It’s about 5am. I’ve been awake for hours, tossing and turning. Thoughts going wild. One thought in particular.
My husband’s friend came over last night to help him tile our new master bathroom. After we ate dinner, I decided to go grocery shopping to get it out of the way for the weekend, thinking that it would be slow. Slow grocery store = less anxiety attacks. When I returned I brought in all the groceries them went back out to my car to grab my purse. I was wearing my “yard flip flops” or so I call them (OCD much?) and I usually leave those on my back deck. So purse in hand, I walk up the stairs to the back deck which so happens to next to the master bathroom window and I peak inside to see their progress. My husband sees me with my purse and asked “where are you going?” to which I jokingly replied “ladies night – see ya” to which his friend replied “I didn’t know you had friends!”.
I know he was joking. I’ve known him for years now and he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. But why is this comment bothering me so much? Why am I tossing and turning all night thinking about what he said and why? Then it dawned on me.
Every time I see him it’s at my house and I’m always home (I am a home body). He’s always helping my husband with a house project he’s working on, usually after work on a week night or during the weekend, when I get all my house “stuff” done. My husband sees him out socially here and there with things he’s involved in. I don’t. I don’t really have people over to my house because entertaining gives me anxiety. Truth is, the older I get the more people I shave off my friends list. I don’t have time for the drama or people who don’t care to understand me. Life is easier for me with a smaller circle. It’s less stressful. So why am I upset about the comment?
I think because once upon a time I had a lot of friends and acquaintances. I had a social life. I was happy. I was also young without the stresses of being an adult. I had time for drama then. I also didn’t have the anxiety I have now. Or the OCD, or the depression. I didn’t wake up everyday looking for strength to get myself through. I didn’t think twice about leaving the house and going somewhere crowded. Didn’t think twice about having that extra drink. The thought of washing my hands after being out in public touching everything when I got home didn’t cross my mind (sounds crazy but when you have OCD, this is serious).
Truth is that I miss those days more than I can express. I wasn’t a prisoner in my own mind. I didn’t care about what people thought. Now I operate out of fear, a fear that I can’t even justify half of the time. Now I care about how people view me because I view myself as as a person with a disability. An invisible illness that no one seems to understand. That I try to hide so well (and most people say that I do).
My lifestyle now works for me as I am today. Being a home body and having a small inner circle gives me less anxiety. At home I don’t have to hide. Don’t have to fake a smile. The few friends I have I can relate to in some way and they provide me comfort. I don’t aim to please, I don’t care how popular I am, I don’t compete with anyone. Truth is, I don’t care. The older I get the more content I am with myself and who I am. The more I care about what I have to do to be at peace with myself.
I digress. I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. Not even you 😜. Had to get that off my chest though. Going to try to get a few more minutes of sleep otherwise I have a long, even more anxious day ahead of me….😩
To those who have stuck by me….thank you ❤️