Sunday, November 09, 2008

one fruit loop shy of a full bowl

There are some things that you may not know about me. For starters, I'm more than a little shy.

This curse, this "bashfulness" as some kind people refer it trying to soften it around the edges and make it seem somehow cute or diminutive in order keep introverted people from further running away in terror, has followed me around the earth for years now. It has cost me friendships. Many indeed.

You see, I not only suffer from social anxiety, I have also developed a rather obnoxious coping mechanism. I become the Ice Queen. I somehow am able to not only not talk to the people I'd really like to get to know, I seem to be able to drive them away altogether.

And so, three years ago, when I knew we were moving to a new community, I decided to bust out of my icy shell and turn over a new leaf. I decide to force myself to do whatever was necessary to overcome my anxiety.

I have been fighting a good fight. It hasn't been pretty. Sometimes my palms sweat and I get random fits of diarrhea upon entering a party. But I'm making small strides. I have taken homemade gifts to all the neighbors. Even the ones I don't like. I made small talk with a pregnant girl on the beach and prayed that she couldn't see my sweat rings. But the story has a happy ending. We are now good friends.

My best friends will tell you I've really changed. It is getting easier for me to be friendly with strangers. Hopefully, the Ice Queen is gone for good.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because. This is why I blog. Well, truth be told I blog to promote my business, but it didn't start out that way. I started blogging because here on the web, with a monitor and a fair amount of miles between us, you can know me for who I really am. The good, the bad and the ugly. And it is easy peasy for me to say, "Hey you, your a fun girl. I think we should be friends." And hopefully, just hopefully, you feel the same.


MelsDolls said...

good for you! we all have "issues" :)
It's always inspiring to hear how others overcome, you go girl!

Shonna said...

It's amazing to me how it seems like so many creative spirits have social anxiety. I think it is very interesting. Thanks so much for sharing this. You are very inspiring!

tara whitney said...

i wish we would have talked about this in thai-i have a lot of the same issues as you do!

Kari said...

It's getting old--the whole "Me, too! Me, too!" thing. But you say it all so well--the stuff that I have going on inside my head that I won't say out loud.

The big difference here being that I try to imagine it's not there and I am being all diminutive and lovely, and maybe no one will notice--right up until my husband gives me that look telling me that I better melt right quick or leave because I'm scaring the nice people. I know it's there, but I can't always admit it. And even when I do, I'm not always sure how to stop it.

I'm glad you've got it figured out.

Michelle said...

I feel the same way. I don't have one friend who didn't tell me later "When I first met you, I thought you were kind of a Bitch." Sadly, I have not been able to come out of my shell enough to make many lasting friendships. I have a lot of "blogger"friends, some who I have even met several times in real life, but it's pretty easy to keep a long distance relationship going vie e-mails and comments on blogs.

I would never have guessed this about you simply from reading your blog.

SapphireChild said...

I've experienced something similar as well. I'm still something of a crab and worrier, but I've settled down considerably over the past 15 years.

Also wanted to say, LOVE that photo on the top of this post, so much so that I might like to own a copy.

april said...

Here is the link to get your own copy of the photo.

Clare said...

April - you know I would never have guessed. You appear so confident and 'with it'. I have always battled nerves talking to new people - but I have perfected the art of "fake it 'til you make it".. or at least I try to. I am really enjoying getting to know you via your blog and our little gang of buddies. Thank you for being my friend. XX

mine, by magpie said...

wow- that is a very brave post- good for you for tackling this huge thing in your life! look at how you changed and grown. my brothers and i all suffer from different degrees of the same thing and it's no joke. people don't who don't experience some form of anxiety really just cannot comprehend what it's like. so i applaud you for taking control and becoming...well, yourself!

Kroegers Calling said...

Yeah for trying new things and meeting new people!! 9 times out of 10 it is totally worth it! It's that 10th one that really pisses you off that ruins it for the other 9!