Let it be known that I tried. I drove the nearly 40 miles to the activity tonight. I even stayed for nearly 2 hours. But the large group comprised of several cliques and a serious lack of well run things to do lead me to giving up and leaving when I felt the first symptoms of another panic attack coming on. (from the looks of things the activity will probably go another 2-3 hours after i left)
I went for a long drive and asked myself why I'm having so much anxiety over meeting people. I realized a few important things tonight. First, my anxiety isn't over meeting people. I've been meeting people and enjoying it since I have been here. I've been to several social functions and didn't even consider getting nervous over it. My problem is with large groups. Second, this is the first large group function I have attended since December (not counting the new years event i was in charge of). I stopped going to social functions after the major drama and backstabbing and overall loss of friends and faith in people back in December. Seven months of avoiding large social gatherings does make it a little uncomfortable to jump back into now. I did attend my uncle's funeral, which by and large, was a pretty big social gathering of sorts. But that was different. I knew nearly every person there, so it doesn't really count. But right now I have to remind myself of every instance and how I fared.
Basically, I hate large groups. I hate them for several reasons. Probably the first being that every major awful embarrassment, or betrayal, or loss of love or friendship happened in a large setting. I hate the anonymity of big groups and the feeling that you could just disappear and no one would ever know.
I have done this before you know. I've moved away and lived on my own with no safety net or network before. After I graduated from college I moved to Houston where I didn't know a soul. I only had the promise that my dad would make business trips down there once over 2-3 months. But upon arriving in Houston, literally just minutes after driving into town, I met and fell in love with the guy that would be my boyfriend the entire time I lived there. That made adjusting to town a little easier. When I moved to Florida I had Juli, who introduced me to Kevin. I had instant friends from the minute I got there. I lived with Jules (married and pregnant though she may be), and Kev took me to every social thing he could think of. Finding a life there took no time at all. And then I moved to Santa Monica where my roommate was an instant best friend to me. Again, it was easy.
I think this move is a little harder than the others because there isn't an instant best friend already. I love what I have here, and I don't regret anything. I'm just missing that little detail that makes moving to a strange place so much easier.
I'm not going to give up. But I am going to give myself a break for a little bit. We'll see what happens. I do have big plans for next weekend, and I do want to be able to feel like I can go through with them and enjoy myself without another anxiety attack. We'll see.
Wish me luck.
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