The hot weather is upon us and for me that usually means a big dose of summer anxiety. The kids are out of school and our little neighborhood is loaded with kids. With the kids come the moms and as you may know, there is some serious high school clique behavior here- with the mothers.
I am the one who is usually left out and not part of the get togethers and bonfires. It noramlly doesn’t bother me and for the most part I have gotten used to it and let it go. And now that I have my job it’s awesome because I’m usually busy.
But come summer when everyone is outside and being that I haven’t worked in 3 days it is staring me right in the face.
I’m having some social anxiety triggers for sure. The other night, there was a cookout/ pool party thing next door with 2 of the families and I just felt so weird being in my backyard.
Hi, hope you’re all having a blast! You all rock!
Yesterday on my way outside to weed my front yard, I saw a neighbor passing in front of my house going to meet another mom for a chat. I decided to stay in the house. And felt bad about it.
I cannot change other people’s actions or feelings and I know this. The only person I can change is ME.
Yes, I feel very socially anxious around these ladies. I get all tongue tied and twitchy and my mind goes off to the races thinking about all the ways I imagine that they judge me. The one in the middle of all the fan fair, who stays in her house.
As I said, I had the last 3 days off, so I did my best to stay busy and be active. I enjoyed a fun Zumba class and I did my usual errands and such. But by yesterday, Day 3, I was starting to get on the pity pot about my social situation in this neighborhood.
Why don’t I have any friends here? Why can’t I not care at all what they think or do? Why do I have to be going through this stupid high school stuff when I’m in my 40s? It reeks of Mean Girls and leaves me feeling like such a misfit and a loser.
I know I am neither a misfit nor a loser.
Usually when I feel lonely I reach out and call my sister or my mom, but neither one was available. My children are older now and thank God in heaven they have their own freinds. So I was just left to deal with me and my loneliness and social anxiety.
I think back to a time when I was young and single and living in New York City. While I was always suffering with anxiety and panic attacks, I had a very active social life. I was always going out to the clubs and hanging out with people and I did have 3 good girlfriends.
I see others who have made it into their midlife years and stayed tight with their friends. Unfortunately because I moved and because of my anxiety and other issues, these people are no longer in my life.
So by day 3 of this week of not working all these feelings were hitting me hard. I felt like crap.
Today I get to go to work and let me tell you, I cannot wait. I LOVE being busy. It is so good for me. I look forward to being helpful and feeling part of something.
Looking back on the last few days, I remember one thing I didn’t do. At all. And I should have. It would have helped.
I forgot to pray.
I didn’t even take 5 minutes to calm and center myself and connect with God. This is the antidote to my loneliness, but I didn’t do it. I completely forgot!
Making conscious contact with God reminds me that I am loved and cherished and that I am important. It protects me against projection of what others think, self-pity, and all sorts of irrational thoughts.
When faced with these summer anxiety triggers, this is something I MUST be diligent and remember to do.
And then my loneliness is gone and once again I feel back to myself. I remember that I can always connect with God. And I can always reach out and talk to others who “get me” – my online friends. What a blessing!
God is always available to me. Faith is a tremendous asset to coping with anxiety or any curve ball life throws at you. God never sleeps or forgets about me–it is I who forget to pray and ask for help and guidance.
So it’s time for me to buck up and take action against this trigger of summer anxiety. I will have more days when I am home alone and all the neighbors are out socializing. I will have a plan of action to pray and center myself. I will stay in the present, and I will stay busy.
And damn it, if i want to go weed in my front yard, I will.
What triggers your social anxiety? Do you get antsy in the summer like me? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I wish you peace,