If I Go There Will Be Trouble…

I never qualified myself as an anxious person.  My entire childhood was basically dedicated to extroverted activities: acting on stage (this lasted till my last year in college), performing in music groups and bands, playing every kind of team sport there was (never mind the fact that I was pretty horrible in all of them), and winning constant Gold Stars in participation. I was loud, gregarious and loved being the leader. Nobody, EVER, would classify me as a socially anxious child.

So that’s why it’s so strange for me to now categorize myself as A) an Introvert and B) Anxiety prone.

When I say Introvert, I don’t mean hermit. I guess I’m what you call a Social Introvert — I enjoy meeting people and going out, but I have strict internal limits. I’m always the one leaving concerts early, taking a cab home before anyone else, falling asleep in the middle of a party that I haven’t been able to escape from… Alone time is essential to my survival, and when my social meter has reached its maximum, I just shut down. I don’t want to go a step further. I fantasize about my pajamas and blankets. I slip away without telling anyone.

Too many people, too much stimuli — it’s like throwing water on a cat. I freak out and scurry under a couch until things quiet down.

When I say Anxiety prone, I mean that my Introverted side often fights me in social situations. If I plan a night out or a weekend away, fine. If I have ample time to prepare for someone else’s night out or weekend, then that works too. But if you spring things on me, steer the night in a completely different direction (“I thought instead of the wine bar we could go to this stupidly loud club uptown”), or invite 10 of your best friends who I’ve never met, that’s when we have problems.

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