Becoming a Recluse

As you guys will know from my blog post I can be a terrible friend, after I left college I began to avoid going out with some of my friends after not seeing them for a while because of how anxious I felt at the prospect of interacting with them. However, this anxiety of meeting with friends has gotten worse over the past few weeks. I now find myself making up the worst excuses to avoid meeting up with or going out with most of my closest friends.

At first I did have genuine excuses. After my nan died I avoided all contact with my friends, I wouldn’t interact with them on group messages and could only muster a weak ‘thanks’ if they sent me sympathetic messages. At this point I just wanted to be left alone so I could grieve, and my friends understood and respected that. One of my friends invited me to the cinema, possibly to see if it would take my mind off of things, but I politely declined and went away to Wales with my family instead, in an effort to escape the increasing anxiety that grief had brought with it. A few weeks later, after I had gotten over my grief, my friends and I had organised a sleepover near Christmas as an opportunity to see each other for the first time in months. I was all ready and excited to go, but as fate would have it, I was struck down with what was called ‘Aussie Flu’ in the UK, which was apparently one of the worst bouts of flu that the country had seen in a long time. With constant sneezing, migraines and exhaustion, I was in no fit state to go to the sleepover and so had to cancel last minute.

However, because of this, and not seeing my friends for such a long amount of time, I have found that I began dreading any time that we had agreed to meet up, so I began making up really bad excuses to avoid going. One of the excuses I have used recently was when a friend of mine asked if we wanted to meet up and hang out at her place, and I replied that I had ‘forgotten that we had decided to meet up and have made other plans’. I felt absolutely appalled with myself because it was a downright lie and my friend saw right through it, but she accepted the excuse and my anxiety levels went down almost immediately.  Another excuse that I have used was that I was busy on all the available days that my friend wanted to meet up, again my friend saw right through this as they knew I was already an anti-social sort of person who was highly unlikely to have so many plans, but again they accepted it.

My excuse making has even becoming a running joke in our group chat as my friend asked me in early January if I wanted to watch Avengers: Infinity War with her in May, joking that she had to book me 4 months in advance just to make sure that I could go. This same friend also recently asked me if I wanted to go to the Warner Bros Studio Tour with her, as we both share a love for Harry Potter, and I had told her that I would have to check if I could afford it. Although the excuse I made was pretty flimsy, the reason behind it was genuine. I really struggle travelling to places that are further than my local town without someone that I am very close to, which tends to be my family. Travelling in general always makes me feel really nervous, but when the people I travel with are only friends, which I do love and cherish, my nervousness reaches new heights and I physically can’t bring myself to go.

I recently forced myself to meet up with a friend who I had not seen for more than 6 months. At first, I really enjoyed it and I was really happy to see them, but after a short while we soon ran out of conversation topics and it became quite awkward and uncomfortable. This tends to happen more when it is just one-to-one meet ups with friends. However, when there is a whole group of us that are meeting up (at least 4 of us), I am perfectly fine with going and actually get really excited about the prospect of meeting up with all of my friends. Again, this happened recently; around 16 of us met up in a bar and all caught up with each other and discussed what we had been doing since we last met, it was a blast!

Overall I absolutely hate myself for constantly bailing on my friends, and I feel like I don’t deserve them with how I’m being but I honestly don’t know how I can make myself feel comfortable with them when we meet up. Do you guys have any ideas how I could do this or any ways that could help? If so, please do feel free to get in touch with me in the comments below.

That’s all for this week guys, thank you for reading and I hope I haven’t changed your perception of me.

Until next time,

An Anxious Gal.

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10 Replies to “Becoming a Recluse”

  1. I feel you 100% on this. Once my anxiety started getting really bad, I slowly became a recluse, and I hardly see my friends at all now. I’ve started attending bi-weekly game nights with a few friends, which has helped, but even then I cancel on them pretty frequently. I’ve found that it helps to try and make plans with friends who understand your situation, so that if you *do* cancel, they won’t get upset or mad at you. I also tend to go to these game nights with my boyfriend, so it helps that he kind of holds me accountable to going, and if I do get anxious when I’m there, I can pull him aside and have him talk me down. Are there any friends you could make an accountability/support partner like that? Someone you could have to tag along and help if you start feeling anxious while you’re out?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do have one of those friends who I am really close to but the only issue is that she goes to University in Birmingham so she is away a lot of the time and the only other friend of my that could tag along is from high school and so does not know many of my college friends that I hang out with 😔

      Like

  2. I get this. I’m in a similar position but due to illness. Life is really too short, and deep down, I think you know friends that truly get your back. Don’t force yourself to go out but still give yourself time. Naturally, things have a way of sorting themselves out. Awesome blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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