Unlocking some doors.

Uncontrollably giggling like a teenybopper, about to fall off the couch or pee my pants or something else entirely embarrassing – that’s when I knew.  Late Saturday evening (or was it early Sunday morning?) is when I realized I was having excellent fun amongst people I’d only met anywhere from 48 hours to an hour before.

And I didn’t need a drop of alcohol in order to do it.

When I look back at the weekend at BlogHer, there were very few moments where I felt uncomfortable.  Thankfully, the moments that were indeed uncomfortable were detected by the women I’ve known from the blogosphere for years, despite only knowing each other in person a brief time.  All the social anxiety quickly subsided with their reassurances and kindness.

And I didn’t need a drop of alcohol in order to make it through the weekend.

Memories of making an ass of myself in social situations melted away.  Sure, I was still a klutz and still ran my mouth off a little too much, but it came naturally instead of as a result of a drink or two or six – or even better, a nasty hangover.

Now I’m going to share a little secret.  Because of this generalized anxiety disorder that I’m finally getting around to dealing with, I haven’t touched alcohol in nearly six months.  I don’t know how long it will be before I do again – or if I will at all.

Yeah, I miss a couple of glasses of red wine with a fabulous gourmet dinner and sometimes I just want to come home and have a beer after work.  If it means losing my sense of self, however, I’d rather have the diet Coke with a twist of lime.

Posted on July 28, 2009, in Anxiety, BlogHer '09. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Jenni Prokopy - ChronicBabe

    I NEVER would have guessed you had social anxiety. I mean, I know you’re a bit shy, but I didn’t know how difficult it was for you. We had SO MUCH FUN! You seemed a natural, and definitely by Saturday night (yes, definitely Sunday morning, too) we were just being totally ridiculous. Of course, I can’t claim no alcohol, but I can get that way without it too – I’ve gone years at a time without it. So, Babe, I’m ultra-proud of you and I hope you remember our awesome times the next time you feel that anxious twinge. I’m always with you in spirit, laughing way too loud at stuff that’s way too silly! Hugs -

    • talesofmy30s

      What can I say, so much positive energy from everyone really helped me. :)

  2. Major Bedhead

    See, I needed some liquid courage.

    I had a blast meeting everyone. And Saturday night just rocked. There’s no other way to describe it. I had SO much fun.

    I knew you were anxious at the one party. I was, too, and didn’t mind in the slightest making a quick escape. I think we would have had fun eventually had we stayed, but I’m just as glad we went next door and then on to Poppy’s awesome shindig. Because that? Was the dog’s bollocks.

    • talesofmy30s

      Thank you for noticing before I really wanted to admit that it was making me nervous.

  3. It did not occur to me to think about the link between alcohol and anxiety disorder – I think this is because I don’t usually drink, so I don’t notice trends about my mood and drinking. But it’s really interesting that you did and really reinforces my instincts – that I’m better off without it. I did have a drink or two this weekend but it worked out OK. Though I think all things being equal, I would have had just as much or more fun without!

    I haven’t been officially diagnosed, because my Dr. doesn’t like to pin things down (which is a little frustrating, it’s like “you definitely have something but I’m not willing to say what it is once and for all”) but generalized anxiety disorder fits the bill. It’s what I tell my friends when they need to understand why I’m saying things that are weird or behaving strangely.

    I am always relieved and/or sad to hear that other folks have to deal with this stuff. I wish you all the success in coping with it!

    • talesofmy30s

      I don’t know that I’ll ever be completely free of anxiety – there are just so many different aspects involved – but I can certainly try to unravel some of the worst of it.

  4. Holy cow – I had no clue you had social anxiety! You handled it well; I never suspected!

    I was so pooped by Saturday night (oldster that I am), I spent the evening watching “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” in my hotel room!

    But Friday night I managed to down a Seven&7 and a large glass of Merlot, realizing that if I did not leave the party and go back to my room, you all would have found me on the karaoke stage belting out “Wheel in the Sky” by Journey. As I left, someone ELSE was belting out “Wheel in the Sky” and I ALMOST went back to challenge her to a Journey Karaoke-off with a rousing rendition of “Lights”.

    But no. I took my glass of Merlot in one hand and my Mickey Mouse ice cream in the other and trotted back to my room to wallow in my swag-filled bed and blog away!

    Sounds like I missed a doozy of a party on Saturday, but Ben Stiller made up for it! : D

    • Whoah. That was me belting out Journey! HAD I EVEN KNOWN that I was preventing Kim form Emergiblog from belting out Journey, I would have been mortified! I have been reading your blog ever since I decided to apply to nursing school. :)

    • I found a certain comfort level with you, so it was easy. :)

      (And oh yay, Journey!)

  5. I’m am belatedly working my way through the pile of BlogHer cards – happy to have met you – and perhaps we’ll meet again in NYC!

    (I’m sorry I missed Ree taking off her wig – she’s one awesome woman.)


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