Thursday, May 08, 2008

Did you know?

That May is National Mental Health Month? I didn't until a few days ago.
Mental Health Month was created more than 50 years ago to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness for all. This year’s theme is focused on an essential component of maintaining and protecting mental health and wellness: social connectedness. The tagline for this year’s observance is “Get Connected.”
From Mental Health America

Mental Health Issues are not foreign to me. They run in my family. Because of that, I was not all that surprised when a few years ago I was diagnosed with anxiety. Thankfully, my anxiety is not debilitating. That's not to say it doesn't occasionally cause issues or anything like that - but so far it has been quite manageable.

Probably the worst of it for me is the social anxiety I have. Going to parties? Yeah, makes me want to puke. Sometimes I pray the party gets canceled or something happens to prevent me from going. I fret sometimes for a couple of days over going to certain events. I generally dislike parties and the more people who are there, there worse it is for me. It doesn't even matter if I know all 300 people - I would be so uncomfortable at the party. Usually I can relax after being there a bit. But sometimes I make for a not great guest. Conversations with me can feel strained. Some people have admitted that I come off extremely stuck-up (which I am not, it's just the nerves make it hard for me to talk to you, which you might take as me not wanting to talk to you). Sometimes when dh and I drive somewhere I make him tell me things I can talk about at the party just in case I can't remember on my own.

Meeting new people is the worst. It sets off a whole flood of anxiety and I can't relax and I fret and I worry and I panic. I have avoided situations where I have to meet people for the first time just because it is so freaking uncomfortable.

I hate being put on the spot. I hate talking when I know lots of people are listening. I hate doing things in front of crowds (once at my cousins wedding every time people clinked glasses they asked another couple to stand up and kiss for them. She picked my husband and I one time and I thought I was going to pass out. The thought of people looking at me, and then having to kiss my husband - well, I don't need to tell you it was the most uncomfortable awful unromantic kiss ever. I'm sure many people thought my husband and I didn't even like each other because it seriously looked that awful.)

Just writing about it, makes me want to hit the delete button and go throw up.
I tend to be VERY guarded about it. I'm not sure why. I don't think anyone would think I was crazy - so it's not that. I guess, I just want people to think I have it all together and my life is picture perfect. I know, no one's life is picture perfect but we can still hope people think that about us. I don't generally talk about this with people. Many people who know me in real life do not know that I go to see a therapist. They don't know I struggle with this issue (instead, they think I'm stuck up!)

The hardest part of all of this is I have a hard time getting into groups. Homeschooling groups, church, other groups. Things always start good and then, I don't know, I tend to get freaked out by it and stop going. I am in a Mom's club and I'll be active for a bit and then do nothing for a few months. We found a great church. I went, I started to get involved, I freaked out. We stopped going. It just feels too uncomfortable to stay. It gets to feel overwhelming and difficult and it's not enjoyable. On one hand I think I need to keep going and "work through the uncomfortableness" of it all and I'll probably discover that things will be okay. And yet, I just don't want to do that.

It is one of the reasons I LOVE the internet. I can take my time talking to people. I can proof-read e-mails and blog posts and comments. I don't have to leave the house. I don't have to stand in a room full of lots of people. It's a lot more comfortable and easy for me to interact with people this way.

Why am I sharing all this now? I don't know. Because why shouldn't I? I don't know .. maybe you'll stop reading? I'm going to guess probably not. And also because I had a phone conversation yesterday in which I was asked if I had a church, a homeschooling group, etc, etc and I kept saying no. And it made me feel kind of sad and down. But yet, it's who I am. And I do try - well, okay, sometimes I don't because it just feels too hard! But I am working on it, slowly but surely.

So there you go. Thanks for reading my rambling.


  1. That sounds hard, but I think it's a good thing that you are so aware of what sets you off. Being in denial would be even worse I think. And it sounds like take things in baby steps, which is probably a good idea. Who knows? One of these days something might stick! :-)

  2. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Anxiety is a tough thing....I'm so sorry you have to deal with it. After being on the board for 6 years & reading your journal for awhile, I've never picked up that you had anxiety. You are very well-spoken and seem to get your opinion across effortlessly here online. My 6 year old has bouts of terrible anxiety, sometimes to the point of causing irritable bowel or feeling the need to throw up.

    Do you think part of your reasons to homeschool is because you have anxiety about letting your children not be with you? Would think it's very important to keep involved with homeschooling groups so your children don't feel secluded.

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  4. I deleted the last comment, because it made no sense. I needed to proof read.

    What I was trying to say was, I had forgotten about this blog, and had been checking another one of yours lately for updates.

    Also, I think it is good to write about the issues you deal with. I imagine it is good therapy.


Seeing your comments makes me smile! Thank you so much =)