It's officially the time of year where my quiet little calendar tends to look more like a child's coloring book, especially once I've penciled in all the holiday events we're supposed to juggle. Honestly, I dread all of it. Holiday events are, by definition, social gatherings, so if you're like me — anxious as hell — you'll understand the struggles only a mom with social anxiety can understand. It's not like we have a switch where we can go from introvert-mode to "life of the party," although that sure would make every event I'm obligated to attend a little less traumatizing.
I've been anxiety-ridden for as long as I can remember, but I was only diagnosed with an anxiety disorder a couple years ago. Looking bak at, basically, my whole life, it makes sense. While I can and do get stressed over the smallest things, it's the situations that have anything to do with a social setting that really affects me. Parties, concerts; hell, even going to the grocery store can be challenging.
Anxiety is complicated and frustrating. I always fear being judged by those who don't get it, or get me. I can look outside myself long enough to understand that my behavior might seem weird, illogical, or confusing to those who don't live with anxiety. Yes, I want to be invited to your party; no, I probably won't go; yes, I'll have a major fear of missing out (FOMO). Then again, I might just go to your party, but I'll spend the whole time wishing I hadn't. See what I mean? When you throw kids into the mix, it gets even more complicated, especially when I'm forced to go to their school events. I'm proud of them, but it's a real drag.
On the note, here are some of the struggles only a mom with social anxiety can understand. Half the battle is finding the courage to admit these struggles are real, these struggles are valid, and these struggles are part of the daily lives of so many other moms. #Solidarity