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It took me a long time to figure it out, but I realized recently (within the past few  years) that I suffer from anxiety. It’s not a huge, debilitating thing for me…but it’s there. I get really anxious in new-to-me situations – especially if it’s something where I won’t know anybody. I don’t remember being this way when I was younger…I do recall a few things in college, but it never seemed like much then (stuff like not wanting to go to a party alone. I figured that was just normal…)

I think the event that made me realize this is more than just “normal nerves” was my first attempt to go to a Mom’s of Twins meeting. And granted, I’m sure all of my hormones were off and I was sleep deprived, so I’m going to guess that had a lot to do with it at the time…but it was still an “ah ha!” moment for me (when I was able to look back on it anyway.) What happened you ask? I’ll tell you. I finally mustered up the courage to get out of the house and leave my kids (with Mike) for the evening to head out to a meeting. I was nervous about finding the place, but didn’t get lost – too many times anyway 😉  When I finally got to the location, I couldn’t find a place to park (not knowing there was an entire parking lot behind the building), so I gave up and went home. what?? Ya, you read that right. Not finding a parking spot was all it took to convince myself that I didn’t belong there anyway.

Luckily, the next time around I DID find a parking spot. So that bolstered my courage, but I didn’t know which door to go in, or where to go after I found that door…so I almost gave up again. I thought of my kids though, and how much this group would help them, and so went on with my search. (Thank goodness I did! I’ve met some wonderful ladies 🙂 )

My first PTO meeting for the kids’ school was much the same. I had to convince myself to go inside. I had to slow my breathing. I had to tell myself that the tightness in my chest and the alien baby in my stomach just waiting to get out were both silly and unnecessary (and yes, it felt like more than just butterflies 😛 ). I had to tell myself that I belonged at that meeting just as much as anyone else in there. (Imagine how I felt when I was the one presenting the workshop!!)

So, while I’m kind of thinking that all this anxiety started when I became a Mom…I’m also thinking that it’s actually my kids who are helping me through it. I mean, if my actions start impacting them (I don’t go to a Girl Scout meeting because I can’t find it easily and give up or something  silly like that), then that’s not fair.

5 Responses

  1. What? You mean that’s not normal?!? Just kidding. I have the same kind of anxiety. I’ve learned to live with it and power through it. My kids have it in spades and I’m working on helping them as well.

    We so have to get together again soon, but being so much alike, neither of us is going to set anything up. 🙂

  2. I can totally understand this, only sometimes it make life more difficult for me. Sometimes I will not go into new situations or I tend to be very quiet meaning that I don’t make friends very easily. You gave me a great idea to write a post on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration and letting me know I’m not the only one.

  3. OMG–Nancy–I go through the SAME THING ALL THE TIME! And it’s amazing to me that once I get the courage to “go”, I end up enjoying myself and thinking “See, this wasn’t bad! Why was I afraid/anxious?” I’m just as bad with phone calls…..

  4. I know exactly what you mean! My first (any only) COPE meeting I psyched myself up to go, almost didn’t go in once I got there, and when I did go in I had such a hard time breaking into the already formed friendships and conversations that I ended up sitting off to the side all night with no one talking to me. I haven’t been back since! I get anxious just thinking about how horrible it was!

  5. Oh Chantal! That’s terrible (I really hope that wasn’t at my house!!) I’m so sorry that you had that experience. 😦

    Seriously – try again…I think that sounds like a fluke! Or…let me know when you’re going – I’ll come and *I’LL* talk with you 🙂

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