I often have conversations with friends who will talk about the one friend they have who always cancels or can’t make it, or will tell you they miss you and never do anything about it.
I usually sink in my chair at that stage because I am that friend.
When I had my son, I could never manage to get anywhere on time, and some days, anywhere at all. The fact that he never slept and I used every moment that he slept to sleep as well, meant that I wasn’t functioning at a level of where I could be up and dressed while he napped. I used my energy into him, and forgot about myself. I remember sitting at mothers group and listening to the girls talk about how they did loads of washing, or went out and got their nails done while their babies slept in their prams. I looked at them all like they were so accomplished. . I was not accomplished, I lived in fear and couldn’t leave the house.
I don’t mean it but sometimes getting out of the house is just too much for me. I can’t meet at certain times because most times I can’t get my shit together in time.
Being a mother and leaving the house is a mission in itself. Throw that in the mix of being anxious and it is virtually impossible to do anything.
When I leave the house a lot of things go through my mind. I wonder where I will be able to feed my baby. I wonder if she will cry. I wonder how my toddler will behave…will he run off? Will both my children cry? Will people judge me? etc. It is exhausting. I know… I know in the back of my mind that I probably catastrophize way more than I should, but I do, and I can’t help it.
So when the day comes to get out, I go quiet and hope the person has forgotten, or that they will cancel. (love cancelled plans.) Or I have to get someone to come with me so I have someone to back me up so I feel safe. Sometimes I stop making plans all together and hope people will slowly get sick of me so I don’t have to commit to anything.
Things are improving in my journey and I have a lot more confidence, but there are still some days I just cannot be bothered with human contact because I just want to slob around.
I remember a friend of mine kept cancelling on me, and I got it. I soooo got it. So I said to her, “we can meet up and be low-key, you will be safe, and whenever you feel like you want to go home, you go home, we can drink coffee and laugh and make the day a bit better”
I waited for a response so nervously as I thought she might tell me that I was wrong or annoying, and she wrote back “thank you so much! you are the best! Let’s do it!” – She just needed to hear that it was going to be easy and everything was going to be okay.
People with anxiety just need to feel safe, and like when they come out with you, that everything will be okay. With two kids, I am petrified of one running off, and someone kidnapping the other, so its nice to know that the other person will back you up and be your tribe when looking after your kids too.
So don’t be so offended by cancelled plans, believe me the person loves you and loves to hang with you, it’s just anxiety is a bitch. Chu know? x