Happy Friday! So the Day 3 prompt for the Blog Every Day in May challenge is: Things that make you uncomfortable. This is an easy one for me - not many people know this, but I have a Social Anxiety Disorder. I'm the most friendly, outgoing, happy girl there is with my friends and family, but tell me I have to go walk through a crowd of strangers and I start to sweat and get heart palpitations. When I was a little girl and would go to crowded stores with my mom, I'd hook my finger through her belt buckle and would not let go. And maybe even when I was not-so-little... my favorite section of the stores was always the aisle where they had books, coloring books, and stickers. If my mom left me there to browse, you could bet your sweet life that I'd still be exactly where she left me, no matter how much later she came looking for me. No way was this girl gonna go walk around a crowded store alone... and do you notice how I keep saying "crowded"? That is the key word here - it's crowds, specifically crowds of strangers, that make me uncomfortable.
I didn't really know what was wrong with me until years later, when I majored in Psychology in college. As I learned about anxiety disorders, I was shocked myself to realize that I had one! I love to be the life of the party, I love to make people smile and laugh and I love to talk. But crowds - crowds of strangers - make me shrivel up inside. I can feel my body trying to close in on itself, make itself smaller so it can't be seen. I find myself holding my breath, and feeling a tightness in my chest. Although I forced myself to do it, and to try to enjoy it, trips to places like Disney World or Six Flags just aren't fun for me. Too many people pushing and shoving and... too close to me. But at least they are outside - inside things are even worse. My kids are older now and last Summer was our first Summer in California, so we took a ride a few hours south to visit Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Santa Cruz was actually a lot of fun and I had a good time, managed to keep my anxieties at bay and was really proud of myself. But the aquarium was awful. AWFUL. We paid hundreds of dollars for admission for 5 of us, and I don't think I lasted more than an hour. I felt so bad, but I couldn't do it. It was just so crowded, and people were so pushy and... it was just too much for me. So we left and went to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory for lunch. It was a fun trip and I learned a lesson - it's OK to avoid situations that make me uncomfortable, period. I'm thankful that I have a family that understands and accepts me.
So that's what makes me uncomfortable. And even though I know it's irrational and silly, I just can't help it. I have finally accepted that this is who I am, and I'm OK with that. I'd much prefer to avoid those situations than have to medicate myself to get through them, you know? How do crowds of strangers make you feel? Does anyone else reading this feel the same way? I'd love to hear from you!
We have a new challenge for you at:
I am also entering my card into:
Perfect excuse to create a Mother's Day card for your mom, mother-in-law, gram, whoever! I used Paige, colored with Prismacolor pencils & mineral spirits and paper-pieced. My papers are from Authentique. I added freckles to her face (to look like me - LOL) and glitter to the flower in her hair. Sentiment is from AI Factory. I added a ribbon and a few little gemstone stickers to finish it off.
We also have a new challenge and a new release for you today at:
I am also entering this into the:
I used one of the new Jellypark images, Friends are Flowers in Life's Garden, colored with Prismacolor pencils & mineral spirits and a bit of marker. DP is from MME, I added a paper flower and a little bee charm. Come on over and see the rest of the DT's creations with this sweet image and one more new release! Have a great weekend, everyone! Peace.