Friday, May 22, 2015

Social Anxiety..

Nobody truly understands just what I accomplished or rather what God accomplished last night at my preschoolers graduation party...

No one with out social anxiety that is.

Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. You could say social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people.  It is a pervasive disorder and causes anxiety and fear in most all areas of a person's life.  It is chronic because it does not go away on its own.  Only direct cognitive-behavioral therapy can change the brain, and help people overcome social anxiety.

Triggering Symptoms

People with social anxiety usually experience significant distress in the following situations:
  • Being introduced to other people
  • Being teased or criticized
  • Being the center of attention
  • Being watched or observed while doing something
  • Having to say something in a formal, public situation
  • Meeting people in authority ("important people/authority figures")
  • Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations ("I don’t know what to say.")
  • Embarrassing easily (e.g., blushing, shaking)
  • Meeting other peoples’ eyes
  • Swallowing, writing, talking, making phone calls if in public
This list is not a complete list of symptoms -- other symptoms may be associated with social anxiety as well.

 Here is my list the things that make me shake, and short of breath and anxious, have panic attacks, cry, flush, feel sick...or be annoying to my friends and family...granted some of these make most people uncomfortable but does it render them useless or just make them uneasy??

* People waiting in line behind me, at a bank if it's not a quick in and out, at a grocery store , (I'm the one that if the isle is blocked I turn around and go around or somewhere else rather then say excuse me.) at an event if people are waiting to eat that I know need to get going(like at graduation last night.) Being in the restroom and knowing someone is waiting to use the it....Normal everyday activities, and situations that you can not avoid...if someone is standing behind me waiting I would rather say "don't worry about it I'll do it later and leave" than finish up and make people wait who might be in a hurry or getting annoyed with me. Even if i have a right to do what I'm doing and it's really not talking that long at all...

*Sending food back at a restaurant..I just don't do it, I just can't.

*Ordering over the phone

*Crowds in general

*If I know anyone is upset with me or don't like me for ANY reason. (makes my job rough sometimes when it comes to parents and teacher relationships...)

*When I mess something up (like CD's with pictures for my parents...)

*Public restrooms

*Standing up at a conference/church/staff meeting/movie... to go to the restroom in a room full of people sitting (hence I'm real good at holding it). Even when you are told at the start of the conference that you can go at anytime...(I've put garbage in my purse rather than stand up and find a trash can before).

*Asking for help at a store finding something

*Asking for the price of something at a yard sale (haggling for me is out of the question).

*Going to an event and not knowing where exactly I'm going/parking/what door to use....

*Small talk

*Addressing a crowed (Drama was okay I had lines) Being in front of people doesn't seem to bother me as much as being the only one talking to a group of people.

*Parties where I don't know everyone really really well.

*Parties I'm in charge of much larger then 6 people even if I do know them well.

*Phone someone I don't know really really well or at all. Nor can I talk on the phone if anyone is in the room with me. the fear of dialing the wrong number...Voice mail...nope.

*Working on projects in a small group where if i mess up i mess up everyone's grade/job/whatever/ committees its not that I don't want to do be on them or help....its just that I can't.

*Getting somewhere too early, or too late.

*Hosting anything more than a couple friends over to hang out...ever.

*Ice Breaking activities with strangers, small or large group.

*Being called on or singled out in class/ staff meeting.

*Resort vacations (lots of people) hence most of our vacations are camping/hiking.

* A host of other things I haven't connected yet that I do almost everyday.

As for my symptoms that's easy I just never knew so many of them were connected to such different situations...

panic/ panic attacks
short breath/dizzy
red face/ skin
obsessing (for example I found out people don't like the way I dance and I can't seem to get over it and honestly dancing has not been as much fun in months because of it) its irrational and I know that but it's where I'm at.
An over whelming desire to hide...or leave...or not go. (these often win if I have a choice)
(I would not be surprised if my insomnia has something to do with this as well)

Sometimes at the end of a party like last weekend (actually last weekend went pretty okay...) or an event like last night's I'm so physically and emotionally drained from trying to hold myself together I'm basically broken.  God always get's me through...I don't know what I would have done last night without him...

I normally end up feeling like a bad friend because I say no to parties wither it be baby showers/31/Mary Kay or just a party...

I normally end up saying no when invited out to bars, or events...

I normally end up saying no..or I say yes when I'm invited on a good day but by the time the actually day comes around it's a bad one and I back out.

I normally ALWAYS feel like a bad friend to everyone.

Believe me I've been trying...I've gotten better at dealing with the feelings (they are not gone or at all better, I'm just better at dealing with them) Hence the party last weekend wasn't bad and that is an encouraging thought,  and in other cases like dancing it's gotten worse.

