Thursday, May 5, 2011

Call me anything you want.....

Let me preface this little post by saying I know that to 99.9% of you – what I’m about to say is no big deal. It is normal. It is every day. It is what you all do without even a second thought.

But for me – it’s huge. It means fighting hives. Stomach upset. Stress. Anxiety. Knots in my chest. High blood pressure. Excessive heart beating. Sweating. Your basic basket-case freak out.

In a nutshell – yours truly has a major tizzy fit and the only thing that it doesn’t entail is me peeing my pants.

My social anxiety does a lot to me – but mostly it pisses me off. I hate to think of the things I missed and the regrets I have – out of fear. So as many of you know, I’m forcing myself to face my social anxiety disorder. Baby steps and then big celebrations when I complete those steps.

Feel free to do a cartwheel for me or applaud…or roll your eyes. From the outside looking in, this has got to seem anticlimactic I know.

Anywhoozle…baby step Number “I have no idea” is this.

I have acrylic nails. Have for years. My theory is that no matter if my hair looks like an African bushwoman and my face looks like Dracula and my body looks like the Goodyear blimp and I feel like dog poop – my nails ALWAYS look good. Always. It’s a 100% guarantee. Period. And I love that.

Also for me, it’s the one thing I do just for me. It costs me $25 every 3 weeks and I budget for it and I cut out things like eating out at work instead.

Now normally I go to the Vietnamese place a few towns away. I go there because they are good at it but if I’m honest – I go there because I don’t have to talk to them. The biggest question they will ask me is “do you want them cut shorter” or “what color do you want?” There will be no getting to know me. No awkward silent moments when my mind and heart are racing to find something to say.

Nothing is expected of me socially except to sit there and shut up and get my nails done. I know how to get there, where to park, the layout and who works there. They don’t even know my name – and I love that. It is a social recluse’s dream of a public interaction.

It is safe. It feeds my social anxiety disorder. It doesn’t take me out of my comfort zone or prove what I am capable of.

So I decided to change that. My friend gets her nails done just one town away. By a woman. One woman. In her house. This woman clearly speaks English. Even knows people that I know. She will absolutely ask me questions about my life and family if I go there. I will have to have a conversation.

Suck it up buttercup – you’re doing this.

I get up the nerve to call her and I make an appointment. I made it for the same day or I knew I’d back out. I was anxious all day about this. Finding the place. Even what will she look like? Will I like her? What will we say? How will I stop the hives? Will it be awkward? And on and on.

I got there. On time. Hive-less. Not sick. Prepared to “chat”. I liked her. We talked. She asked me questions and I answered without cringing inside. Just me and her – in a small room – like old friends…while I got my nails done. Instead of paying the Vietnamese who are so busy they can barely breathe, I paid a small town local businesswoman. I felt good about that.

I felt good about all of it. I’ve come close many times in the past to trying this woman and have always backed out. This time I was strong enough to follow through. That’s a major step.

Even bigger? I’m going back. She earned my business. I earned the right to keep fighting this disease. One nail appointment at a time.

Oh and funny thing. The whole time this woman called me the wrong name. Probably 10 times in the course of an hour she called me a different name. Now any normal person would say, “Oh excuse me, my name is _________ not _________”, laugh it off and proceed. Nope – not me. Can’t do it. Too scary. I let her call me whatever the hell she wanted to call me.

I figure when she looks at my check she’ll realize what she did and correct it herself and I won’t have to say anything. I could care less. God knows I’ve been called worse. I was too worried about not puking mmkkaayy?

So tell me – have you faced any fears lately?


Lonicera said...

Mine's probably walking towards somebody I know, down the sort of corridor we have at the hospital, where they can watch your wobbling approach at their leisure. I often have to walk down the very long corridor of the hospital, and I'm afraid I gaze at the floor as if my mind is miles away. You are one brave lady.
I went through a phase of acrylic nails but noticed how my poor nails underneath suffered - and then when my jewellery was stolen in a burglary I couldn't bear to think of any of that any more, because I particularly loved showing off my nails by wearing pretty rings.
Oh well.

Dawnya said...

THIS IS HUGE!!!! I am so proud of you Draz! You are awesome. You are kicking your social anxiety in the ass. Keep doing it. You deserve to have no regrets.

The cool thing is you did it and your blogged about it. All with NO HIVES. Girly girl that is a big succuss Draz 1 - Social Anxiety 0

Dazee Dreamer said...

First of all, do you know how hard it is to do cartwheels and clap at the same time? Geez, could you have us do something a smidge easier.

I'm very proud of you. I have the thing where I will talk your head off just because I don't like the silence. When I go for pedicures, I always go to the same place too, but I tell them to talk in English. And they know me. I'm weird that way. We would be great going somewhere together. Me the never stops talking and you. See, it would be great.

All That Razzberry said...

Good on you! I completely get the appeal of the other nail places. I love them too because they don't talk to me. I hate making small talk at the hairdressers. Especially if I get someone young, they always ask me if I'm going out. I sometimes just make up fake plans so I don't sound so boring.

Stephanie said...

