I have spent part of the weekend with 2 of my 3 brothers and my mum.
And what I have noticed is that we are all socially anxious.
Which really isn’t a surprise.
My mum suffers from low confidence, low self esteem, and a whole host of other mental health conditions. And I noticed my brothers, like me, avoid talking to people where possible.
We all fought over who had to tell the taxi driver the address of my mum’s house, we fought over who had to order the taxi and we spent a bit of time trying to do top trumps with our eccentricities.
I suppose my weirdest thing is I need to be forewarned that someone is going to start a conversation with me. I can be with a group of people and one of them may turn to me and ask me a question and I will become so panicked at being spoken to and feeling all the attention on me that I will stammer out an answer, sometimes saying anything, even if it is a lie just to throw the attention away from me.
In an ideal world I will get a little message saying ‘You are going to be spoken to in the next 30 seconds’ so that I can prepare.
One coping strategy I had was I would put on headphones and listen to music, and sometimes not listen to music but just have headphones on, so that people would avoid approaching me.
Obviously this is an avoidance strategy, not a coping strategy, in no way am I solving the problem or confronting it, I am just continuing to be an onlooker in life.
Today a month ends and tomorrow a new one begins. I am in a new phase of life, a potentially difficult one, so I will have to navigate carefully.
I am staying up late to watch WWE Payback. Tomorrow is helpfully a bank holiday, so I can recover.