Whew. It’s been a past few weeks, eh? Yes I left out an adjective, thanks. These few weeks have been incredibly manic, and most of the time has ranged from joyfully wanting to do cartwheels down Halsted, to the comforting sadness of (thinking about) curling up into a ball at the bottom of my shower (which actually sounds really uncomfortable, but somewhat satisfying).
While there has been a (rather extreme, at times) mixture of bad and good as of late, I have recently been attempting to make a seriously concentrated effort on not flaking out on plans that I make with people. A little backstory: I am socially awkward (oh…you’re not surprised?) and as such, when I make plans with people, at first I get really into the idea and then I start coming up with reasons not to go. What if no one else shows up? What if people do show up, but I don’t know anyone else there? What if I say something dumb and immediately become outcast? What if the entire experience is some clever ruse to get me into a public place and humiliate me a’la Carrie, or lure me into a trap where I’ll be murdered (seriously, anytime I get into a car with someone I can’t help but wonder if I’m being driven to a remote location where I will be tortured and murdered and no one will ever find me*. I need to never watch torture movies ever again EVER. Additionally, I don’t know why this thought consistently pops into my head (since high school!) and maybe we can talk about that later in a less parenthetical environment where I pay you hourly to listen to my problems!).
After thinking of all of these what-ifs, I start to get panicky. My stomach starts to hurt. I can’t leave my apartment! Something outside of my scope of control might happen! And just like that *snappity-snap*, I cancel all plans.
75% of the time, I would not make it out because I made myself weirdly sick about the whole thing. This is something I have been working on changing in the past month or so, and I have to say…I’m doing surprisingly well. I think I have decreased my flakiness by at least 70%. I feel good about that. To be fair, there are some nights where there is a ton of stuff going on, so I need to choose one thing. My default used to be “Choose nothing! Stay home!” but not so much lately. I’m getting out there! I’m spending time with friends! No one has tried to kill me (yet**)! Everything’s coming up Milhouse.
I have started wonder if people have questioned the viability of my friendship because of my constant cancellations. Surely my friends know that I care about them, even if I’m lying in my room watching episodes of Luther instead of having meaningful conversations with actual human beings! No? Weird.
Since August 26th, I’ve realized that I need to focus more energy and time on people who really care about me, and who I care about in return. These are people who certainly have a positive reaction on my quality of life. August 26th was a stand out day for two very major reasons: 1) I became a Miss Austen and as such, unlocked the “instant awesome and supportive lady friends” acheivement and 2) I had a fatal blow out with my oldest friend that ended with me literally throwing her belongings out of my apartment and with a bloody right hand (accidental glass jar breakage from rage suppression what whaaaaat), whilst subsiquentally scaring the shit out of my roommate’s girlfriend, and myself. Opening the door to new, awesome friendship and slamming the door whilst screaming at old, toxic friendship to get out of my apartment and my life, made me realize where I was going wrong as a friend and how I could be so much better.
I still have my moments, and there is always going to be oodles of room for improvement on my part. I still try to push everyone away when something bad happens and I want to shut down my world to avoid ruining other people’s worlds. I have to say though, and I know this is turning into a “look at me; I am so great! Bask in me!” post but anyhow (do it! Baaaaask!)…in the past week my family has been completely torn apart and I haven’t really shrunk away from friends and outings. In fact, I’ve purposely surrounded myself with a human force field of friends and colleagues to remind me that everything will be ok, even though it is incredibly uncomfortable and even if I don’t know what to do in regards to that part of my life. While I have no utter idea how to handle the family situation (and as such, am pretty much not doing anything because I honestly don’t know, but maybe it’s better not to do anything? Though recent correspondence would lead me to believe otherwise), my friendships and other relationships are thriving and that typical pit of dispair and depression remains closed.
Everything is going to be ok. I am precisely where I need to be.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to meet some friends for brunch.
*Now that you have this information, please also know that I know karate and I kick hard. I will go all River Tam on you if necessary, potential murdery person!
**Plz dont kthx