The morning before a night out with a group of people I have never made plans with before is always an anxiety filled one. In fact, even if I have hung out with them before but they aren’t my closest and bestest buddies – it is a struggle. And recently I not only went out once with people who are not the aforementioned folk, but I went out twice. With two separate groups, in the same week. And it was hard on my noggin.
It started with a mid-week event. And I’ll be completely honest in saying it was with folk from work. We were going to finish our big conference day and then go for drinks and this was a plan. Before I get further into this post – I suck at making plans. In fact, very rarely do my friends coerce me into doing so because they know how much of a state it can get me in.
So the morning of the work event I decided to put on my favourite outfit featuring pleather skirt (with a hole in the bum) and XL men’s All Saints shirt. Rather than reaching for tights, I pulled on my thigh highs, painted my lips berry and headed out. To be fair I did look overdressed but I felt incredible so I didn’t mind. Feeling this confident made going out with them all really easy.
But it is easier to say ‘put on an outfit that makes you feel confident’ than it is to actually do it. Especially when you spent your Friday night doing a washing so all of the over-worn favourites are getting their rare clean.
Anyway, Saturday night rolled round and I was in a bad place. I had spent about an hour doing my make up and hair and just felt like a badly painted drag queen. You easily could have called me Shangela (season 1). I then couldn’t find a single garment in my wardrobe that I deemed acceptable. The dresses were all wrong and my go to black jeans and black tee just didn’t seem enough.
And this is where my anxiety did, and always does, kick in. It had done so the day of the work night out but I didn’t have Greg to hold me and my favourite clothes weren’t being made dizzy in the washing machine. The anxiety isn’t your usual panic attack where it hits me, I can’t breathe, I cry and then I take an hour to get back to normal. No, this anxiety is really slow and insistent and probably my least favourite. I made myself believe I had been invited purely out of guilt from Lucy. Guilty of what I’m not sure, but in my head, she didn’t want me there.
I then told myself I was too ugly in everything I owned and not worthy of making new friends. This resulted in uncontrollable sobs and arguments that Greg should leave to meet his family without me because they wouldn’t want me with them and him holding me as my entire body shakes while I dehydrate it with yet more tears.
Thankfully Greg can read the signs now and knew not to leave me. And when I managed to calm down, I finally re-did my make up a little less Shangela and threw on a pair of heeled boots to improve my all black outfit. I grabbed my favourite bright yellow jacket and blue bag to accessorise and again my outfit made me feel a bit more fabulous. And off I went for a day of bowling and to meet the girls.
Even approaching Lucy’s flat I was dead certain she didn’t really want me there and it wasn’t until I was sat on the floor, sipping my vino and playing some unknown game that Lucy made up that I realised maybe I was meant to be there. And finally, I shut my anxiety up and made some new pals.
As always, here are a few links if you are struggling with anxiety as well as some if you are wondering how to help someone with anxiety.