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I went to a party!

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Pass posted 12/19/2013 09:45 AM

Back when I was diagnosed with depression, I was also told that I have social anxiety. This has caused huge problems for me in the past, and has kept me from getting the socialization that I really needed to help me with my depression.

The Princess always knew that I had this problem (even before we had a name for it). I would try to just stay by her side at parties, because she was a "safe" person for me (there may be some irony there), but she would often end up ditching me (and then giving me shit if I just hung out with one person the whole evening!). Whenever we would bring the kids to a party, I would hang with them - and then I would feel badly about it, because it's not fair for them to be their dad's crutch.

Of course, my other old reliable crutch was many glasses of wine.

Well, I was invited to a party with a bunch of my new musician friends the other night. I felt the usual fear as I was getting ready to go, but made myself go anyway. I brought my mandolin with me. I've gotta tell you: I fucking thrived!

I had recently read that the best way to meet people at networking events is to approach anyone who is standing alone, or in groups of two people, so this is what I did. I "interviewed" people by asking them about their latest projects, where they're going for their holidays, etc. Whenever the demons in my brain would tell me that this person probably wanted to get away from me, I followed my shrink's advice: I asked myself, "What is the evidence?"

So I looked at the evidence. The person who is chatting me up, with a smile on his/her face, and keeping the conversation going, probably wasn't looking for a chance to get away. I may even be likeable.

And of course, music ended up breaking out at one point. That made things easier as well.

Parties? Pfft. I can do that!

BAB61 posted 12/19/2013 09:48 AM

WooooHoooo wtg! So proud of you for just doing it! (((Pass)))

Lola2kids posted 12/19/2013 09:51 AM

Love to read these updates from you, Pass.
I can relate to so many of your fears/successes.

Good on you!!

ItHappened2Me2 posted 12/19/2013 09:53 AM

Pass - I have been reading your posts for a little while and I must say, it is WONDERFUL to see your recent victories in self-confidence.

I am so sorry that The Princess took so much of you. Of course you are wonderful human being with interesting talents -- why wouldn't others want to talk with you???

Love these positive posts!

dmari posted 12/19/2013 10:08 AM

I'm so happy for you!! This is a HUGE accomplishment!

Lyonesse posted 12/19/2013 10:11 AM

Not only did you survive the party, it sounds like you actually had fun!

cantaccept posted 12/19/2013 10:22 AM

What a great accomplishment, build on every success!

Instruments are such a great equalizer, makes you feel part even when you don't talk.

I am going to my first party on Saturday, terrified. I have not been out on my own since WH returned last January. While he was gone the first time I went out once and it was hell. I don't think I was ready, it was two weeks after dday, I was still a zombie!

Now, he is still in the house until next Thursday but I am trying to keep going, finding the positive. Still scared to go alone but I am going anyway.

Pass posted 12/19/2013 10:42 AM

Thanks so much, everyone. It seems weird that whenever someone says something nice to me - like y'all just did - it makes me tear up. I've been wanting someone to say nice things for my entire marriage. It seems odd that I'm getting it from strangers instead of the woman I loved.

But I guess I can hardly consider you strangers with the way I've been spilling my guts, eh?

And yes, I definitely had fun: I talked, I played music, I woke up without a hangover.

cantaccept: Good for you! You've got this. I just read your profile, and you're not so fucked up as you may think you are (that's meant as a compliment, even if it may not read as one!). You can enjoy yourself too.

suckstobeme posted 12/19/2013 10:54 AM

Pass - look how far you've come - you should be so proud of yourself and looking forward to a new life that doesn't include an anchor of abuse around your neck!!!!

nowiknow23 posted 12/19/2013 11:10 AM

I've gotta tell you: I fucking thrived!
I love this SO much, pass. Woo hoo!

JessicaFL127 posted 12/19/2013 11:16 AM

Nice job, buddy! Good for you.

k94ever posted 12/19/2013 15:52 PM

See....... youze a good person.

Smart tactical move on leaving the banjo at home BTW.


nowiknow23 posted 12/19/2013 15:54 PM

Smart tactical move on leaving the banjo at home BTW.
A banjo (like any other instrument) is a joy in the hands of a skilled musician.

abbycadabby posted 12/19/2013 16:25 PM

I've gotta tell you: I fucking thrived!

That's because musicians are cool!

Keep up the good work.

NotFixable posted 12/19/2013 16:45 PM

That's great! You are much stronger than you ever thought you were. Way to go!

Chrysalis123 posted 12/19/2013 17:18 PM

Way to go!

I know how hard socializing is because I have the same issue. X-NPD always ridiculed me for it too.

Good for you!!!

PurpleRose posted 12/19/2013 20:55 PM

Music is your thing pass... Use what you got!

I'm so happy for you-- keep up the good work!

PurpleBirch posted 12/19/2013 22:18 PM

Good for you :) I think you used a good strategy with those people. However, being somewhat introverted, I see nothing wrong with hanging around one person all night. Just sayin.

I'm glad it worked out well for you. Some of my favourite parties in the past have been where all these talented musicians would just take out whatever instrument and just sing/play. Great idea bringing the mandolin.

Pass posted 12/20/2013 00:30 AM

Thanks y'all. I really am feeling quite proud of myself! This is something that has always been a HUGE battle for me.

And for the record k9, I would be just as proud if I had done this with one of my banjos, instead of my mandolin!

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