Closer to Normal

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to step into the life of another person?

I’m not talking movie stars or famous people as I think we all do that from time to time.  I’m talking your average, ordinary people.  I only ask because every once in a while I find myself trying very hard to imagine what other people’s lives are like.  I don’t take xanax very often, but I do have a prescription.  Yesterday I took a couple to ease me into this golf outing I’d be talked into participating in.  As I drove down the road toward my destination, totally relaxed and a little bit excited about the prospect of being social I started to wonder if this is how normal people feel every day of their lives.  I’m sure it isn’t.  Xanax is a wonderful drug and it kind of makes you not give a damn about much of anything and it’s my assumption that most of us worry about something sooner or later.  It’s just… it would be really nice to go through life without being constantly plagued with anxiety about the stupid things I shouldn’t care about.  I’m great at my job.  I take charge of things.  I like being in control of big projects, etc.  But ask me to go and do something others might perceive as fun and I’m instantly trying to find excuses.

Part of the above comes from being an introvert.  I’m not necessarily energized by being around people and social outings can really wear me out.  Being an introvert does not, however, mean I need to be riddled with anxiety.

Seriously.  Before the xanax yesterday?  I had a million moments of “they’re all going to laugh at you” inside of my head.  I even asked my friend if I could drive to her house and follow her to the event.  Why?  Well I didn’t know what the protocol would be for check-in once I got there, I’d never been to this location before, and I was afraid of standing around a bunch of people who might not talk to me.  Yeah.  Had I driven alone and not followed my friend I might have just kept on driving and made some excuse of having a migraine.

Part of me just wants to shake myself and tell me to just grow up and get over it.  But I can’t.  It’s very real.  And trust me, until recently I didn’t open up about it.  I never sought help for what I felt was me being a stupid, insecure, idiot.  One of the positive things to come from my car accident?  I had PTSD for a little while and riding in a car would send me into a shaking fit.  So my shrink suggested I ask my doctor for some xanax.  And then, one day I thought about popping one prior to a social event I was anxious about.  And then I went to the event and had a great time just like everyone else there.  Groundbreaking stuff, yanno?

Add another year to that startling revelation and I start admitting to my friends that the reason they can never count on me when I make social plans with them is because I get anxiety.

And you know something?  Those friends?  Well gosh darn it would you believe those friends turned out to be real honest to goodness friends and accepted me anyway and are always willing to do a little bit extra to help me out.

The sky did not fall.

Nobody judged me.

I actually have a bit of a social life now.

One step closer to normal?  Possibly.  But what is normal, anyway?