Monday, November 18, 2013

I should have taken the bottle of booze.

And now for something completely different. Warning: This is not as lighthearted as earlier posts. 

I’ve never made friends easily. I was very much the kid that just kind of tagged along and kept her thoughts to herself to keep from stirring the pot/roiling the waters/making waves. I wanted people to like me and so I just shut up whenever people said or did something I didn’t like or agree with. To some extent, I’m still like this. 

Because I don’t make friends easily, I don’t have a lot of friends. In fact, to be brutally honest, I’d say I have a LOT of acquaintances and very few actual friends. Sad, right? A lot of the time, when I attempt to make friends with other women, I feel like I don't really "fit" with them. I'm not sure if that's my own standoffishness due to my shyness or if we really don't fit together. 

I mean really, how are people supposed to make friends after school? The women my age at church have older children than I do and are all busy with their own families and activities, which I completely understand. I work for my mom with my brothers. I don’t turn down opportunities to hang out with people outside of my family for an evening…but I don’t get any offers anymore. Something about being married, a mom, and 30 just makes it hard to make friends. So recently, I decided to bite the bullet and try something new: meeting people. 

It’s been a long time since I really had to deal with my social anxiety. So long, in fact, that I figured I was over it and it wouldn’t be a big deal for me to do something that used to make me uncomfortable. Boy was I wrong. 
In my quest for getting out of my funk I decided to try a local mommy group, MOPS. Sunday night, I mentioned to Austin that I was thinking about going to the meeting last Monday morning (the 11th) and he encouraged me to go, saying it would be good for me and the boys. I was hesitant and so anxious about it ahead of time, I woke up at 7 am on a day I could sleep in. I double checked the information online and made sure the boys had a bag packed with the appropriate things. I attempted to print out the registration paperwork but it didn’t work. That was the first snag. 
Next up was Elijah’s new carseat. He’s now forward facing and Austin put it in but neglected to loosen the straps, so my chunky monkey was literally about 1/3 strapped in. I debated, then decided to go ahead and go. We were already in the car, might as well just keep on with the goal. We loaded up the stuff and buckled in the rest of us and headed out. To the wrong church. 
I grew up in this town, you’d think I’d recognize the fact that the church I thought it was has a completely different name. Of COURSE I didn’t realize I was at the wrong place until I parked, unloaded and hauled everything inside. The correct church was about 3 minutes past my house. *sigh*
So we head back to the car, load back in, rebuckle and head out. I’m in tears at this point just over being at the wrong church. Asher is in the back telling me “Mommy, take a nap” which is what I tell him when he’s upset and crying. Cute kid. 
I decide to power through and we head on to the correct church. Which turns out to be on a lot the size of 4 city square blocks. Most of which is (seemingly) the church building. I have NO idea where to go, but I see moms with kids so try to follow them. I find the place for the boys to go and actually stand there for a second, trying to figure it out. Finally a woman comes over and asks me if I need help. (No, I secretly love having no idea what I'm doing, it makes my day!) I explain that it’s my first time and I don’t know where to go or what to do. She shows me the paperwork for the boys and tells me where they’ll be. They’re in separate rooms and I packed one bag. Oh well. 
I get Elijah checked in, changed and go to check on Ash. The teacher with Elijah has like, 4 kids total. The other one has seriously around 10-15. So she doesn’t even acknowledge me. Now I have to figure out where I’m supposed to go. 
I wandered around a little, trying to figure it out to no avail. I’m texting Austin this whole time with my litany of woes and he’s trying to be encouraging. I go ask the teacher with Elijah and she has no idea where to go. Next I try following someone but I lose her. I find the OTHER children’s area but still no moms. I find a  gym and kitchen and multiple meeting rooms (seriously, this church is massive) and still no moms. I wind up in the last stall of a tucked away bathroom crying and trying to talk myself out of getting the boys and going home or leaving them until the meeting is over at 11.30 and running a few errands. I finally decide if I can’t find the meeting by 10, I’ll get the boys and go. That gives me about 10 minutes. The meeting started at 9.15. 
I wander a bit more, then hear voices and decide to try upstairs. There’s a large meeting room upstairs where there are about 10-15 tables of 6-8 women each listening to a woman pray. There’s no visible empty chairs and no one is checking the door for stragglers, which is understandable at 9.50. I duck out to text Austin that I found it but there’s no seats. I go back in and decide the 10am deadline still stands. They’ve got like 20 people on their staff, surely someone will notice me standing in the back looking lost. 
And someone did. So I finally ended up at a table with women who I didn’t get introduced to until the end because of the fact that immediately after I sat the guest speaker started. And the topic? Sex. Which they called chocolate. Awesome. 
The meeting itself wasn’t terrible, just the getting there was awful. I know it’ll be easier in the future, but man was the first time horrible. No signs anywhere, no one who could help me that I could find, this is so not my kind of thing. I told Austin I’d keep going through the end of the year and we’ll see how I like it. I just don't know. 
It felt like when I was a kid and diving off the high-dive for the first time. I was scared out of my mind and it hurt (I face planted and my face went numb) but at the end of the day, I did it. 
This isn't meant to be depressing or "woe is me" or meant to elicit pity from anyone. Maybe in time I'll look back and laugh at the whole incident. But for now, it's just exhausting. I feel a lot of the time like I've got the depression and anxiety and everything under control and then I try to do something new and oh, no, you're still screwed up about that. I power through as best I can because I want to show my boys that even when Mommy is terrified and freaking out, she still does things that scare her because they might make things better in the future. And even if they don't, they don't hurt us in the meantime. Except for face planting off the high dive because that hurt like hell. 
Oh, and the title? I went to grab a bottle of water to take with me and the first one I saw and grabbed is 3/4 full of Midori Sour. I may or may not have chugged a bit of it when I got home. 

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