Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Call.

Sooo – remember the other day when I said something miraculous happened and I was a big smurf ass and left you all hanging like it was gonna be as life-altering as when Charlie Sheen gets sober or something?

Well…turns out it was so huge that I, being the complete scatterbrain that I am, forgot to finish the damn story. Yes, yes…professional idiot blogger right here folks.

Anywhoozle…here’s the jist of what I consider the miraculous event.

Mrs. Fatass called me. Like she dialed my number and called me.

Are you rolling your eyes? Are you throwing your hands up and shouting, “That’s it?”?

Seriously though…if you know “our kind” – you know this is huge. You see, MF and I suffer from some pretty severe social anxiety. The kind that makes you physically ill, makes you sweat like you’re about to be dropped off a cliff, covers you in hives, makes you shake, and basically paralyzes you.

Family, friends or strangers – doesn’t matter – the fear is the same.

A big part of our social anxiety is the phone. We rarely pick it up to call someone or pick it up when someone is calling us. The literal sound of the ring can cause panic and my blood pressure and heart rate to spike.

Let me also say that when I do have to make a phone call that I can’t avoid…I plan every freaking word. I know what I’m going to say and when. I plan every detail out. I know what I’ll say if it’s voice mail and let’s just get this straight – I *want and need* it to be voicemail. I don’t really want to hear a live person on the other end. That’s just too much.

Hence, this gumdrop-farting woman LOVES email. I never have to speak to or look anyone in the eyes. I don’t have to try not to throw up.

Back to the phone call day. That same day, Jenny had called me. After years of being best friends – I now pick up the phone willingly and even call Jenny myself. She is one of few.

We had a great conversation and we laughed our ample butts off and I was on a “Jenny just called, I answered, and I’m not covered in hives” high. The minute I hung up the phone from Jenny, my cell phone rang.

WTF? First of all – my cell phone doesn’t ring. No one calls me. They know I won’t pick up. Most people aren’t aware I have a cell phone. I just started texting a few months ago.

But yes, it was not a mirage – the phone was indeed ringing and it said in bright neon flashing numbers (okay fine, they were just normal numbers) – Mrs. Fatass.

We’re not going to go into how wrong it is that I have officially entered someone in my phone as Mrs. Fatass. It is what it is.

Now MF and I have texted before. When she travels I know she’s fighting off convulsions about every other second, so I routinely text her and say things like,

“Breathe…your head is going to fall off if you let it turn blue like that again.”  or
“Put down the drink – people started to look at you funny after you ordered your fifth one in five minutes. Try Xanax instead.” or
“You are one hot fatass and that’s why people are staring at you. No one even noticed your face is covered in hives.”

You know – real supportive stuff.

BUT – we do not talk. We do not chat. We do not call each other. We mutually know we cannot and do not even want to. It’s just too much for either of us at this point.

Well until Mrs. Overachiever decides to change the plan. Mrs. O. Hmmm…doesn’t roll off the tongue like Mrs. Fatass does it?

In the split second that I was still on a high from talking to Jenny – I picked up said ringing phone. I said, “Hello?”


Then multiple swear words I cannot repeat here.

Then finally, “You picked up the phone? You answered? What am I supposed to do with that? You never answer! I wanted voicemail. I have it all planned out! Now I don’t know what to do. What are you doing picking up?”

Um, shit. I don’t know. I think I'm sorry.  Should I hang up now?  The hives are coming. Why did you call?  Is someone dying? Is the Earth falling in on itself? Has Elvis come back from the dead for real? Why are you calling me on a real phone like normal people do?

Let’s just say there was mucho stuttering and lots of laughing at ourselves and when I finally asked again why she called – she simply said, “For nothing. No reason. I’m calling because I can. Because I’m medicated strong enough to do something so simple. Because I was thinking of you and I wanted you to know that. Nothing more, nothing less.”

If I wasn’t choking down puke in my mouth, I probably would have choked back a tear or two.

While it is funny…I know it’s also profound. And I know the amount of difficulty behind it. I know the anxiety she felt in literally dialing each number. I know that in those few digits – she contemplated backing out close to 100 times. I know it was a step.

You see, while again, the anxiety can be funny – it is also exhausting. Many of you call people all day – and never miss a step. Knowing I have to make even one phone call all day requires planning, courage, working up to it and rehearsing and it can suck the life out of me. Going somewhere is the same. I can literally get physically sick.

If I have to go somewhere beyond the normal routine of work, I plan all day every detail – because planning somehow gives me a little bit of control. I have to worry about what to wear based on what sweat won’t show through. I know that when I get home – if I go instead of backing out – I will be exhausted beyond belief – mentally and physically. I will have social jet lag. And I will have earned it.

It is not fun – or funny. It is tiring, embarrassing, and it makes you feel “different”. Sooo – while admitting it and blogging about it are the first steps MF and I have taken….we want more.

We want to heal. MF has sought counseling and meds and I’ve sought more blogging and fighting the fears and forcing myself to be out there. We feed off each other’s successes knowing the gut-wrenching tension it causes in our bodies – but knowing – if she can do it, there’s a chance I can too.

MF and I only talked for approximately five minutes or less. We mutually understand how difficult it is and that it has nothing to do with how we feel about each other as people. Remember, I get these exact same symptoms when I deal with people as close to me as my siblings.