I think it's this that holds me back with my co-workers as well...I'm so socially's painful both physically and mentally.

At cowboy up I'm good if it's not Sat but it took me darn near 5 years to even TRY to really get to know the regulars out there...6+ years... I missed out on 6+ years of some pretty wonderful people because well...because I'm me.

I found a thing on facebook that really got me paying attention to my triggers and why I react the way I do. I really liked it though the pictures were a little much. Yet these things are what I wish i could get my friends to least some of these things. It's not that i don't like you or want to spend time with you...its not even your fault it's painful.

I'm usually the one who sees anything buzzfeed and goes this is going to be awful/judgmental/or offensive. this one was okay. I click on any buzzfeed article with a critical eye and more often then not learn more from the comments then the article...

I always knew I had social problems that I was at least awkward...but as time goes on I would not be surprised if I were diagnosed with moderate social anxiety disorder. In my research they say it can be diagnosed normally in adolescence but major symptoms show themselves in the early 20's right around the age I had my first panic attack. That it will more then likely progress and get worse...I also read that exposing yourself to the situations that make you anxious really doesn't help...

I'm not a big doctor person but if we ever get life figured out I may try behavioral therapy...until then I'll continue to learn my triggers prepare myself for the situation and trust in God to get me through when I fall apart just like he did last night when I almost started crying. I'm just really tired of feeling like a bad friend, an outsider at my job, and uncomfortable line dancing which is one of my favorite things.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Let's all hurt together.

I told myself I wasn't going to do this this year, write that blog. There are so many better blogs out there on this subject. So vastly better then the words stuck in my heart and the back of my eyes. But here I am, time is marching on to another Mothers Day weekend that dreaded second Sunday if May, and I'm writing that blog.

 It's a hard day, it's a hurting day, it's defiantly a struggle. No flowers, cards, or breakfast in bed for us. When you are even more painfully aware that desires of your heart have yet to be granted.  But we have to remember that it's not our fault, it's most certainly not the fault of the amazing mommies being honored. We have to remember it's no ones fault when you go to church, or out to eat and instead of standing up as a mother you remain seated with your head bowed blinking back tears. Instead of being handed a flower you force a smile and walk past...

You have to remember that it's okay...they deserve this...and it's not that you don't.

Because we do... We fight everyday with the lose of what is considered a right of passage for woman. Even if we still have hope and un-shaking faith that it will still change..we fight to keep even that hope. It's real and it's crippling...and on Mothers Day it's all but impossible.

So to the lovely lady in the back of the church, or sitting at a table with your family and their kids, or buying a gift for your own mommy, or even that single lady still waiting for Mr. Right. For all you teachers like myself, helping a classroom full of kids make a mothers day gift, knowing you don't have a child in a classroom making one for you... those with hurts and loses and empty wombs and shattered dreams. THIS IS FOR YOU....

WE are special,

God knows we're strong,  and we deserve to be honored. Hold your head up, remember; they deserve it and so do you. Remember this mothers day we have hope in a future no matter WHAT that future holds. The promises and blessings of Mothers Day are ours as well. Reach beyond yourself and encourage a mother, for they have their own set of hurts. Please, encourage yourself to acknowledge your emotions, the hurt, and please don't feel guilty for them because you are not alone in your pain. We are strong so often that now and then we are allowed to be weak.

Further more, all you lovely, blessed, mothers out there who do so much everyday with out any recognition often all alone. Enjoy your day, God knows you deserve it. Remember those of us who can only watch from the outside...On a day we often feel the most alone and forlorn...encourage us as you are being encouraged.

Because "in the shelter of each other we will live." lets build each other up, lets hurt in our own ways, and carry each others crosses. We are how we treat each other nothing more.


Monday, May 4, 2015

I'm done being ineffective....

" Life as a Christian is one of constant repentance." ~Martin Luther~

A hard prayer to pray...

"Father, show me what I need to change to better reflect you"

This short, simple prayer can be one of the most powerful and painful prayers you pray.
Even if you think  you're doing great...

Things you need to know when you pray this prayer

1. He will show you your weakness, over and over again until you get it. through conversations, meditation, sermons, songs, other peoples trials, or even in the way other people treat you. If you don't get it fast...if you're not open to will show in your daily life. In your peace or lack there of.

2. He will give you the strength to start to change it.

3. The change will not be complete over night, or in a week, or month, and so far in my case not even a year. I'm willing to bet not in a life time but you will notice changes as long as you consciously try.

