Thursday, March 3, 2011


this has been a therapeutic post to write. i have struggled with situational depression where i've sought medical help three times in my life. after being on meds for a few months and then things turned around and i was ok. but i also think there has been a mild underlying bit just lurking and waiting to show it's ugly head. i suppose i've struggled with social anxiety to a certain extent for as long as i can remember. there are a few incidence throughout my life that affected me enough that i've never forgotten them. i don't like to be the center of attention, won't speak in public and feel socially awkward. that being said, it's never stopped me from going places or hindered my life, much, until recently.
let's start from the beginning of when i remember it becoming a problem. it's no secret that i'd rather light my face on fire than speak in church. my earliest memory of this was turning 12 and being asked to be the youth speaker in sacrament meeting. i said no. my dad was disappointed and hoped i'd at least try. i still said no. he bribed me. he told me he'd buy me something special on our upcoming trip if i gave it a shot. gifts work for me. i said yes. every second of it was dreadful. when i'm nervous i go all monotone deep voice. i also become very emotional. and we all know how much i love to cry in public! yay. :-/ if i try and look up from what i'm reading i lose my place, become dizzy and come dangerously close to fainting to the floor. but i did it and my dad was so proud, as were most people that knew how difficult that was for me. he bought a pretty little necklace, which i'm pretty sure i still have. flash forward another year to 13 and i was asked to speak in church again. we had enough youth in our ward that it was pretty normal for each youth to speak once a year. i said no. my dad offered a bribe again, i still said no. the offer went all the way up to $100 cash and still a big fat no. and that was a lot of money for me at the time as my monthly allowance was less than $20 a month. but it wasn't worth any amount of money for me. that surprised my dad, especially since he's someone who enjoys speaking in public and is very good at it. both of my brothers are too. my dad's favorite calling ever was being a gospel doctrine teacher. just shoot me now.

my next experience came when i entered high school. i was a freshman. i had signed up for my elective classes and somehow ended up in drama. that was definitely not one of my choices. i tried to transfer. they wouldn't let me. i had known most of those kids my whole life. my cousin dan was even in my class. but that didn't matter. the very first week we were told to bring in our favorite children's book. then we were told we'd be reading said book in front of the whole class with animation and excitement. shit. and guess who got called to go first. double shit. i completely froze. everyone exited their desks to sit in a circle on the floor waiting for my presentation and i couldn't get out of my chair. that was my first real experience with anxiety. my teacher kept trying to talk to me and i couldn't even speak. the only thing i was able to do was put my head on my desk in an attempt to hide my face and sob. like a child. i was so embarrassed. i'm pretty sure no one in that class even remembers but it affected me enough that i've never forgotten it. and that stupid teacher wouldn't let it go. you'd think she'd have some compassion and ignore me and move on to the next student but no, all eyes were on me as she tried to get me to speak. the only thing i could finally do was get up and run out of the classroom. i never went back. i went to the office and told them if they didn't transfer me i was dropping out of school. they transferred me. good times.

a required class to graduate from high school was speech. crud. most people took it their freshman year. i kept putting it off hoping with all hope the rules would change. they never did. someone had given me the tip that it would be easier in summer school because it's all crammed into a month so it would be a month of stress rather than half a year. sounded good to me. i decided the summer before my senior year to tackle it. i also talked a bunch of my freshman and sophomore friends to sign up with me so half the class were my friends. i had the greatest friends! it was still so difficult but much more bearable. and we made it fun. our biggest assignment was to write about our hero and then present it for the class. i have no idea who i wrote about because it was all a fog. but i still remember to this day the amazing story/report amydin gave about her mom, whom i love so much! wow.

when i was 15 i reluctantly took drivers ed. i get major performance anxiety and the thought of being watched while i drove was too much. but i passed the class with flying colors although i had to log a certain amount of driving hours with my parents after the fact. i refused. i'd rather not drive. after a month of that it became necessary for me to drive me and my little brother to our tutor. my parents had no choice but to just trust me. i did just fine and have been driving ever since. i'm not even sure how much time went by before i'd let my parents be passengers in the car while i drove.

after high school and moving out of my parents house, i went to a ward where i knew no one. i moved to an apartment by myself and therefore didn't even have a roommate to lean on. i was so scared of being asked to speak or given a calling of teaching that it was easier just not to go to church anymore. i went inactive for two years.

i then learned from a great bishop that i could say no. saying no was better than not going at all.

