Of Friday Nights Out and trying to master Social Anxiety  - Day 77/ #100DaysofMentalHealth 

2:22:00 PM

Two fingers up for gettin back home with my senses intact after an hour or so o networking
Hi beautiful people, 

How was the weekend for you? 

Except for the fact that this heat is messing me up (can we discuss climate change and those of us living with epilepsy real soon? The rate at which I keep feeling faint, ain't funny), my weekend was spleeeeeeng (do we still say spleng?) Whether or not, the fact remains my weekend was spleeeeeeng. 

Know thyself 
The week before last I did some spoken word and prose at a women in tech gig. During the panel session, there is a lady who shared her journey and I knew I had to have a sit down with her, nothing formal (none of those how can we write a proposal and dominate the world type of things) and we made it happen. This was a big deal for me because I have a serious case of social anxiety. I have no issues being in front of crowds speaking and sharing but I have a MAJOR ISSUE with being inside crowds. I can meet you to discuss work stuff but other stuff is where my anxiety kicks in. It takes a lot of energy for me and the thought of it sometimes makes it hard for me to even leave the house. So for me to show up and have actual conversation with a human being I had never encountered before on a more social (we touched on work too - we are both doing amaaaaazing things) call is reason for me to say my weekend was spleeeeng.

Accept that it is a journey.
Any given weekend that doesn't have me speaking or in a formal meeting is meant for me and my sofa...add a book or the remote and you win my heart. In fact, I won loads of imaginary awards in 2016 for perfecting that sofa warming act. Part of it was because I was at that point in my life when I needed to literally sit down, for a year, (so if that's where you are at in life, Sunshine, warm that sofa away) and the other part was because of my social anxiety and just how exhausting it is for me (why would I want to do that to myself?)

Don't judge me yet, on various occasions when I successfully talk myself into attending gigs or going out for dates, I dress up (after almost doing a thesis on why we can't go out in our PJs and how society should just let us be or why not have a Skype date, you cook your own thing, I do the same we sit infront of our laptops and eat and laugh the night away) then get to the gate, turn back and head for the sofa. Other days I manage to open the gate, get into a bus and then get off half way...Before I'd beat myself up but I have learnt to accept that it is a journey, that I will win on some days and totally flop in others. That it takes time to heal internally and that I can try again when I feel ready...no pressure

Celebrate the small steps
I can successfully report that I have done a total of 3 sleep overs this year (twice at C's and once at D's - I know sleepovers, really? At your bestfriends'? But you need to know how much effort it takes, plus 3 in 3 months is a huge leap...work with me here.

Try different things till you get what works for you
Ok sleepovers at my bestfriends is like me being at home, because C and D don't consider me a visitor...so other than those, I have gone out twice...look at me right? Before you start cheering me on or asking how did that happen, by going out here is me being out on a Friday and being back in the house by 9.30p because I left the place by 8.30p. My first try out was a school get together; I left the house at 6p, got there at 7.30p was out of there, exhausted but glad I went by 8.30p (1 hour of saying hi to so many people and saying what I am doing is exhausting) My second try out was this Friday, we met a few minutes to 6p and by 9p I was home. Hoping to have my 3rd attempt this Friday; a 2 hour end month worship service at church then dinner/movie.

Go with the flow but remember your limits/boundaries. 
As much as I am loving this exploration process and (re)learning this networking field, I am very careful not to cross my limits.(in my past years, I was queen of Friday, Saturday heck all week nights and I had a whole lot of unlearning to do because I made the choice to be mindful about how I treat my mental health)...other than that, I am loving the new dynamic of introducing those 2 hours of Friday night out is having on things. I know I have only done it twice on alternate Fridays but I looooove it so far. I am loving my mocktail experiments, I just don't understand why they come in a plain glass (K will tell you how I am ever buying the glass instead of the mocktail mix or asking if I can get a cute glass). 

Do y'all do Friday night out? Is Friday still Friday or Thursday overtook it? What do y'all do for night outs? Am I too old school or no school for asking all this? Ok back to social anxiety, how are y'all handling that?


Have a lovely week Sweetlings (or should I say, may the week be spleeeeeeng)

Sending love and light,
Sitawa 

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

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