Something happened this past Saturday which has triggered me to wrote a post. I’ve never been the most confident of people on the planet. I somehow awkwardly, muddled my way through both primary school and secondary school – when I chose to attend (I held the record of 96 lates in one trimester). However, during an outing with Euan for coffee and lunch I had a public freak out and had to leave the shopping centre which we were in.
Let me elaborate. I’ve never been confident and I never will be. I just don’t have personality that fits in with a healthy a social life. I shy away from most forms of public contact. This is weird, with a career working in the public sector. I should be used to socialising but it has never been easy. I have very little friends and consider myself a bit of a loner.
I think I’m much alike my Father, he is a man of few words and too finds the outside world hard work. He refuses to take public transport or eat out. Spends most of his time indoors at home. I have recently discovered that I am becoming more and more like him by the day.
I have previously enjoyed heading out and was never afraid of busy places, I liked the hustle and bustle and could spend hours people watching, however, post baby, I have this new found level of social anxiety and have discovered that the outdoors has become a terrifying place. Especially if I’m to venture out alone.
I’d previously be happy to get the bus alone, nip to the shops, enter a food hall but now, I can’t seem to stray far from home, at least not on my own and I certainly can’t handle busy. It’s a miracle I made it to swimming class last week, trying to being myself to a mindset that will allow me to venture out takes a lot of thought and a whole lot of effort. If I’m honest, it can make me feel afraid and vulnerable. This is all new and never before having my Daughter did I feel like this. I don’t know what has changed or why my mind has become so dark.
I know how crazy that may seem to some of you. How hard can it be to step outside? Something I’d have previously laughed at myself for,and something that I took for granted having never dealt with a great deal of social anxiety. I didn’t even know such a thing really could exist. I mean, who is afraid to step outside? Silly, huh?.. Well, I’m now the one who is afraid. I’ve become reclusive and afraid.
On Saturday we had decided to take a trip out for coffee and some light lunch. Euan works on a Sunday now, a Saturday is the only day we have to spend together. Having reached the shopping centre, I was suddenly hit by surprise. The center was full of people, so busy and crazy it make my head fuzzy and I could no longer concentrate. I was on my own, trapped in my own mind and I shut down and became reclusive. We stopped by several spots to look for a menu and pick out food but each stop we got to, it was too much and I couldn’t think.
The queues were long, people were rushing past in all directions. I couldn’t handle it. I became upset and angry and asked to leave. We spent about half an hour trying to get organised to get out with our baby only for the day to be ruined by a rush of panic that struck me. We didn’t get lunch, I spent the whole trip being agitated and becoming argumentative and upset. The afternoon was turmoil and spoiled.
We got home and I cried. I don’t know what was wrong with me. I was stopped in my tracks and this has never happened before prior to having Eleanor. I used to be okay with a busy environment, I didn’t mind to queue and I’d certainly not be missing out on food just because there were too many people around. I felt as though I was drowning. I just wanted to lay on the floor and disappear. I just wanted to go home. This brings me to question what has changed. Why have I become so reclusive? As a new Mother, shouldn’t I be relishing on time outdoors with my fiance rather than ruining our only day together by being silly?
Shouldn’t I be relishing in time outdoors no matter what setting? I feel as though I should be thankful for getting out but the thing is, I’m not. I don’t want to go out anymore. At least not far and not anywhere that is busy.
I don’t know if this is simply a short term affect of having a baby, if it’s a factor of growing up. Has aging led to a new found anxiety? Is this down to spending more and more time indoors recently? I don’t know but I don’t like it. I don’t like to feel scared and afraid. I don’t like to feel as though I’m trapped indoors because the outside world brings too much upset.
I hope that this is just a short lived spell of anxiety and that it will pass. I feel trapped in my own mind right now, a prisoner of my own thoughts but I have a lot going on and my life is quite manic as I adjust to life as a Mother. Motherhood has certainly come at a price and with Euan now working two jobs it’s a lonely life. I have my baby but how much baby can one person take before you require adult intervention?
I’m a shell of my former self for sure, with spending most days indoors alone with Eleanor it’s pretty tough. I eat meals alone and I go to bed alone a few nights of the week. I spend the days alone in the home, maintaining the daily tasks and entertaining my baby in between feeds and nappy changes. I miss Euan when he isn’t around, I sometimes feel as though I am living as a single mum. It’s certainly not easy and I think my lack of socialising has led to an increase of social anxiety.
Hopefully I can work on getting out more and that this is just a phase, my mind will snap out of this behaviours and I can become my old self again with time. I hope that with time, I’ll soon adapt to having Euan work two jobs and not cry each time he leaves for his evening or weekend shifts. I’ll give it some time, I’m going to give myself time to work on myself and get back to a happier place. I’m not unhappy, I’m just a little lost right now.
Has anyone had problems with social anxiety post pregnancy? Has this just been a phase for you?
What advice do all of you parents out there have for this first time Mum? I’m currently a nervous wreck with the inability to do things on my own.