Anxiety and Partying

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The last time I had a night out was for my 21st birthday in September, exactly 6 months ago today. Now it’s not because I’m just a total hermit who hates fun. There are so many reasons I don’t go on nights out. It’s mostly because of my spine as well as the fact that as I’ve grown older I’ve got over the whole ‘let’s get wasted and then feel awful in the morning’ thing, which I was never really into anyway.

I don’t really drink anymore partly because I can’t mix large quantities of alcohol with my pain medication, and I do NOT want to go without that when I’m trying to sleep. The other half is that I’ve learnt from the past that when I’m anxious or depressed I use alcohol in a bad way, I drink and drink and drink until I don’t feel my emotions anyone or the depressant side of alcohol makes me feel worse. A lot of people forget that alcohol is a depressant.

So as well as physically not being able to spend the night standing and dancing in bars, mentally my anxiety makes it really difficult. I’ve had many people tell me I’m ‘letting’ anxiety rule my life, which hurts more than anything. If I let me anxiety rule my life there would be a week or two where I wouldn’t leave my house. Just going about my day, going to work, uni or just popping to the shops can sometimes feel like the biggest mountain.

Tonight, I have been invited to go out with a group of people for a friends birthday. While I know I won’t be going to the club, just going to her house for a get together, being social and around people I don’t know fills me with deep anxiety. The anxiety that panics over what to wear and if I look stupid, if anyone will speak to me or if I’ll do something or say something stupid. The anxiety that takes over my normal brain and runs riot with fictional scenarios. Sounds fun having my brain, right?

I think the worst thing is that for the people I used to go out drinking and dancing with they see a change that isn’t always understood. Normally people think that I don’t want to bother to do anything or that I don’t want to be around them anymore. It’s not the case at all, as I’ve said there are a lot of things I still can’t do, and there are also things I realised about myself in the past year.

I don’t miss drinking to get drunk, I don’t miss paying £7 to get into a packed nightclub and have boys try to grope me and I don’t miss having to come home alone at 1am. I don’t know if this is because I’ve changed or I’ve just let myself be who I am and not care. I like to go out to dinner somewhere fun, get a hot drink with someone , going to the gym to build up my muscles again. I’d rather spend my money on books or pops or going to Comic con. I like to spend my time working on my blog, writing a novel or performing music. Oh and I love to read, books have been a constant companion for me when my spine really tries to hurt me. That isn’t to say I judge anyone who likes to go out, I’ve done it! This is just how I feel about having fun myself now.

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Where all my money goes!

I wanted to write this post not only to get my thoughts on a page (and possibly avoid my dissertation), because I wanted other people to know that it’s ok. I know for a fact there are a lot of people out there who also don’t like clubs and would prefer not to spend their hard earned cash getting hammered because it’s really hard for them. I’ve been there, when my flat felt like the only place I could feel remotely calm and safe and that’s ok. Anxiety and Depression are really shitty illnesses that can make even the simplest of tasks feel impossible.

So wish me luck for my first ‘night out’ without Ali or my Mum in 6 months and here’s to hoping the anxiety stays at bay so I can celebrate with my friends.

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