I was thinking about all of this today while talking to my therapist. A lot of the situations when anxiety kicked in had to do with making an exit. I was looking for physical exits. But, also looking for how I would excuse myself; how to leave.
A couple weeks ago, when I was already in bad shape, there was an event at work. I wasn't going to go, but a friend was going to be in town and would be at the event. COVID issues were certainly on my mind, but that really wasn't the biggest cause of stress. I was anxious about being around a lot of people and most of them being strangers. I had my usual anxiety induced talking too much. I started to think it would be a good time for me to leave. Then, of course, a storm blows in. Major rain and win causing people to come inside. So, the crowd anxiety grew. I was parked in a field and trying to get to my car through the wind and rain didn't seem like a good idea.
There I am, my exit plan foiled.
I ended up staying much longer than I intended. A little ceremony started and that sealed the deal that I was going to be staying.
When that ended I tried to make my move. I knew it was about to get bad. And...I get stopped by a couple of coworkers. They wanted to get a group picture since my friend was in town. I was having a hard time getting out of this conversation. I kept feeling like they thought I was being a bitch because I wasn't wanting to stay. I could feel the anxiety welling up and exiting through tears. They know I'm pretty strict about masks and distancing, but that wasn't what this was about. One said that we could do one the next time my friend visited. I was on the edge of full on crying. I wanted her to understand that it wasn't a mask issue or a being too close issue. This really was, strictly about my general anxiety issues.
I leave the building and there is someone I really needed to say goodbye. She was right there, otherwise I wouldn't have sought her out when I was such a wreck. But, she was there. Then I went to my car and was able to get relief.
I made my exit, in one of the worst ways possible for me, but I got out.
Things need to get better as my last entry shows. Things need to improve. But, I can't force things to happen. My head doesn't work that way. Until everything is figured out, I'm stuck in this hell in which I'm pulling back, isolating, and avoiding.