i soon met kg and we got married and thankfully we escaped ever being asked to speak in our current ward for the first 7 years and then the last 4 years we've good friends with the members of the bishopric and they know i'll say no so they don't even bother asking. i also won't pray in public. and don't you dare call on me in class spontaneously or we will probably not be ok. if my hand is not raised, don't call on me.

over the years people have tried to give me all kinds of tips. pretend the audience is naked. yes, because that's what i want to see is a bunch of naked sagging boobies while i'm trying to give a spiritual talk. good idea. the other problem? when i get up there, i get dizzy and everything goes black. i can't see anyone anyway, naked or not, so that doesn't really help. i also love when people say, "the more you do it, the easier it gets". funny how it's always the people who love to speak in public that say that.

i feel awkward most of the time in group settings but i've dealt with it. but it does make it difficult to make new friends.

applying for jobs is excruciating and i interview terribly. i'd rather stay in a job i hate than have to go through that process. starting a new job is also dreadful. i had already worked with lynnette before getting this job and it was still so hard. i hate feeling like i'm being watched, which you are when you start a new job because they have to make sure you're doing it correctly. but when i'm being watched i make more mistakes. it's a vicious cycle.

so here we are at the present. last january i started a weight loss journey to finally become healthy. it's been very difficult and i hope to eventually write a detailed post about this and be really honest about my struggles for the last 15 years and all that but i'm not ready for that yet. but as the weight started coming off, people started noticing and saying stuff. at first it was fun. but then after a few months it was everyone, all the time, everywhere i went and oh my gosh i can't handle it. i stopped saying anything about my weight on facebook and my blog and just stopped talking about it completely around may or june i think. i know they are all well meaning so i don't fault anyone. but church is the worst. every sunday numerous people comment and it's awful. i don't like being noticed for that. if you like my necklace or skirt that's different. but it makes me feel, among other things, that i wasn't good enough before. i also don't like that my body is such a topic of conversation. so each sunday got harder and harder and i went less and less.

then this year when bazil was born, and then died, well that did me in. knowing that when i went back to church everyone would ask how i was doing and what went wrong and why did he die and oh my gosh i can't breath. i would rather people contact me via email, facebook, text or phone call one on one because then i can handle it. but being bombarded with 100 well meaning individuals was too much for me to bare. i hadn't gone for 6 weeks. and then i started struggling with even going anywhere i might know someone. and then even going to kris' house became difficult.(a lot of that also had to do with the fact that they know stuff no one else knows and i was embarrassed). meanwhile the depression was surfacing and it was time for some help. my appointment with a counselor was march 3rd. i've sought out counseling for various things as they've happened over the years, but struggle to open up so it seems like a waste of time and money and i stop going. and i've never just laid it all out there for the same counselor. but that was never going to happen since i get in there and can't speak. so this time? this time i wrote a very detailed list of all the things that have tormented me since i was a teenager. then i faxed it in to the counselor so that when i showed up to my appointment, he'd already know why i was there. then i totally panicked and canceled the appointment. then i got chewed out via text from kris and reclaimed the appointment. but i still wasn't even sure i'd be able to get out of the car once i got there. well, that didn't end up being a problem because kris was right outside my office when i got off work and ready to take me to my appointment. oh joy. she walked me in and was prepared to sit in the waiting room. it was actually very good that she was there because the appointment was done much quicker than we expected. because of my state, it just irritated me that i did the hardest thing ever by sending him that fax and we didn't even discuss any of it. i was prepared to get pissed and not go back. kris however, was not. she marched in there and asked him what was up. why hadn't he listened to me? he apparently told her the same thing he told me, but i just didn't hear him. so she retold me his plan, which made good sense and here we are. i definitely needed to be on some meds to help calm my anxiety and depression or i'd never be able to talk about my big long list. i go back this week. it's not any easier the second time but kris is going to go with me until i can handle it. shoot, she may even end up in the appointment to make sure i can speak. :) she's put up with a lot from me lately and still likes me! at least i think. :/ we are so similar with a lot of what we deal with that it's truly a comfort to have someone that knows how i feel and what i'm going through. i'm very, very grateful for her.
kg is amazing and supportive as always and loves me how i am. i love him.


Toby and Tammy said...

What a hearfelt post! Thanks for sharing your feelings. I hope the things get better with each appointment and you can talk about your list.
Know that I'm thinking of you and hope you are doing well.

A-me said...

I'm proud of you!

Much love. xo. <3

ang :o) said...

Thanks Tammy and A-me!

Let's kick it.

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