It's not from too much drinking... anymore. At a certain point, towards the end of the week, someone will inevitably ask, "How was your week?" or "How was last weekend?" Small talk, mostly. Polite. Curt. Maybe they really want to know, but mostly I find it an accepted norm of social behavior. Those suffering from social anxiety miss these cues for conversation, or grow frustrated trying to keep up with them.
My days smear together without a job. Everyday feels the same were the weekend no longer has a certain significance. TGIF? What's that? I strive for TGIW, Thank God it's Wednesday, because that means the week is half done. I am tired of living just to pass the time. I thought that maybe I could fill up my days with Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but it is proving hard. I do have a lunchtime meeting that I can attend, but I am scared. It's new and different. Unfamiliar faces will stir that old nemesis of mine, social anxiety. What if I drove all that way and there is no one there? It is a lengthy drive. The Internet is fallible, you know. Can I manage to sit down in a room of all those strange people? I usually end up wanting to go bursting out of room to the safe confines of my car.
I remember my work days at the University. It was hard to get up, but I would drive that long drive without fail everyday. Breakfast would often be a couple of scrambled egg and cheese biscuits. A cup of coffee. I would always check my email when I got in my office -- usually enough to keep me busy for about an hour as coop members had questions or needed help. Research projects would then be worked on in the greenhouse. I was in charge of designing and building a timed irrigation system that only allowed more water depending on soil moisture. I felt busy. I felt productive. There was a purpose to my days.
The social anxiety grew worse though. I found myself shutting myself in my office all day afraid to come out. I would avoid all the other professors that worked with me. Paranoia. Delusions. Schizophrenia would take hold and I would design and invent grand schemes by my co-workers to oust me from my job. When I left, I just knew one professor was "out to get me." I was on a very low dosage of Risperdal at the time and it just wasn't working. I was too afraid to tell my psychiatrist or family because I fear they would put me in the hospital. It is amazing I held it together enough to get married.
So... back to that lunchtime meeting. Should I go? Should I face my fears and bite the bullet so to speak? I long to be with people who have experienced what I have in alcoholism. Rosa can have a beer on occasion and just doesn't understand. Right, let me go for my morning walk and get a shower and put on some nice clothes. I can do this...