It’s often the small things that send you staggering. Sometimes it’s because they hit you completely out of the blue, and other times it’s just the tipping point for something much larger.
Due to my anxiety and OCD, I often have trouble keeping social engagements. As much as I know I’ll enjoy myself when I’m out and regret it if I cancel, I inevitably end up cancelling anyway because the build up is simply more than I can handle.
I hate letting people down, and I hate the fear that they take it personally – that I cancel because I don’t actually want to see them, rather than because I have got myself so worked up that I feel physically unable to leave the house. That gnawing guilt turns into some kind of monster, and just makes it even harder to try and arrange something else – what if I have offended them so much that they don’t actually want to see me anymore?
I make the best of what I can though, and try to make up for it where possible. It’s difficult, but I always intend to keep those social dates when I make them – hey, it’s the thought that counts right?!
What I find the toughest to handle is last minute change of details. That really gets my anxiety going. It doesn’t matter whether it’s time, location, activity or anything else, it has the same effect. It gets that anxious OCD part of my brain going – what else is going to change? What’s going to go wrong? Am I going to end up left there looking like a fool? Most of the thoughts rushing through my head are irrational and unfounded, and the rational part of my brain knows that. It doesn’t mean they bugger off though does it! Those thoughts are still incredibly real in that moment.
So if I cancel our plans, I’m sorry. If I’m suddenly unable to make it after a last minute change of details, I’m sorry. It’s nothing personal, and I would still love to be there with you. My own personal demons, but nothing personal against you.