As you know, and for those that don’t, people with SA experience tremendous difficulty through out their life, especially when social interactions are tossed in the mix. Simply sitting down for a meal in a restaurant can trigger anxiety. Every day things that people usually experience are like climbing Mount Everest; such an arduous task for something most think nothing of.
There is hope for us, still. Come on, there’s always hope! We are still people and deserve a life, too. For those things we have trouble doing, there are many other things we can enjoy. Alternatives are the gateway to finding happiness. So what if we can’t go on normal dates or experience friendship the way it’s done on TV. We can still have fun in other ways.
Let’s all admit the unfathomable: no matter what we do, we must interact with people in some areas of our lives. These are a few tips, based on experience, to do so in as comfortable a manner possible.
Lets start with the first one I mentioned. On TV, or even from the account of those we know, dating seems like a nice time out at a restaurant among other patrons. Those people may also be on a date, or doing something different, like enjoying a night out with pals, taking the kids out for a meal, celebrating an anniversary. Whatever it is, there is bound to be people. Whether wall to wall or a couple sprinkled about, this can cause a trigger.
Don’t panic! Be creative with your date nights. If it’s a first date, suggest something comfortable to you. For me, walking around eases that tension, so I may suggest a walk in a park or to the museum or to an open mall. Or pick a day when you know there will not be many people. Or, even better, have a night in!
I use to find it annoying seeing so many people have loads of friends. There are many quotes and expressions concerning friendship. Many people I know of have circles of friends, something I’ve never been truly able to accomplish. The best thing, to me, in this case is to have strong bonds with a few people. For this, simply be an honest, loyal friend while putting your best self forward. You will meet people who are worthwhile and deserving of your friendship.
This is a very difficult one. For some, we charge in and hope for the best but suffer all the while. Others, we just simply avoid. Problem solved! I will say that I have attended events and felt very nervous to the point of misery. There were other events that I was glad I attended even though my anxiety flew threw the roof after 30 minutes in.I handle this by picking and choosing which I will attend. I only do what I feel most comfortable with and have an exit strategy. Also being an introvert, I tend to become very exhausted by being at events with many people. So, I take both of these into consideration IF I attend a party. I plan conversations and where I will sit. I create the idea of relaxation prior to attending the party. Thinking ahead will work in your favor. It’ll give you time to calm down and think forward rather than create a fearful cycle about the event before you even put on your perfect party outfit.
I keep reiterating that we can have fulfilling lives. I hope in the future to expand positive ways to deal with this disorder. We have a right to live as we wish. These are three things that we face with fear when we shouldn’t. Fear limits us and with a positive spin and plenty of alternatives, we can make some improvements.
Head to twitter and tell me what you would like to add to this convo. #TalkAboutSADnSP #LifeWithSAnSP