I don’t know if it’s like the drastically changing season here or something, but I’m feeling a bit down, like I need to hibernate for a while. Maybe I exhausted a lot of energy lately and it’s catching up to me.
Life’s not always peachy and I’m feeling a bit anxious about many things but I’m also excited (but starting to stress about all the things I need to do) about my future wedding. There are many days where I feel the genuine peaks of happiness but then an occasional wave of depression hits and I feel exhausted.
Whatever it is, this autumn anxiety is real and I want to acknowledge it. I know I have been a bit absent from this blog after I broke my streak, but I think those breaks were needed. I don’t necessarily owe anyone an explanation why I haven’t been blogging that much, but I want to continue to acknowledge my mental illness if it makes someone out there feel less alone. 7 years ago, I made a conscious effort to deal with GAD unmedicated and I don’t regret it but some days are hard.
It’s holiday season. That means tons of social events with work, family and friends. My life has a lot of that stuff in general but around the holidays, a lot of it can be condensed into a short period of time.
What a lot of people don’t seem to know – and I have definitely improved on – is my social anxiety.
I often feel like my mind has left my body and am watching myself feeling like a tomato in a room full of potatoes.
That was probably a bizarre comparison but I often feel like everyone is so confident with small talk (or talking in general) that I don’t know what to say. Or worse it comes out as verbal diarrhea.
The thing I realized is: I’m not alone.
I had a meet up the other day and an artist that I was hanging out with, who is a totally badass performer live had the same shyness and anxieties in the room that I did. We talked to each other about being afraid to chat with people but then proceeded to think of opening lines. It was kind of fun to know that someone else was having similar reservations, especially someone who is super confident on stage.
We met and bonded with some new people. It’s totally okay to be a ball of nervous energy.
I’m having a weird day where everything is trigger an internal panic attack. Right now, I don’t know if sitting at home is better. I can’t find my mail key and probably won’t stop frantically looking if I stay here. I spilled a trail of coffee down the hallway this morning. A bug scared the hell out of me in my apartment.
Tiny things add up and although sometimes I value the alone time to cry, or relax or whatever, going out has it’s values of forgetting the dumb things that I am currently anxious about.
So off I go to a Simpsons Halloween marathon and a concert!
I spent Thanksgiving with my 3 fav dudes. We didn’t really do anything but sit around the whole day, which in the body of somebody who is a big ball of anxiety is like really hard to do. I can’t be not doing anything.
I took a lot of naps, pet the dog a bunch, watched Netflix comedy specials, finished Stranger Things (it was so good). Sometimes it’s good to let your brain turn off (or at least try), for a few days.
Yesterday I went to a Jazz Cartier secret show as an invited guests. Other people cryptically texted a number in a photo and went through a series of clues to get in. As soon we entered, we were told there was no photos or video to be taken. No snapchat or anything allowed.
“Aw crap,” I thought as I had come to this event alone, not knowing if anyone I was familiar with would be attending. After-all it was an exclusive event.
We walked up the stairs to people dressed as hotel stewards, who took our names and coats. On the tables were typewriters as well as roses. The setup was elaborately thought off for the album launch. I absorbed it all in with my eyes instead of my phone.
I had a bit of anxiety trying to figure out what to do since I didn’t see any of my friends around and I couldn’t have a camera to keep me distracted before the show started so I started to talk to people and met some new folks.
I’ve been in the industry for a years now but I still get anxious talking to new people. I’ll have weird thoughts like what if they hate me? or am I wearing the wrong shoes? or how do I not talk about the weather? Like all things, these diminish with practice and I do want to get better at it. The easiest thing is to go somewhere where no cameras are allowed, failing that, just putting the phone down for a little bit is enough.
Today in Canada, it is Mental Health Awareness Day. Every call, text, and tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk will contribute 5 cents towards mental health initiatives in Canada. Let’s end the negative stigma surrounding mental health, it’s not something that just happens to outcasts or weird people. Friends and family can go through the same thing and being open to the conversation can be a life-changer.
I filmed a Vlog to be a part of the conversation and to let people know that they are not alone.