Confession: I have been known to skip social events if I anticipate “ice-breakers” there.
So this one time two and a bit years ago (actually can I just round that up to three years to distance myself from the event please?) it was the start of second year of college, and it was the first Christian Union meeting of the new academic year. For the sake of the newly starting AS students we had ice-breakers. It was the “Tell people two truths and a lie about yourself and they guess what the lie is” game. I could not think of stuff on the spot just like that, especially not when I ended up having to play it in a group with a guy I had had the worst crush of my life on for like a year so far (and been too awk to talk to). I had written poems and diary entries galore about this guy, drawn his name in bubble writing, got into cheesy songs I previously had hated, the whole cringey lot, so now I was embarrassed before it even got to my turn to try and spin some witty little truths and lies.
I let the two other guys say theirs first obvs. I knew both of them already because we had been in the same English Language in the previous academic year. They were good mates with each other by now but I didn’t sit so near Continue reading “Why I hate ice-breakers”
…Technically yesterday, because I just looked at the time and it’s 1:30am.
So yeah, I didn’t really feel nervous in the build up to it. Frankly I was looking forward to the openness of being around other students at my uni with anxiety. Although I may have freaked out slightly about 10 minutes before when I wanted to just triple check the lecture theatre it was in on the uni emails and the system was glitching and not giving me access. But after going to The Base and uncomfortably asking the receptionist to double check, I got to the right place and was on time.
I put on a very collected demeanor and walked into the lecture theatre. I noticed a lot of students sitting there looking absolutely on edge. I didn’t see anyone I recognised, which was a bit disapointing. I wrote a name badge and took a questionnaire and sat down on one of the front rows. There was a girl sitting on her own there and I internally debated whether to go by the usual unspoken rule of l Continue reading “First Group CBT Thing was Today”
One thing I felt really guilty about until recently was the fact I worry so much, even though the Bible has a clear message of “Don’t worry”. I was scared of what this says about the strength of my faith. And I can’t say I’ve figured it out yet.
But when I was messaging a friend of mine who also has Anxiety recently and we were talking about this, she said something that I couldn’t believe I’d missed. When Jesus said not to worry about things, he didn’t say that as some kind of be all and end all command. He meant it more as a comforting sort of “You don’t need to worry because I’m here”.
So I can stop worrying about the fact I keep worrying, because my worry isn’t exactly disobedience. By all means, it’s something I need to work on, but it’s not something I have to feel guilty about any more; that’s certainly not how God would want me to feel about it.
So I got invited to join some group CBT sessions the the university are doing on Wednesdays for the next three weeks. Initially I freaked out when I opened the email, as it was completely unexpected, but now I’m feeling pretty positive about it. It will be something new and not unwelcome to be in a group of people my own age who have this kind of thing, not having to feel apologetic if I’m shy with new people because that’s kind of the issue we’re here about. Heck, I might even make friends. Or everyone will just be horrendously awkward with each other, including me. I can imagine a lot of the other people coming will be bricking it. Either way “It’ll be an experience” eh?
In what’s-your-favourite-poem class (conventionally known as English Literature):
Seminar tutor asks if we’ve all picked lines of Wordworth’s The Prelude which we liked to talk about in class, as requested in an email nobody remembers from before the Christmas holidays. Up until this point I’ve been thinking I’m fairly well prepared. But no, I haven’t picked lines, poem too long to relocate the bits that stood out to me now. Try anyway. Flick rapidly through the pages of this poem as quietly as possible. Everyone else sits in silence also hoping they won’t get picked to talk about something. Creeping gut feeling she’s about to pick me.
“Did you pick anything Charlotte?” Gut feeling confirmed.
Me: “I remember seeing lines that I liked…” flick even more desperately through The Prelude, hating the uncomfortable class silence, ‘I’ll find something…’
Keep scanning pages for something, why do none of the bits I annoted earlier on the bus seem verbalisable to me? Dilemma what to pick. Th Continue reading “Being Put on the Spot in Class”
So a year and a bit ago I wrote this blog post about having a dilemma regarding whether to open up to people about having social anxiety. That was just before I started uni. I’ve been at uni forever and a day now. So update time it is.
So I started uni and everything was surprisingly hunky dory with that. Not that social anxiety went away or anything, it just was a lot better than expected. I also went to the counselling people as I had been planning to do once I had moved away to uni, and I went there for 10 weeks.
The first time I opened up about social anxiety with someone in my everyday life was shortly after starting this, because I was meeting up with the pastor’s wife from my new church in my university town every week to study the Bible and pray. So when prayer requests were being bashed around it seemed fitting to mention anxiety, which really didn’t turn out to be that painful a thing to do. I was objective and undramatic about it, I just said how it was and she completely understood and prayed about it.
Then in the summer just gone I was talking to someone I’ve been friends with since school days on snapchat and she casually made a comment about her social anxiety and fear about this phone call she had to make. So I asked if she was serious about having social anxiety, and so she said how she had Generalised Anxiety which included social anxiety for her and she’d just been put on medication for it. So I shared about my own social anxiety too and we had a really long conversation about both our experiences. We talked about it some more recently. She is starting to work towards a career in politics so mental health is one of the things she wants to campaign for, so sometimes she asks me for ideas, and I love to try and contribute these. We’ve been friends like 10 years now so it’s pretty surreal to find we both have these experiences with anxiety and can share both our points of view with each other (that sounds like I’m pleased she has anxiety though, I’m not I swear).
I haven’t opened up to the entire world about having anxiety like I envisioned in that earlier blog post. The thought is still tempting at times but I haven’t deemed it necessary so I haven’t done that, so far. So far I’ve opened up about it to 3 people. The third happened like last week, that was much more of a big deal and incredibly challenging to do, so recounting this episode is something I’ll talk about in an upcoming blog post I think 😛
Anyway, hooray. I must do coursework now so TTFN.
So we got invited to meet up with some extended family for what I realised was the first time in my life around Christmas/ New Year’s (let’s start the post on a melodramatic note, why not?).
I feel like I’m still adjusting to actually knowing these relatives. I only saw them a couple of times before Age 12 and in the nine years since then, I’ve only seen them very occasionally. After this age and especially after age 16 I was of course getting very socially awkward. I’ve had social anxiety around this lot in particularly quite badly, and that’s possibly because I’ve been so anxious for them to get a good impression of me. And they are a family of ten siblings while I’m awkward penguin only child.
Anyway, this is how it went.
We went first to my cousin C’s farmhouse where she lives with her husband and kids. At first the three of us were stood in her kitchen talking to her. My mum and C get along really well. To her and and the other relatives this side my Dad is regarded as an oddball (that’s the main reason I’m aware of for aforementioned fallouts) when in fact he has mild Asperger’s and an intellectual, quirky personality that just contrasts dramatically with their practical, straight-thinking personalities. And from their perspective, I must be the Continue reading “I saw Family at Christmas and it was Interesting”