Way to go...I am very proud of you! Hmmmm, have I faced any fears recently? Well, when I ws in Atlanta I had a lunch with a guy I worked with and dated before I moved here to Florida, with whom I never got closure. He found out via facebook I was going to be in town, asked me to lunch and we saw each other for the first time in 12 years...entirely as friends and had a wonderful time catching up. The old Stephanie would have said no, afraid to let someone see me at my old weight, but i had the confidence to see him and close a capter in my life, albeit a decade later. Could I have done that a year ago? Hell no. So we are all growing...Baby steps.

Ice Queen said...

Draz! Good for you! I am so proud of you, girl. That is so huge and you are doing it. And you survived and you are going back. You rock!

And you have pretty nails.

What more could a girl want?

You ned to bronze your big girl panties to mark this occasion. Buy a trophy case... You will need it. :D

Karen Butler Ogle said...

The nail salon I'm going to is like the first one you mentioned. I didn't have to talk to anyone on my first visit though they are friendly, we sort of sat in companionable silence while I had my nails done. This time will be more personal. I will be having a pedicure and a fill. I think the guy who did my nails was much shyer than I was about the whole thing as he doesn't speak the language well for everyone was very nice and smiling so I would feel bad to change salons now. I was very satisfied with the job they did but you have a point. I do need to get out of my comfort zone more often. I don't get sick or break out as you do but I get overwhelmed and panicky when I'm in social situations for too long etc. Xanax does help.

Cat's Chic Chat said...

I'm so very glad that someone else doesn't like having to make small talk with nail or hair salon technicians. I don't have the fears that you do, but I still dislike the conversation with someone who doesn't know me.

I'm so very proud of you for working out your fears in steps like this. You are SO worth it.

My fears revolve around not doing something well. Even if I don't have any way to really know how to do it, I hate looking like I don't know. I'll be facing that fear at Zumba tonight. I have to walk in to a place where I'm sure nearly everyone will have done it before and I won't.

I used to take piano lessons. I would get so nervous before my lessons to play "perfectly" that my hands would literally shake above the keys. It was so not fun for me, and I know that the instructor felt bad for me too. I ended up leaving that instructor and finding another. I continued to have the same problem, though to a lesser degree. I wanted to them to know that I practiced (ALOT!) all week, and if I was nervous I know it looked like I didn't practice and I hated that. It's why I eventually quit. I still play piano nearly every day, but just at home for myself and I have a book that I just go through lessons and songs.

Anyway - I think you have really taken a fantastic step in getting your anxiety under YOUR control. Rockstar!

Tori said...

Drazzil! MAJOR HUGE AWESOMENESS for you! I really feel you on this...WOW. I used to have a similar affliction, could barely walk outside my house because people might "look" at me. UUUGGG It was HELL. I still freak out when I have to go somewhere I haven't been before or drive a long distance by myself...will I get lost, will I know how to find my way home...what if I'm late...I know...the whole upset tummy itchy freakout palms sweaty thing. I battle it too, (meds help me if I am being honest) anxiety sucks...I always wish I could channell it into one whopper of a work out! lol too bad I don't.
Congrats! The nails will still look beautiful and you can feel good about a new adventure that you not only survived but made an improvement in a regular service you choose for yourself...YOU ROCK!

Erin said...

Well congratulations!! Conquering fears is not an easy thing for many of us to do. It's a process, and you've made the first step!

Beth Ann said...

Good for you!! It is so much easier to not face fears so kudos. I love that you are actively working to get outside your comfort zone. You should be very proud of yourself.

I'm scared of not being a runner. So I keep not doing it. Last night, I made myself do it. It's a start!

Read said...

Way to go Draz! My anxiety is not nearly as bad as yours but I too hate when people talk to me in places like that - it totally sucks the life right out of me.

At my dad's fundraisers that I'd have to go to - I would always beg to take the tickets because then I could smile and say 'Hi Lisa, thanks for coming, it's so great to see you, I hope we get a chance to catch up later', 'Hi Fred, thanks for coming...." rinse, repeat about a million times as everyone came in the door but I never actually had to talk to anyone. I just had to repeat the same line over and over and fake it that I cared.

I'm so proud of you for continuing to conquer your fears one at a time!!! You're the bomb!!

Ms. M said...

Yay! Glad you were able to try something new & it sounds like a much more enjoyable experience. I went to a new nail place this last time & it was super hard (even though the people didn't speak english). Just going somewhere different than the place I've gone for pretty much my whole adult life. I had to take a friend with me for moral support.

I did face the fear of confrontation at Young Sir's school last week. I HATE confrontation & I hate dealing with those school people. But something about knowing they put children at risk with their carelessness got me moving... sweaty palms and all.

Kristin said...

Therapy through manicures is a brilliant idea. You are GENIUS!

PS_Iloveyou said...

You did GREAT!!

I'm getting a mani/pedi tomorrow but I won't go without a friend with me. Simply not able to do it yet. The thought of sitting there by myself just makes me sweat.

You are a champion and I'm looking up to you in this moment!

P.S. You should get my blog, You've been given an award!