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So Excited, and I Want to Hide


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Tomorrow Emerald City ComiCon begins. Well, there are activities going on tonight, but the main events at the convention center start tomorrow.

There are many things to see, do, and experience. I’m particularly looking forward to the Women of Buffy panel with Julie Benz, Charisma Carpenter, and Clare Kramer. Well, sort of.

I have been looking forward to this since I purchased the passes during the fall of 2014. I’ve been excitedly talking about the possibilities every time a new guest was announced.

Starting this week, as the first day looms closer, a heavy knot of dread has begun pressing on my stomach. I have felt nauseated. All of the muscles in my body have been tensing, causing some painful spasms. When I casually think about the Con, I feel like throwing up, and my mind wanders to “valid” excuses not to go.

This is the reality of social anxiety.

I don’t necessarily fear being around a large group of people. The best way I can describe it is that when I think about being surrounded by the thousands of people who will attend, I feel a crawling sensation under my skin and going seems like more effort than it’s really worth leaving my home.

But, I do want to go.

The conflict is aggravating. Sometimes the anxiety wins, and I miss out on things that I would actually enjoy…if it weren’t for all of the people. Other times I’m successful at WILLING myself into these situations, and I try my best to focus on what originally drew me while trying to mentally separate myself from those around me. This practice is actually physically and emotionally exhausting – which is why I begin thinking that it’s not really worth the trouble.

I had my first major panic attack at ECCC last year. I didn’t know it was a panic at the time. In the middle of it, I sat down to rest, and came close to losing consciousness. I actually had to call my husband on his cell phone, and all I could say was, “Help me….please help me. I’m going to fall.”

Thankfully I didn’t faint, but the episode made my body feel so terribly weak that we had to leave the Con. When we got home, I couldn’t keep my eyes open and slept for several hours. When I woke up, I felt like I had spent the whole day running a marathon when in reality, we had only spent two hours at the Con.

This is the reality of social anxiety.

I plan on going tomorrow. I’ve caught myself trying to rationalize going tomorrow, but maybe skipping one of the other days, although I have paid for the entire weekend. We’ll see.

I will be posting on my Facebook page throughout the Con – this will help to distract me from any uncomfortable feelings. Wish me luck.