I wanted to be this guy tonight.
Instead, I am this guy-with tears attached.
I’ll start from the beginning.
Two weeks ago, I was invited to see “Sucker Punch” and have dinner from a friend of one of my best friends, The Owl. I automatically think to decline, since that is a social event and I can no longer do social events due to anxiety. A few days ago, my best friend SS says he and The Owl may be coming up from where they live (which is an hour away) to come to the dinner/movie and they want me to go. I say I’ll go if SS goes. He tells me he’ll let me know either way.
This morning I get a text saying “we’re going to collect you between 4:30 and 5:00”. I immediately tense up and text him back, “ACK I don’t know if I want to go…ever since you said you were coming up my stomach has been in knots being around all those people”.
Here’s the thing, people: when I have to leave the house I set up in my mind a million of the worst-case scenarios. At dinner, what if they ask me what I’ve been up to? What if everyone looks at me? What if I don’t know some of the people that are coming? What if I’m the fattest one there and I have to EAT in front of strangers? The thought of these things make me break out in a cold sweat.
SS texts me later that the others are ordering a pizza and it’s just the three of us for dinner. That’s great! I think to myself. I don’t have to eat in front of strangers, and when I do have to be around people it will be in a dark theater. No questions, no looks, just the movie and then we leave! I can do that! I agree to go.
As I’m getting ready, I get a text from The Owl saying “after we eat we may go to K’s for a minute. Is that okay?” Now I’m stressing again. I have to go to someone’s house? With their family there? I text back, “if you guys have a bunch of things to do then just go”. He doesn’t understand what I mean, so he calls me. I explain that the plans are changing on me and I’m nervous enough as it is. I start to cry because everything is becoming a BIG FUCKING DEAL in my head. My mom offers me half a Valium because she really wants me to get out of the house and socialize, and I accept it. Twenty minutes later the Valium kicks in as the guys come to pick me up.
Dinner was kick-ass. Fun and laughs and great seafood. A couple of hours later we head across the street to the movie theater and buy our tickets. We come across a girl I recognize from The Owl’s group of friends. She has four other girls with her I don’t know-already a red flag in my mind because girls essentially are judgmental assholes (myself included). I’m starting to get nervous and start fidgeting with my jacket. She tells The Owl that she didn’t know I would be coming and that they don’t have enough seats in their row. Now I’m breathing heavy. I’m a burden. I’m a pain and they have to change what they are doing to accommodate me! I tell The Owl it’s fine, I’ll sit in another row, it’s no problem. As we get up to their row, I grab the first chair closest to the aisle-nearly ten seats farther from where the rest of the group is sitting. SS tells me to get up, that we need to head to the other side of the row. When we get to that side, I again grab the first chair closest to the aisle.
When the movie was over (it was okay FYI-total chick flick disguised as an action movie), everyone stays in their seat. I ask SS to come with me into the lobby and we head out of the theater. A few minutes later, everyone else heads into the lobby. Not one person stopped to talk to me or introduce themselves. They just kept walking. Even The Owl. Now, you would think this would be A-OK with me since I don’t have to interact with anyone, but now I am freaking out. Do they know something is wrong with me? Is it because I’m fat and ugly? Did The Owl tell them not to approach me??? SS and I followed behind them outside into the parking lot.
I hear from up ahead that they are going to the coffee shop. At this point I am just trying to control my shaking and breathing. I tell SS, I think I’m going to throw up, please stop. He tries to tell me everything is fine but I’m not hearing it. I just want to get to his car. I want to get away from everyone. After finding the car I get in, shut the door, and hot tears stream down my face.
The entire drive to my house I don’t say a word. My body hurts from being so tense, and I’m trying (and failing) to hold in my tears (SS is not the best of comforters). Don’t go out again, Hed, I tell myself. This is what happens. You failed. You can’t interact with people anymore. You are a failure. WHY ARE YOU EVEN TRYING?
I get home, take the other half of Valium and head to my computer. I figure I can explain to you my thought process and the anatomy of a panic attack if the thoughts and feelings are still fresh in my mind.
I don’t want your good thoughts and hugs tonight, will all due respect to my lovely and awesome readers. I pretty much feel hopeless-which sucks ass because I have had about four “good” days in a row. I feel back to square one. Again.