Agonising over Socialising

I have a dinner meeting coming up in a high end restaurant, now I’m a burger and fries kinda guy when I eat out. I never try foods I don’t know, just in case I have some sort of reaction to it. The thought of having to be carried out of a restaurant on a stretcher just doesn’t appeal to me, I know that’s a ridiculous thought but hey that’s anxiety for you, always full of blue flashing lights and drama.

My real fear on this occasion is what to order. It’s a business type deal so I won’t be going to my safe burger option and if I order something else that I’m not familiar with how do I know it’s good? Does that sound odd? Well yes I know it is odd but my thinking here is, if I order a fish dish for example, I don’t know what it should taste like. It may taste awful, but maybe it’s supposed to. What if it’s gone off, I won’t know. I could be eating rotten fish and not have a clue! OK that’s extreme. But I do know someone who drank the finger bowl as their starter while on a date. So it’s certainly not unheard of.

It also makes it hard to send anything back, is it cooked? Is it raw? Who knows? Does gazpacho come with bread? Can it be heated up in a microwave? Oh maybe I should just pretend I’m sick!


Hey! I’m writing this as I’m heading out the door, I was going to say “I’m literally writing this as I’m heading out the door”, but I refuse to be one of those people who are literally doing everything like right now!

I’m going out on the town, not for beers I haven’t had a drink in many years – I always feel the need to complete that sentence by saying “Not that I have a drink problem I just don’t drink” I really shouldn’t have to justify why I don’t drink but people are waiting for me to tell why I don’t when I say it – I’m actually heading to an open mic night again. It has done wonders for my self-confidence and seems to play with my anxiety in a way I’ve never felt before, it’s goading it to come out and try it’s best to stop me, but when I get up in front of people it retreats back into it’s dark corner somewhere in my head.

Now let me tell you I am not funny, my act is all over the place, it’s clunky and doesn’t flow. I thought it was great until I first performed it, things that seem funny and witty in your head aren’t when they come out of your mouth!

To be honest I don’t really care, it’s all part of getting better and I can’t see any other way of getting better than showing off your worst. I tend to laugh at myself and that makes me vulnerable to the audience who  end up on my side and I just talk to them. I don’t talk about anything serious I talk about me. I talk about my anxiety and panic.

My very first joke after I explained about my anxiety was to ask the audience not to look at me as I performed as I won’t feel the pressure of everyone looking at me, and if I fall over not to worry it’s just a panic attack. But if I don’t get up after about 4 minutes then call an ambulance. You can never be too carefree!

To be honest it got one laugh. And that was out of pity. I think I’d have preferred the ambulance.

At the time my biggest fear was that I’d provoke the crowd in to heckling me, but it never happened. Goes to show your biggest fear may never become a reality. So what’s all the panic about?

Finding a new path

Anxiety has been a heavy weight I’ve had to push around for quite a long time now, it used to keep me from doing things. But the day I decided I’m going to take grasp of it as tightly as possible and ride the wave where ever it may take me was the day the weight was lightened. Lightened. Not gone.

Now I find it’s actually helped me in finding new stuff in my life. Maybe not in the same way I envisaged, but it has sent me down paths I never thought I’d venture.