High functioning anxiety is a thing I have. Although. I think most people who know me really well would question exactly how well I fit into the high or even functioning part of that diagnosis. But I do manage to leave my house, and go to work, and parent my children, and, occasionally, wander out into crowds almost entirely under my own volition.
This past weekend was my ten year college reunion, and I said I would go because I was feeling super, extra functional at the time people were requesting RSVPs. Also, I had backup, because two of my favorites who know my brain nearly as well as any professional therapist I’ve had were going, so I told myself it would be fine, and I put it on my calendar.
Cut to the day of the event. I got dressed, made sure my hair looked fabulous, put on makeup because it’s great armor, and decided that I was as ready as I could possibly be. I felt nervous, but mostly ok. I pre-funked earl grey tea, and a snickerdoodle like the hard core person that I am, and I went into reunion with as much confidence as I could muster which was basically none. I stood by a wall, talked as little as possible, and as soon as I could, I filled my hands with pizza, and a water bottle, and I stood in a corner chatting with people I consider more family than friends.
You can only eat a slice of pizza for so long though, and eventually I found myself conversing with, and hugging folks I haven’t seen face to face in ten years. Hugs aren’t really my thing, but neither is the awkwardness that comes from shying away from one, so I just went with them, all while pretending that I have my ish together, and simultaneously worrying that everyone there could tell exactly how awkward, and not together I am. Which is where the blisters come in.
Remember when I mentioned grabbing a water bottle? Well, I spent a good long while twisting the cap on it back and forth. Long enough that I gave myself two little blisters on my thumb. Did you know that was a thing that you can do? It is! I tested it for you, so you don’t need to try it. When the group I was talking to narrowed down to mostly people I was comfortable with, I said something about the blisters, and one of my besties took the bottle away from me, because sometimes I need someone else to step up and help me do the healthy thing.
So, why tell this story? Because occasionally we all need a reminder that our health, and safety are more important than almost anything. Take care of you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or take it when you haven’t asked, and it’s offered anyway. Make that therapy appointment. Take that personal day. Buy that flip chain (this one is a reminder for myself because it’s handy to have a fidget that will not harm me physically when I’m nervous). Look, we’re all in this together, and even when things seem impossible, we don’t have to go through them alone.
Be good to yourself. Be good to each other.