I used to feel so torn apart by the idea of friendship because it never seemed like I was doing it right. How could I form these connections and still feel like something was missing or off? What’s wrong with me?! I wasn’t nurturing the very first friend I made, myself.
Imagine a demon hag with sunken eyes, a deep black hooded cloak, and long boney fingers following me around, sounding alarm bells, and making me second-guess my every move. That’s how I pictured my anxiety and our lopsided relationship. Something needed to change.
An apology is usually reserved for some form of wrong-doing or disrespect, intentionally or unintentionally. If you’re not doing anything wrong, then there’s no need to apologize. If you’re like me, you know that’s much easier said than done. There are a lot of reasons you may be an over apologizer, but it doesn’t have to be a life-long identity.
I hate to say it, but I am a party pooper. Not for your parties, my own. Social anxiety affects many facets of my life; it does not take a break on my birthday.
“I appreciate you, my love. I appreciate that you allow your texts to go unanswered for weeks at a time. I appreciate you giving me space when I feel the walls are closing in on me. I appreciate you forcing your way into my mind when I have been quiet for too long. And I appreciate your reassuring hand when my thoughts tell me to push you away and my actions carry out this order accordingly.”
Do you lie awake at night and think about the things you could have or should have said but didn’t? I do. Constantly. Here is my list.
Before I could give it a name to it, I exhibited signs as of being an extremely anxious child. My parents would tell my teachers I was very shy and needed more time to warm up. I had regular stomachaches, was irritable, sensitive, and hardly spoke.
“Will you be my bridesmaid?”
Internally: No, no, no, no
Me: Of course!
Becoming my friend is a long, arduous process. It usually takes me a year or more before I feel like I can be myself and until then, it is one-sided conversations, lots of head nodding, and me deflecting personal questions so the other person continues to talk about […]
I thought I would make a list of tiny things I do/need in order to recharge that does not involve: forcing myself to “feel pretty”, getting a massage, going for a jog, or eating kale. For me, sometimes simple things can be neglected when I feel overwhelmed or not myself. Maybe if you are struggling with how to fulfill the concept of self-care in your life, this may help.