4. Peace with yourself will come the instant you "get it" and start praying to change it

5. The same flaws have a way of showing themselves in different forms.

6 It hurts, it hurts your pride, it hurts your self esteem...but that hurt will make us better instruments for the Lords work, when we come to realize we are not any better than ANYONE else. A vine will not grow good fruit in perfect soil under perfect conditions. It must be pruned/stressed to bare fruit.

7. Don't pray this prayer if you don't want to change.

The first year I prayed this at the start of the year...I spent the rest of the year and am still learning just how selfish I am. Loud and clear in the still small voice in my head, in the moment after you said or did something selfish that caused me to pause. Selfishness.

The next year I prayed this and spent the rest of the year trying to be aware of my complaining. Which I soon discovered was rooted in selfishness, and so in other words I was still focusing on being selfless.

This year had taken me much longer than past years to get the answer. I'm sure I had it fast and just didn't listen to it or didn't want to, or because I haven't been as plugged into Jesus as before maybe my heart couldn't hear it. Boy do I have it loud and clear now. Guess what...that funk I've been in for near a month, is gone.

The verdict...Judging and guess what, it's rooted in selfishness.
Like I said, it's not a quick fix its a life long battle.

Now, if you are a regular reader you were probably like DUH most of my blogs this year have been about Judging. now I know to be aware of what I write about, it's usually pointing back at me.

So, whats next.
1. Find the cause, the triggers...In this case the negativity that surrounds me. Due to circumstances this fight could be much harder then if I lived in my own home. Is a large part of the reason I want my own place so bad.

2. Plug in. Spend time in prayer, and reflecting on God's word pray for the open mind and heart to understand what he wants you to do next. The  more I pray and reflect the more I get an idea of how to deal with it.

3. Do as he suggests (in my case nudges a little thought or idea) my first steps..Apologies, honestly this part terrifies me, because I have seriously done so much damage hiding behind self-righteousness. Boy does it hurt to admit that. However, often in life apologizing for being in the wrong is the only way to find peace. Even if the person doesn't forgive you. This time its mainly one person...I'm sure there are others but to start with I know it my heart its one specific person.

No one likes to feel judged and looked at. I'm sorry if I have ever made anyone feel such before. I struggle line dancing now, when certain people are there because I feel that they are Judging me. Knowing they don't approve of how I dance makes me uncomfortable and a little angry.
Is that how I make someone else feel? I sure want to stop if I do, but sometimes you get to a point where you're not sure how to fix it. You didn't even realize you were making them feel like that to start with, and they haven't said so at least not to you.

This is where trust comes in.

However, I know perfectly well I'm not to skirt away from the morals of my beliefs to make myself or anyone else comfortable. I have to stand by my beliefs I have to try to show them a better way, with out using those beliefs as a justification for bad actions and thoughts (as I have had in my heart.)  For judging someone else's life choices even when they go against belief isn't the right way to show them the way the truth and the life... because obviously NO one is perfect and obviously that is not love. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. 

I have no clue the inner working's of her heart, but I have a guild in God's word and a guess because, from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Our actions, our attitude our willingness to do the right thing selflessly, humbly, out of love reflects a heart anchored in the word. A reminder for everyone.

and just because you can't see it, or its not there at the moment doesn't it will always be that way.

 This does not make them a bad person, nor does this mean they would not be able to do the job elsewhere. This doesn't even mean we can't be friends or that they have no hope for their faith walk..It simply means they do not need to be in a position heading, or partially heading the churches main mission outreach based on where they are right now in their life. period. It's not personal it's a church thing.

Anywhere outside of my church I have no leg to stand on I understand that, I'm glad she works for my church if your're lost, or not sure, or don't know what to do it's a great place to start.

Nor do I have to show pity for someone dealing with the consequences of their poor choices, I also do not think they would want me to do that. It helps no one.  Show them Jesus yes, Love yes, encouragement yes, help yes, friendship yes...but pity no. Life is hard, and we all make choices and then have to live with them. Welcome to being an adult in a sinful and imperfect world. I know it sucks.

"This little light of the shelter of each other, we will live" I haven't been a very good shelter.

No more "why them and not me"...

No more silent condemnation, instead of showing Jesus love.

No more will these feelings and thoughts have any foot hold in me.

" I'm bankrupt without love"

I'm done being ineffective.

My Father the Gardner is pruning me so I can be productive in Christ.

Some bible verses that have been part of sermons the last few weeks that have played a part in bringing me to attention.

~Romans 11:18~
~John 15:1-8~

I'm broken....but I can mend.

You're prayers would be appreciated.