I am a bad friend and a broken human being.
I wanted to go see a conference my friend Matt was speaking at today. I was anxious about it since Thursday, and this morning when I had almost psyched myself up enough to head out for the “registration” my stomach tuned inside out and, well, let’s say I was under the weather. And now, having missed that opening ceremony, I’ve screwed any chance I had at seeing a dozen hours of academic video-game lectures, including a talk on NetHack by one of my best friends. Not that anyone running the even would likely turn me away from a conference, or even give me a second look.
I have an anxiety disorder. And while it’s not what would normally be described as “severe” but it’s not insignificant either. I find it incredibly difficult to engage in conversation with almost everyone – even people I’ve known for years. If you’re reading this thinking “why hasn’t Desiré emailed or called me since last year?” it’s because when I try an think about doing it, my whole body tries to shut down.
Hillary’s finishing up her BA and doing her Master’s next year and B-Ed after that. Meanwhile I can’t even think about going back to school without my stomach squeezing in on itself.
Before we moved to Ottawa we tried medication (bad side effects) and therapy (I was too anxious to go – ha! irony.) but neither seemed to help. And while I felt like I was getting better since then, it now seems like it’s just because I could rely on Hillary to help me through any tough times.
I don’t know. It’s weird that I can’t seem to find any logical “rules” to my anxiety. Sometimes I’m freaked out by strangers, sometimes I can call or email them without a second thought. Sometimes I can only talk to close friends, and other times I literally hide from the phone in a closet.
I could blame today on other factors making me more anxious and just coming to a head because of the conference, but I don’t really think it’s any thing else. I’ve had a history of being sick with anxiety an never needed anything actually distressing to set me off before.
[sigh] I can’t even tell you why writing this isn’t terrifying. The site gets ten thousand visitors a month, and I should expect ridicule from all of them.
Anyway- I’m going to go back to cleaning the apartment to alleviate the sense of shame and guilt, because I am an 1950s housewife stereotype.