Coping skill #5 : Be With Other People

One of the biggest problems that I have is that I lock myself away in my room with minimum to no interactions with the outside world. I lay in my bed and sleep, I don’t shower, don’t talk to my family or friends, don’t eat or eat too much, and I just stew in a feeling of sadness and nothingness that I can’t explain.

Sometimes I get so into it that I don’t even recognize it for what it is; depression. I’m lucky enough to have a mother who loves and cares for me enough to storm into my bedroom, rip open my curtains, and tell me exactly what I need to hear : “I love you and I’m worried about you. You need to get up and get your shit together or you’ll never feel any better”.

I’ve really tried to stay out of this funk and I’m lucky enough to have great friends that have helped me along the way. I have gone out at least once a week with either friends, family, or coworkers since the start of September. I’ve gone to hole in the wall bars with pretty Christmas lights covering the ceilings, I’ve been to 5 concerts (2 of which were genres of music I knew very little about but enjoyed none-the-less),  I’ve taken the train into the city 4 times, gone to cute little cafes, let the chef at a hibachi restaurant squirt Sake into my mouth with a squirt gun TWICE while friends or coworkers watched on in amusement and I have enjoyed it all.

Something as simple as going grocery shopping by myself made me so anxious that my hands were shaking and I couldn’t look up at anyone’s faces or ask for help. I was nervous and sweaty the entire time and stuttered when I spoke to the cashier. I damn near ran to my car when I was done. But as soon as I shut my car door and sat in the drivers seat, I was so happy. Yes it was terrifying for me and yes I was disappointed that even something as simple as grocery shopping would make me react this way. But I was so happy and proud of myself for doing it anyway. I was happy that I didn’t see the busy parking lot and drive right back home and I was happy that I got everything on my list and made it out alive. The experience was also a great way to remind myself that the world doesn’t revolve around me. Not everyone is looking at me and judging me all the time; hell most people probably don’t even notice me or look my way because they have their own lives and problems that they’re dealing with. This made it easier to go back the next time, and the next time, and the next.

 

Getting out of the house more has made me feel like I can do anything. In fact at one of the concerts I went to, I saw a girl who had come on her own and seemed to be having the time of her life just listening to music she loved in a big room where she could happily coexist with other people who shared her interest. I want that for myself. I think a goal for myself is to do the same one day.

I can order my own food at a restaurant without rehearsing it over and over until the waiter comes, I can drive into the city and find parking and take the train without panicking, and I can go to a bar with my friends and have a good time without any worries.

This is something I will continue to do. The more I go out and the more I get used to being around people and being social, the less scary the world seems to me.

Image result for bar with christmas lights

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