Can I face a Firing Squad Rather Than Socialize?

I got pulled into this social cook out thingie at R’s tonight by his missus. First I think, okay, then and the grandkid, fine. Only to learn it will be his kids, their kids and spouses, her kids, their kid, and spouses…Jebus. These people know how crowds are a trigger for me and yet like everyone else they assume, You know everyone, you’ve been here before, no big deal. With social anxiety disorder and panic disorder it never ceases to be a big deal. At this moment I am trying to come up with some lavish yet plausible ailment that could keep me from going. Ebola, plague, cooties, I don’t care, just…Ten people, even if I half ass know them, it’s still too much of a trigger, especially at this juncture in time when I am still recovering from Latuda. (Which, BTW, even the website that gives side effects specifically says there *can* be withdrawal thus it must be tapered off, I think my shrink is comatose or something.)

I really don’t view social gatherings as anything as grueling and miserable. It’s not attitude. I’m a solitary person and I like small ish gatherings with a couple of people I am familiar with. Pull in ten people, eight of which I know only vaguely, and well, why not just throw me under a speeding bus? And of course, inevitably the “You’re being so dramatic, get over it” comment. If I could get over it, I wouldn’t need a fucking shrink and ten fucking meds to do what everyone else can do by simply opening their eyes. It’s not behavioral. It’s not some sort of laziness thing. I am TERRIFIED of social events. Unfortunately, my terror manifests physically and I can, and have, and do, sometimes hyperventilate, puke, and make everyone around me very ill at ease which is one more stresser I don’t need So pardon me if I’m not all gum drops and rainbows about going out, I’ll leave that to the shiny happy people who don’t break out in a cold sweat just by leaving their home. (Yeah, that happened to me this morning, I was fine, then I went to do battle with the dish, and BAM, instant panic and paranoia attack. Panxiety. And yeah, I faced it down and lived to tell but it never makes it less of a trauma.)

I WANT so desperately to enjoy these things that others do, that are supposed to bring me pleasure and a sense of belonging and comfort. But it simply doesn’t. I’m not *that* person. My interests are solitary and being alone, rather than being some sort of disorder or avoidance, is simply what makes me most content. I know I can’t self isolate and I have to make an effort which is precisely why I put myself through shit like this. So some jackass can’t say I’m not even trying. I am trying. And I don’t want to because demmit, this is my alone mommy night and I actually resent giving up even a couple of hours to go eat cook out food (which I don’t like and yet will say I do, to avoid hurt feelings), get bitten by bugs (outdoors is evil when you’re allergic, to well, nature) and oh, yeah, be surrounded by elitist twenty somethings who are already picking out college for their toddlers and yapping about Facebook and how twerking with lollipops and rolls of toilet paper is trending.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Thing is, I haven’t hung out with Mrs R in two months, I turned down her last invite because I was having mommy night. And since she asked me personally, face to face, said she really wanted to hang out…I agreed. Yet everything that is supposed to be so damned good for my mental health, as per society’s sheeple mentality and the professionals’ “one size fits all” theory turns out to detract rather than add anything positive. I’m just not comfortable with a lot of people. I’m fine with a couple or four people I know fairly well and have common ground with. But getting stuck with a bunch of pampered “we have college degrees and good jobs and we are so much better than you” types…Icky. Had I known they were all going to be there I’d have gotten cramps real fast.  I got hoodwinked, goddamn it.

Less than ninety minutes before I am due. I am itchy, twitchy, and the neighborhood dogs are having a barkathon while Alchemy mewls his heart out inciting Absinthe to do the same and OMG, the noise is already too much let alone dealing with a bunch of people I have nothing in common with. I’ve been pasting on the happy normal face for weeks now just to survive the depression and the Latuda, and now I’ve got to go do it again all in the name of being social for my own good. SUCH A CROCK OF SHIT.

Ya know, I might have a different attitude if I were ever treated with anything but derision by the professionals. “You have to go out, you have to be around people, you have to lean on your family for support. Stop drinking, get exercise, gets lots of sun,lay off the pop, drink water, BLAH BLAH BLAH.”

I’ve done everything they told me would cure me and I am still broken as fuck. And their meds are making me more broken. Rather than feel entitled to let myself heal, I feel beholden to paste on the happy face and go be social because to do anything less than what is expected by professionals would make me eeeevil and lazy. Is it any wonder I’m misanthropic? I’m never given the choice to seek out company, I’m told I HAVE to for my own good and thus…It’s miserable. This is not for my own good. My own good would be staying home and reading a book while huffing fluffy kittens.

I AM going to go. Ninety minutes, tops. Enough to be polite, force some awkward smiles, and not hurt Mrs. R’s feelings. Beyond that…I got nothing.

Sometimes I think being forced to fake happiness is worse than simply not feeling it. At least when I say I don’t feel it, it’s honest.

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4 Responses to “Can I face a Firing Squad Rather Than Socialize?”

  1. Goodness, I feel ya… Anxiety is a f****** bitch most of the time, I could have written a lot of that my self. Uuhh!!
    Hang in there. You are SO much stronger than you think!!!

  2. I hear you. I got out of a family trip this weekend. Stay strong!

  3. I’m sorry! I feel ya as well ~ Ugh! I’m isolating (more & more lately).

  4. I feel that way too about socializing. I even panic when I know the people because I don’t know what is going to happen. I hate driving and I hate people in person until I know them well. Crowds kill me. I am liable to come up with an illness we don’t want to spread around.

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