Maybe I’m Not An Extrovert After All

A couple of weekends ago, I signed up to help be an event here in Austin. And I skipped out on 95% of it. Now, I realize that makes me sound flaky and terrible. And to the bloggers I wanted to visit with, the friends I didn’t get to see, and the people I didn’t get to meet – I sincerely apologize.

It’s time for me to admit two things to myself. 1- I’m not a extrovert, and 2 – I have serious anxiety issues. I used to really enjoy going to big events. I was at BASHH every month (back when it was called BATHH), I was at networking events, meetups, and tons of happy hours. Now, the thought of large groups (and by large, I mean over 10 people) and being in busy, crowded places makes me get light-headed, nauseated, and have the overwhelming desire to curl into a ball and be somewhere else.

BASHH 2011 pic - jenztweets and BMIA
Ahh, the good old days – BASHH in 2011, hanging out with @JenzTweets and @BigMikeInAustin

I know this isn’t normal, and I know it’s only getting worse of time. And I plan on addressing it with a licensed professional. For now, I’m doing what I can to avoid being in those situations. I’m limiting my group activities, I’m sticking to small clumps of friends, and I’m relishing in my home body status.

So please understand, if I flake on something, or if I just randomly decline a bunch of invitations….. it’s really not you. It’s me. And please don’t think I don’t like you or don’t want to see you. Chances are, if you want to hang out with me one on one, I’ll be totally down for that. As long as it’s not a small, loud, crowded place.

I’d love to hear from you friends – do you have any issues with anxiety?

3 responses to “Maybe I’m Not An Extrovert After All”

  1. Chris Bailey says:

    Cathy, you are so not alone. I’ve struggled with the bastard called anxiety for the better part of my life. I have my very good days as well as my dark days where I want to cling tightly to the safety of my home and shut off myself from the outside world. Like you, I’ve gone to events recently and within 5 minutes said, “To hell with this, I gotta go.” And you know what? There’s no shame in this. Not one bit. We do what we need to do to survive.

    Know that there is light and goodness and hope. Those who love you will accept you and never turn you away. You are – and always will be – enough. And if you ever need to talk to someone who understands the pain of anxiety, know I am here for you.

  2. BigMikeInAustin says:

    Oh hell. I hate going out. I’m no good in big or small crowds. I hardly ever talk. I mentally note all the escape routes. I’ve gotten much better at finding socially acceptable phrases to end a conversation when I’m out of things to say. I deflect everything back to the other person to keep them talking. I try not to think about it until I’ve driven to the place and I’m in the parking lot. Then, I convince myself that I’ve already driven this far, and that I’ll be more disappointed with myself if I leave before going in, than if I go in and feel awkward. There’s been plenty of times I go in, say hi to people, and leave soon afterwards. I try to have a backup place to hang out after doing that, so I can stil say I “went out.”

    PS Tonight at BASHH, several people asked me if you were coming out. So there are, at least a few, people who still think you’re awesome 😛

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