At about five minutes in, MF said – I have to hang up. This is too much for me. If I have to go on, I may spontaneously combust. This is my limit. I have to go.

Me? Well, I said me too. I’m done. Anymore and I’m going to shit M&Ms instead of farting rainbow gumdrops and the people that count on those gumdrops for sustenance are gonna be pissed. Shitty M&Ms can’t hold a candle to farted gumdrops you know?

I said, “Thank you – for calling – you know I know how hard it was.”

She said, “No problem. But next time I call – don’t pick up the damn phone alright? Let it go to voicemail. I don’t have the stamina to do this againYou messed up my plan.”

Deal. Me neither. Not just yet anyway…

I went back to work. Happy as a Care Bear. Covered in hives.

And just a teensy bit proud of us both.


MrsFatass said...

I wish our crazy was really as fun as you write it.

I'm so glad I called that day. And I'm so glad you answered. In hindsight, that is.

I love you, Draz.

Ms. Chunky Chick said...

Wow that is alot for both of you! And I really can't believe how brave you both are! Good job PIMPS

Kristin said...

Excellent work. Progress is happening!

Sarah G said...

Congrats to both of you! I have a bit of social anxiety myself. I can take phone calls, just can't make them with out planning what I'm going to say & psyching myself up. :)

Beth Ann said...

Good lord in heaven, I love reading your blog. I don't have the same issues, but I certainly have my own. Hearing your (fun) story of conquering some of yours is beyond is inspirational. I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm SO glad I found you.

Laurie said...

I do wish for both of you that the crazy was as fun as you write it. I would think it would be easier for you to talk to each other knowing that you are both cut from the same anxiety block of swiss cheese, no? I mean, I would understand you never wanting to talk to someone like me, loud and extroverted! I've been in a funk lately and don't want to talk to people, not because of anxiety, more depression and exhaustion. I love the term "social jet lag", I of course, get energized from being social, but I get how it works on the other side of the spectrum.
As we say in my world, Mazel tov (congratulations) to both of you.

Jacquie said...

Congrats to you both!

Jen from Oregon said...

I. So. Get. It!
I could have written this myself (only not so funny and well described)
Baby step are still steps!

Maybe I will turn my ringer to ON someday???

Theresa aka Tessie Rose said...

Way to go!

MandaPanda said...

Bravo to both of you! Her for dialing and you for picking up! While I don't have the same level of social anxiety, I can appreciate how hard it was to do. Good for both you!

Karen Butler Ogle said...

I feel that way when I go out in public to see anyone I know. It feels like being onstage with stage fright. I have to mentally prepared. I don't mind the phone unless I'm in real depression and then I won't answer. Most times, I can manage phone calls okay. It is face to face where I have issue. I always feel like "crazy" is written across my forehead and that everyone has to notice.

LDswims said...

That's awesome. So proud of you both!

I want to call you all the time. I talk myself out of it all the time out of respect. I'm just waiting for you to say that I can. Cause I will. Cause I want to. Like right now - I have news and I'm not ready to share - but I want to share with you. And email only goes so far, for me. Unlike you. :) I want to push, but I don't, out of respect. But maybe, just maybe, I might just have to. Some day. Maybe. But I never ever ever want to give you hives. So I don't. I always talk myself out of it.

Love you!

Ronnie said...

Proud of you mama pimp!

Bonnie said...

You and Mrs. FA are all kinds of cute crazy.

amandakiska said...

You are kicking that social phobia's ass! So proud of you!

Food Freak said...

That's a major step for both of you. My god, do I understand such a crazy social thing. I get that way when people want to come to my house. I used to be so bad, that I made sure no one came for YEARS. There were two people who came anyway, always without calling first, because they knew I wouldn't let them come. I thought that was the rudest thing they could do to me, putting their own needs ahead of mine. I wrote them completely of the friend list and told them that they could only come when my husband was home alone. If they did it when I was home, I'd throw them out. They both tried. They were both thrown out. I hope they got it through their heads I won't tolerate it.

Is that the same as your anxiety? I think so. Where did yours come from, do you think? Have you ever tried to figure it out? I think it would be interesting for you to know that. Has it been all your life, or did something in particular start it?

Thanks for telling us about your brave step.

Jess said...

This makes my head hurt...

I just don't like people all that much. I don't have anxiety about talking on the phone, I just don't like talking period. I prefer to watch TV instead. It's more of like "oh f-off, I'm busy" than me being afraid or nervous.

Baby steps...

Shannon said...

That is so awesome!! you are both freaking amazing!

Joey said...

Baby steps - I love it!

Sandy Lee said...

That is so cute. But I was still hoping there was going to be a baby announced.

I don't pick up my phone either unless it speaks and tells me a name. I haven't even activated the voicemail on my cell as I figure they can e-mail me if they really wanted to get in touch with me. But as Joey said, Baby steps. It leads to lots of miles.

Miss Vickie "The Queen Bee" said...

That is just so damn cool! Love it!

Dizzy Girl said...

The whole time I was reading this, I was thinking of myself and you and how I never call you. Should I call you? Hmmm...

Amanda said...

Way to go both of you!!!!
I had to giggle while reading! But I know how hard it is. I have random social anxiety. I keep my head down and hope people don't recognize me...hard to do when you work in a effing customer service based job!! lol