven’t been enjoying life. I can’t tell you why I’m so anxious. Perhaps it’s the time of year. Perhaps it’s me being worried that I am sicker than I am. Perhaps there’s no reason at all. All I know is… dang it’s really hard to just exist some days. With this heightened anxiety that I’ve been feeling, it’s (and I didn’t come up with this analogy, I heard it from my doctor) the feeling of fear that you’re being chased by a bear whilst doing nothing more than watching television.

I did see my doctor yesterday to get some medication that’ll help me fight off this sickness. The last thing I need right now is to get worse, and since my body doesn’t seem to be fighting it off, I needed the extra hand that antibiotics could provide.

I’m planning to lay low until Christmas. Maybe even the New Year. I just want to recover and be healthy again. Perhaps if I am healthy again some of this anxiety will fade.

Winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) is in just a few short days. After that the days will begin getting longer again. I cannot begin to explain how in need i am of more daylight in a day.

Alrighty, time to get back to work.

Feelings and whatnot

I don’t think that I’ve ever felt lower of myself then I have in the past couple of months.

It really doesn’t matter how much of a pep talk I try to give myself. It really doesn’t matter how many times I try to tell myself that I need to not be so hard on myself. I see myself in the mirror and I feel depressed.

I’m pretty certain that almost everyone deals with self confidence issues from time to time and that what I feel is not unique to me. That being said, that doesn’t make it suck less. My confidence is at what feel like an all time low.

The Discord Dummy catches COVID

One of the reasons that I was very anxious about how sick I was this past week was because one of my coworkers recently let us know that he tested positive for COVID.

Firstly, I wasn’t surprised when he told us. I’ve written about him on this blog before, here and here. Basically, he’s been exceptionally careless about the ongoing pandemic. He’s been going on dates and hooking up with females like it’s nobody’s business, and, detailing his exploits on the company discord. The fact that he has COVID was a little bit of karma finally catching up with him.

“Practice safe sex” really takes on a whole new meaning when there’s a deadly pandemic sweeping the globe. I can’t imagine the frustration of the health care workers trying to do contact tracing and having to follow ‘Girl I had sex with from Tinder’ as a lead.

While I haven’t been physically present within six feet of him, we were in the same office together for several days. We walked the same halls, opened the same doors, you know… we shared the same vicinity. So, the fact that I was really sick had me extremely worried that it was COVID and that I had caught it from him.’

Anyways, apparently he’s felt like absolute shit. He went so far as to say this is the sickest he’s ever been in his entire life. Do we think he’s going to learn anything from this experience? Doubtful.

The good news is, I didn’t have COVID. I had the flu. I’m feeling much better now, which I am grateful for. I think I was feeling extra whiney when I was sick because I had the added anxiety of waiting for test results. Thankfully I was able to avoid people for several days so I know for certain that no one else got sick because of me.

Grocery delivery is quickly becoming one of my favourite conveniences.

As for Axel, haven’t heard from him in a couple of days. Hopefully he’s recovering well. Even if he did have this coming, I still hope he’s not suffering too badly.

Back when we first started hearing about this virus in late January on the news, one of the first things my brother said about it was “You really can’t vouch for the healthiness of anyone but yourself”. Which is so, so, so true. If anyone who reads this is dating during this pandemic, just be careful. You really can’t vouch for the health of the other person… even if they say they’re perfectly healthy. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

I’m rambling again.

Just because there are some things that I am unhappy about does not mean there isn’t good in my life. Just because there are some things that I am insecure about does not mean that I don’t like myself. Just because I have doubts does not mean that I don’t have certainties. Just because I’m an idiot when it comes to some things doesn’t mean that I’m an idiot when it comes to all things.

It’s okay to not have all of the answers. It’s okay if you don’t have a clear path. I don’t care what people say about trying not being good enough. Trying beats the hell out of being stagnant in life.

It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to screw up. What’s not okay is refusing to learn lessons from those times in life that seem so damn bad, you don’t ever know how you’re going to recover. Acknowledging your missteps and learning from them is literally the first step towards recovering, carving a new path and ensuring you don’t fuck up the same way twice.

Often times we treat these situations in life as though they’re rules. Rules we cannot break. We cannot possibly be insecure, unsure, uneasy or unhappy because if we’re any of these things it means we’re not secure, sure, easy-going or happy. That’s simply not the case. The world isn’t black and white. There are so many shades of grey and being able to understand that will bring a lot of peace, I promise you.

Don’t let people tell you how to feel, your feelings are warranted. Don’t let people tell you who to be or what to believe. You are who you are for a reason. That doesn’t mean that who you are is who you always have to be. Human beings are a work in progress and it’s well within you to change, if you want to. If you don’t, though… be proud of who you are. Flaws and all. Uncertainties and all. Insecurities and all. Uneasiness and all. No one else in this world is you.