Sep 25, 2007

Ending relationships

I just figured another SA quirk of mine. Another bulb was lit. What's nice about figuring these out is that once you realize what's going on, it becomes easy to recognize and easier to handle and it eventually goes away.

I mentioned that my doctor is leaving and I won't be seeing him. We had a very special relationship and it is sad.

However, when I first found out, I was thrilled. Whenever I am in a relationship, I am terrified by its ending. I don't enjoy what I have because I am scared of losing it. It was my nightmare that I will call to go see him with who knows what awful problem and I will find out that he's gone. Or that he will tell me that he doesn't want to see me anymore.

And this was so perfect. I am in a good place now, not many health-related issues lurking, nothing major going on, enough time to look for someone else, etc. What perfect timing! What opportunity to end a good relationship on good terms and put it on the shelf as a trophy and a proof that I can actually have a relationship.

So I am pretty good at starting a relationship, but then I am terrified that it will eventually end.

Even with my husband, I got confident enough lately that I am no longer scared of a divorce, I am pretty sure that we will separate by death, but I am often thinking about it. I don't wish it, but I am thinking at any moment what would I do if it happened. I need to be prepared for it at any time.

It's worse with friends. I am scared of commitment because I know that it will end. I'm afraid to start anything because I don't know how it will end and that I would lose everything I have.

Still around

I'm still around, but it's been some awful weeks. My whole family and I were sick for the last three weeks or so. Somewhere in the middle of this nightmare, I found out that my doctor is going to another hospital too far away from me. It seemed that there will be no end to the nightmare.

And today, the sun came out. I am on antibiotics and starting to smell things and feel good again, the baby gained enough weight and his cold is getting better too without antibiotics, and I am finally getting to a resolution to what I want in a new doctor. I even got a plan.

And to top it off nicely, my wonderful husband cooked dinner AND cleaned the kitchen this evening. Ladies, go away, he's taken!

Now, Dr. Rob is hosting the Ground Rounds next week, so I have until Sunday morning to come up with a good post.... so I need to get serious writing going!

Sep 20, 2007

Social Anxiety Friends

Another reader sent me a link for my commenter Jay P. Check this out

I registered yesterday and navigated a bit around. I got more hugs and welcome's than I am comfortable with, but it's a nice place. Does that prove that I have social anxiety or what?

Sep 17, 2007

A new friend

I have a new friend. I haven't had a "real" friend in a lot of years. I had friends that I wrote to, that I emailed or instant messaged with. I had friends that I met for a weekly event, like going to yoga twice a week, but that's about all. I had family friends that I could foist all the inviting/talking part to my husband.

I haven't had a "real" friend since college. And I am very confused and very shy about this role. All these problems that I never encountered: how will my husband react, how will her husband react, how will the world react? I should call... but when? what time is best? is it better to call when I am happy, unhappy or just when I am neither.

It's funny how I found the getting friends part really easy and entertaining. I did great and acted as if I had no anxiety at all. I had nothing to lose, but now that I won... I have so much to lose. And I feel stuck and scared.

Feels like listening to Beatles' Yesterday: "Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play!"

Marriage to a person with SA - comment

In response to my post below, Jay P commented that for some people with social anxiety getting married is only a dream. I will add the comment in its entirety, because it is very moving.

I will also change my profile to adress the fact that I only have mild social anxiety and that I apparently could quite easily overcome lots of problems. Even so, I made immense progress in the last year and I hope that this will encourage each of you SA sufferers to try to get to a point where social anxiety is affecting you less.

Many thanks, Jay, for your comment!

Jay P. said...
"Can you have a successful marriage with someone that has social anxiety? Apparently the most difficult thing is getting there - the whole socialising, dating thing." Exactly.Getting 'there' requires all the sorts of things that someone with social anxiety has difficulty facing. Such as those rather mundane, trivial things to everyone else like speaking, eye contact, and god forbid, being in a social context, anywhere!

Personally I've recently stooped to a new social anxiety low. I have more or less stopped speaking. I've begun to carry a small notebook around with me wherever I must go and if I am asked a question or even worst if I must ask a question, out it comes with pen in hand. Not surprisingly I've found that it limits conversation. Yes, thankfully shortens it.

I'm amazed that a relationship can develop when you're plagued with social anxiety. But don't get me wrong, I envy anyone that has.

It's not for a lack of good looks or intelligence that forbids me-likely anyone with social anxiety-from anything meaningful with the opposite sex. No, it's an apparent lack of personality under the guise of rudeness, insensitivity, even stupidity.

Of course my being is neither part nor sum of those things at all. It's all about being shy and how a sufferer is robbed of so many things in life because of it. A relationship, even marriage? Who'd even dare hope of such things?

Sep 15, 2007

Marriage with a person with SA

I occasionally see search strings about "husband with social anxiety" or the like. Can you have a successful marriage with someone that has social anxiety? After all, they might kill your own social life.

Apparently the most difficult thing is getting there - the whole socialising, dating thing. The two men that I ever dated I also married... I'm very efficient this way. Once married, people with social anxiety are apparently doing pretty well.

I think the key to making it is openness and communication. In my first marriage, we didn't communicate all that well and I think this is where it broke. It wasn't social anxiety that caused the break.

I told my current husband about social anxiety almost as soon as I knew what it was, and had him read a book about it. He got it and understood some of what was going on. Since then we both keep evolving and trying to understand what's going on. We talk a lot about my anxiety and find ways to help me.

It was important to realize that I need to be told ahead of time about plans for socializing and that I can refuse them. The simple fact that I can accept or refuse something made me comfortable enough that I hardly say no to anything these days.

Keep talking and being accepting of your social anxious friends or spouses and it will all be OK. Help them overcome their shyness, but be supportive when they can't and make sure you tell them when they are doing well in a social situation.