My friend Garth Spencer is throwing a party tonight, and I honestly don’t know if I will go or not, even though I passively indicated that I would.
It’s a social anxiety thing. This will be an event which has the Fruvous double whammy – people I don’t know and a limited amount of space.
Those two combined tend to be anathema to me. That combo is what drove me out of the local furry fandom that I founded and led myself.
Between the two, the crowding is the major factor. I can’t be all jammed in with other people without at least a place to sit and something to absorb my attention. like food or a crossword puzzle or whatever.
And in that case, I am deliberately closing myself off from the upsetting stimuli and that does not work well with being at a party.
So it’s the claustrophobic aspect that is the big deal for me. There is more to it than claustopoobia, but that gives you the basic idea. The fact that I can’t move around freely and that so many people are breathing the same air as me in that tight space sets off a super major freakout level anxiety attack and it doesn’t matter if I am otherwise having a great time, the fear will rise like the mercury in a cartoon thermometer until I have no choice but to get the fuck out of there.
The fact that I am also in a social anxiety producing situation doesn’t help any, but it’s nowhere near as big a problem as the claustrophobia.
That claustrophobia is a monster, y’all.
So that’s the case against, more or less. It could be the kind of thing that’s bad for me toi be around. And it’s not like if I hit the danger zone I can just bug out and go home.
Garth lives in Vancouver. I live in Richmond. It’s a 45-60 minute drive to get to his place. I have no idea how long it would take via mass transit.
But suffice it to say that it would be a long time before I got to someplace where I felt safe. And that’s a real problem.
I suppose I could go wait in Joe’s car. That means that if I go, I should bring the book I am reading and maybe some snacks and a drink.
And some horse tranquilizers.
The whole thing makes me once again wish I had one of those immediate anti-anxiety meds like Xanax in my anti-anxiety arsenal. It would be so lovely to be able to zonk out my freaking out circuits for a time.
And I don’t want to start drinking. I have enough health problems as it is.
Speaking of which, I am beginning to worry. I have been having these attacks where I feel incredibly, incredibly cold, especially on my right side. And the cold feels like it is coming from inside me. Like I’ve suddenly got a refrigerator in my bloodstream.
Now any way you slice it, that is a very bad sign. It suggests that circulation to half of my body becomes compromised in some way on a semi-regular basis.
Last Thursday night was the worst attack so far. Bad enough that it broke through my usual thick wall of disconnection between my mind and my body and forced me to become consciously aware of the problem.
Once that happened, I realized that these attacks have been happening for a long time, and like a fool I just shrugged them off as just “getting a chill” (like that’s a real thing) or there being a draft in my room (that I couldn’t feel).
For years now, I have experienced times where it felt lik emy right foot was in a sock full of ice water and my right hand felt like it was two seconds from frostbite. In a healthier person, these incidents would raise major alarms.
But my depression shuts most things out, especially when I am knee deep in my distractions. That’s why it had to get pretty bad before I really recognized it.
I am starting ot think that I had a mild stroke at some point, or maybe an embolism or anuerism. A tiny one – the sort that can go unnoticed or present as just a vague unpleasant feeling or a touch of the flu.
And since then, the right side of my body has been malfunctioning. Either the circulation is messed up (which seems unlikely given how localized it is) or something is up with my central nervous system somewhere (which is exactly the sort of shit that diabetes causes), but I am a fairly fucked up dude.
So right now, I am gathering the wherewithal to make a doctor’s appointment to go see him about all this. I get the feeling that such a doctor’s visit will lead to a world of unpleasant experiences as I get tested for stuff, but I am worried enjough that I am willing to do it anyway.
I mostly don’t want to die. Mostly.
And the thing is, this sort of thinjg was inevitable. I do not take good care of myself at all. The depression keeps getting in the way. I have no internal models for caring for myself because nobody ever modeled that by taking care of me as a kid.
I was left to my own devices.
And my devices suck.
Children are not competent enough to look after themselves. That;s the entire reason they need parents.
But my marks were good and I never complained, so everything must have been fine, right? And we’re much happier ignoring you, so we choose to believe it!
So I treat myself as I was treated : I neglect myself.
And it doesn’t matter how “wrong” it is. It’s what I am stuck with. I will continue to try to look after myself better but it’s going to be a long time before the supply of self-care rises to meet the demand.
Let’s hope I live long enough for that to happen.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.