Yesterday was sort of a big deal for me–well at least about five minutes of it was. I came across somebody online who was giving away a stack of dvds, so she and I made arrangements for me to go pick them up. I took my husband and baby girl along, and for what was an incredible surprising change, I was actually able to be social! I wasn’t anxious, I wasn’t worried about what she might have been thinking about me, I wasn’t afraid to talk to her. I couldn’t tell you the last time that I was really able to carry on small talk with a stranger without having a panic attack!
In the short time that we were talking, we chatted as if we were old friends, talking about our kids, about movies, her past relationships, and just anything that came to mind pretty much. Now-she led the conversation, but I was able to respond in a normal fashion, rather than waiting and relying on my husband to carry my part. I didn’t realize that anything was different while I was standing there, but when we got in the car to leave it just sort of hit me. I turned to my husband and said, “Hey, I was just social and it actually made me feel good. I enjoyed it.” He agreed that it was different and told me that he was proud of me.
I realized as we drove through town, just how much I really was enjoying it. I forgot how much I actually like talking to people. Though my social anxiety still makes its appearances now and then, I have made some amazing progress over the last few months, and didn’t even notice that it was happening.
While I was cleaning up the master bedroom yesterday, I picked up a piece of mail and unfolded it to see what it was, and the page that I flipped to said “Most behaviors and moods are based on the way we allow ourselves to think about the situation”…six months ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. I probably would have rolled my eyes at it (I probably did and just don’t remember), but now I know just how true that is. I love the knowledge that sneaks up on me, the things that I can really only “get” by experiencing it.
What a great reminder that you are in control of your own mind. Changes happen while you aren’t even looking and when you aren’t even focusing on making them happen. Sometimes, things just surprise you. While I could choose to look at this as just a minor step in the direction I would like to go, I instead choose to view it as a point on my scoreboard. It may just be one small step, but allowing myself to take credit for it, and knowing that I have been working toward this, is incredibly empowering. Had I not decided to start trying to make these things better, I’d still be the hermit that I was and never had the chance to become me.