(First: I wrote something yesterday for conflicted Conservatives in Alabama. If you know any, could you share it before we vote tomorrow? I’d love to make sure those conservatives who dislike Moore don’t waste their votes by writing in a different Republican or skipping voting all together.)
ATTENTION! I lost my coverage for therapy so this is Kim’s therapy session and you all are my therapists.
You are welcome.
I’ve told you all the story before about my terrible behavior in my early 20s and how it all caught up to me and I (for good reason) lost all my friends and was stuck in a town where I couldn’t escape my sins. The perfect moment was when I walked up to a grew of people I knew who were hacky-sacking between classes and I was going to join in (like I was prone to do) and they were talking about how terrible of a person I was and how my kid was doomed with me as his Mom. And they weren’t exactly wrong.
That was the birth of my social anxieties that I’ve spent the last few years trying to overcome.
Well, we’ve had some drama in our local running/tri community over the last year and watching it unfold and watching people take sides and hearing the “He said,” and “She said,” crap has really triggered all of my social anxieties that I’ve fought so hard to overcome. I was called a bully for my “role” in it (which was non-existent, I can assure you) and I now hear that accusation in my head on a daily basis. The difference this time is that I have done absolutely NOTHING WRONG and it turns out when you have done nothing wrong? This shit is even harder to deal with.
I can’t go anywhere now in the running/tri community without fighting extreme anxieties and voices in my head thinking, “But where does THIS person fall? Do they think I’m a bully? Has this person been trash-talking people I respect and care for? Has this person been trash-talk ME? Does this person believe the lies that have been making the rounds? Does this person believe lies about ME?”
To say it has ruined my life is not really an understatement.
Y’all know I love volunteering at races, right? Well this weekend was the marathon and for the first time in years I didn’t volunteer at it. Now, I was there. I was there outside for five hours cheering on my friends in the cold, because I still support my friends, but I didn’t want to be an official volunteer because my social anxieties have catapulted into extreme levels and I find myself really struggling to be in groups of active members of this community and not having the voices inside my head working overtime to push me into hiding.
I’m even struggling with my Sunday running group. Now, part of that is this respiratory crap which will NOT go away, but part of me is happy it won’t go away because even that group – which is my heart and soul – causes me anxiety when regulars from the running community show up. Regulars who have said to me directly that I’m part of the problem with this drama. And seeing them makes me focus 100% on not crying because my feelings are SO VERY HURT and it’s really hard to lead a running group when you are trying not to cry. And it’s really hard to commit to ANYTHING when the people who make you want cry might show up.
The difference between now and in my 20s is that I know I’ve done nothing wrong, but there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about it. And even worse, people I respect are being trash talked and I can’t do anything about that either. I’m supposed to take the “high road” which is really hard and makes the physical manifestations of my social anxieties skyrocket, and this is exactly why I avoid it all.
But I don’t want this to be the case. I want to run with groups again. I want to attend social events and meetings and not have the voices in my head working against me. And I don’t want my heart to hurt so much over this stuff. The crazy thing is, there are people who are getting seriously trashed in all of this and they can continue to do their jobs and be part of the community, and so why can’t I? Obviously they don’t suffer from crippling social anxieties, but THEY SHOULD!
So, blog readers. What would my therapist tell me to do?