Sunday, August 9, 2015

#219: To tell on myself

Yesterday afternoon I got a case of the "Everybody-has-other-people-they'd-rather-hang-out-with-than-me"'s which was accompanied by a severe, paralyzing terror in my stomach that felt that I labelled loneliness and felt like utter abandonment in this world. I was stuck. I could feel the fear eating away at my stomach and the only thoughts in my head were I'm all alone, I'm all alone.

I texted a friend to meet for coffee, but when she responded I ignored her, as when I feel like that my brain gets these great ideas that I should sit at home along and try to figure out what is wrong, though I'm pretty sure these boil down to excuses to sit and feel sorry for myself. After scrolling through Facebook for a few more minutes to torment myself by looking at all the joy and happiness posted out there, my friend messaged me on FB. This time I answered back and we met a few other women for coffee.

I told them how lonely I was and how terrifying that feeling in my stomach was. We laughed a lot, which helped. One of my friends mentioned that I have told her this on other Friday afternoons, which made me feel relieved (my oh my, how quickly we forget!).  Then I got a text.

Are you coming, we're waiting on you?

My Mountain Host group was meeting at a local park to bike ride down for dinner and I'd forgotten it was yesterday.

I laughed and rolled my eyes at myself. I told my friends, and they laughed and rolled their eyes. Perhaps needless to say, the terror lifted instantly and the thoughts in my head were quickly outnumbered by the reality all around me. 

I'm so grateful that I have gotten in the habit of telling on myself (some might call it self-obsession or talking too much, depending on what side of the coin you are looking at). A few years ago I would have ignored my friend for weeks, gone home and not told anybody. Then, 4 day or 2 weeks later I would have emerged a basket case and had some sort of come-apart to 5 friends. And I'd have ignored the bike ride text, too, but I didn't—I texted back immediately and even went to join them late. 

Just by getting willing to risk embarrassment and getting laughed at (deservedly so, may I add), I saved myself some misery, isolation and self-pity. Oh, and I got to hang out with friends, those people I was so afraid I didn't have in my life.

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