Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

One of my girlfriends invited me to a Girls Night at her house Saturday. I almost didn't go. At first I was excited about going. Fred keeps telling me to get out more and meet more people. And I agree 100%. I need to get out of the house and not just to exercise. However, when one of the girls cancelled last minute I felt that all too familiar urge to do the same. I found one excuse after another as to why I didn't feel like going: It shouldn't be this cold in Spring, it is raining… again, I will only know one person there. As I sat depressed and bored on the couch, Fred hinting it was time for my Girls Night to start, I made a decision. No more excuses. I am tired of missing out on opportunities and experiences because of my anxiety. So, on this particular Saturday evening when normally I would have cancelled, I took a deep breath and walked out the door.

This might not sound like a big deal to most of you out there, but if you are someone who lives with anxiety you know the kind of courage that took. You see, anxiety causes you to live in a hyper-sensitive state. You are fully aware of everything around you. Every person, every noise, every movement, every object, every smell...therefore keeping you on high alert, ready to fight or flight. Because of this, seemingly simple situations, like attending a Girls Night, can be overwhelming. Especially when that situation threatens your comfortability. Now I am perfectly capable of stepping outside my comfort zone and having a good time. However, getting myself to actually do it, therein lies the difficulty. My whole life I have hated meeting new people and going out alone for fear of being judged not interesting enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, and thinking everyone will hate me. These self conscious thoughts fill my head each and every time I come into contact with another person. So maybe now you can understand the internal argument I had with myself on Saturday evening, and how much of a win it was to knock on her door and step through the threshold.

So as I mentioned, I am able to enjoy myself once outside my comfort zone which is exactly what I did Saturday night. I met some lovely ladies, drank some wine, and laughed so hard my face hurt. It felt really good. To be that comfortable amongst strangers and let go. I seriously cannot remember the last time I laughed that hard. This game we played, Cards Against Humanity, I had heard of it but never actually played it. If you have ever played Apples to Apples, a favorite amongst my family and some riotous fun itself, you understand the concept behind this game. Only, Cards Against Humanity is its own special kind of fun. The website describes it "as despicable and awkward as you and your friends (so true)…a party game for horrible people." Now I wouldn't go as far as that but it is definitely an ADULTS ONLY game and you need to have thick skin and a good sense of humor to play. Some of these cards are truly horrible (and disgusting) but that is part of the fun. Especially when you've had a glass or two of wine.

Many hours later, and in the wee hours of the night/morning, I made my way back to my car thankful for having stepped out of my comfort zone for the evening. No anxiety attack, no uncomfortable glances at my watch, or wishing I was back home. Just a much needed fun evening out.

post signature

Pin It