Social Anxiety or living your best life?

Somebody said to me the other day, “Jaz, it must be quite difficult for you at the moment going through all of this with a bit of a mental brain” (Her words, not mine). Thanks for the concern, hun, but you would be mistaken. The biggest excuse I ever used to get out of something was ignoring the whole situation, turning my phone on silent, and pretending I didn’t get the message. Suddenly, I don’t need to do that because nobody is doing anything! Covid-19 seems to have taken away all the stresses of stressing over social outings. Now, Covid-19 can be the reason for not letting somebody come into your house when it is not as clean as you would like and the reason you can just say NO to any type of social gathering. It can also be a fantastic excuse to sit consuming chocolatey treats and ..well, yourself. As great as it is, the amount of occasions that friends and family have mentioned all meeting up once all of ‘this is over is alarming. I’m actually preparing myself for accidentally-on-purpose lobbing my phone in the canal, so I don’t have to commit to such outings and socialisation.

Don’t get me wrong, when I’m in the mood for it, I am the life and soul! I’m like Pringles; once you pop, you just can’t stop! Get me in a room of 10 or more, and I’m a bloody jack-in-a-box. I irritate my partner because I can’t and won’t sit still. Does anybody need any help? Do I need the toilet? What’s in that room over there? It is bloody exhausting.

I once went on a day trip to London with my friend and her newborn son. She was slightly apprehensive understandably about tackling the tube with a pushchair and how the day would go in general. I took complete control. We were on and off that central line like shit off a stick. We walked miles, we talked for miles! it really was a fantastic, busy, chaotic but brilliant day out… I then didn’t leave the house for two whole days. I was overwhelmed and emotional from all the stimulation of the day before, like that of an overstimulated newborn. I could barely even parent that day. This is quite a typical scenario, and also why I turn down so many social invitations even if I want to go. I have to consider what I’m doing for the days after in case the day of fun puts me out of service… like a woozy, mental hangover without any alcohol.

I have a small group of friends who I seem to socialise more with as they understand my situation and laugh at me when I just HAVE to get home at 10 pm. They accept I don’t like to drink too much and just let me be me, however odd I am! I must say, though, it took me a long time to get to this point with people as I’m naturally a “people pleaser,” which has definitely got me into some sticky situations in the past.

So to summerise, Covid-19 has done me a massive favour. What about you?

Go away, don’t leave me.

I want to be left alone, my brain is too fuzzy for all the questioning, the voice from outside too much for my ears. But as I see them walking away I immediately feel fear. Abandonment. Why would they walk away when I’m feeling like this. What if I were to lose control ? Come back. 

The Cyclical Nature of the Fear of Abandonment
People with EUPD may simultaneously fear abandonment and have symptoms that create conflicts with others, such as volatile moods, distress intolerance, extremes of anger and withdrawal, and impulsivity. People with EUPD often engage in self-sabotaging behaviour such as oversharing, misplaced anger, impulsivity, lashing out at loved ones, and poor self-image, which leads to greater relationship disfunction.
These behaviours within personal relationships often lead to relationship instability and even abandonment, which then reinforces the fear.

Sound familiar? Its sadly very familiar to people who have abandonment issues or maladaptive coping mechanisms. The need of comfort yet not being able to accept it or feeling as though you don’t deserve it. One particular example of this for me was late 2015 after a pretty stressful year of running a pub. The chaotic atmosphere and anti social working patterns alongside the management of unruly casual bar staff (although extremely funny bar staff and some of the best mates I ever had!) alongside trying to maintain a relationship with somebody who wasn’t 100percent sure we had made the right decision took its toll and caused my first major “Episode”

I don’t remember a great deal towards the beginning, only a fuzzy memory of being sat in my car staring into space for a considerable amount of time, I know it was a long time because it had started to get dark and it definitely wasn’t dark when I pulled up there. I casually rang my partner and told him that I thought I might like to walk in front of one of the lorries passing by as I’d had enough now. My worthlessness had literally come out of nowhere but I was serious and worryingly, not afraid? He came to me as soon as he could and took me to my mums which was nearby. I remember them both talking to me but I continued to stare. Completely shutting out anything that was being said. All I was thinking was “I just want to be alone, in the quiet, why are they still talking to me? I want to go to bed” There voices were a massive inconvenience to me but at the same time I had called them to be there. I knew I needed them and I knew I needed help. 

It was after this that I started to take things a lot more seriously.  I realised that it was possible I didn’t deal with stressful situations very well but couldn’t understand why. I couldn’t understand why until I went to visit a counsellor who tipped my version of the past 31 years on its head. What followed, was a rough ride.

 

 

Corpse’s or Craft?

I recently decided that I was going to change career paths (again) and find the real me (again) I think the recent situation with the lockdown has maybe triggered my search and my curiosity away from travel which is what I currently do.

So one evening, I thought id look at what its like to work in a mortuary. I’ve always had a strange fascination with death even going as far as spending time in cemetery’s when I was younger reading the headstones and imagining the people who were below my feet. I know, extremely morbid.

I trawled research articles on peoples experiences of working within this role and what things would be involved. After approximately 72 minutes down this rabbit hole even so much as finding a local advert for such a position I managed to get all the way down to the “Apply now” button before the realisation of the possibility of having to perhaps ever deal with children could arise and that was it. The phase passed.

I remember once I had convinced myself that I was about to become rich on the back of selling homemade crafts. I spent hundreds of pounds on scrabble tiles to make quirky box frames along with sheets of material, a glue gun and other odds and sods. I wrote in an old journal of all the ideas I had and how I was about to make it big, maybe even being the next Kirstie Allsopp! I made a Facebook page along with a questionable logo and went about starting my work. The general reception was good. I sold a few , made most of the money back that I spent but then my inspiration escaped me. One day I just stopped. No rhyme or reason, I just didn’t want to do it anymore.

This is the problem with an Impulsive mind you see. The obsession comes but is almost always swiftly followed by the wall. the mental block. Catching my interest is easy, keeping my interest is harder.

 

 

What is Impulsive Personality Disorder?

“A person who has impulsive personality disorder is charming and good at being the centre of attention. In fact, this kind of person thrives on receiving attention. He or she might be highly adventurous – even to the point of engaging in dangerous behaviour – but this person is often also superficial”

The above is Google’s answer. To be honest, this description could be said for a lot of people I know without needing any kind of special diagnosis. Its very true, but very simply described. The reality is a lot more complex often with similar symptoms to that of Bi-polar. Highs and lows that switch like a light. The impossible feeling of needing somebody but at the exact same time wanting them to leave you alone. the phrase “Go away, don’t leave” is horrifyingly relatable to me and my poor partner.

A short background story

There have been many tell tale signs over the years leading to this diagnosis which I will go more into in other posts but one thing that stands out to me is the little pity parties I have for myself and how I rarely take accountability for my actions. I wallow in self pity and dwell on past events that cant be changed. I am MASSIVLEY manipulative to make things go in my favour and sulk if they don’t. Bad traits I know (sigh) but on the flip side my mind is a hive of activity, I overthink everything but this also lets my mind delve into areas not everyone else’s does. I consider details. I am OBSESSIVE.

Regular brain – I see the bird in the tree. nice.

My brain – I see the bird in the tree and now I need to know what species it is, what habitat it usually lives in and what sound it makes.  (This is this followed up with online investigations to get the answer)

I’m not even entirely sure this is even connected to the disorder or whether this is just how my brain works but I think it mainly boils down to the busy brain. The cogs going round constantly.

Impulsive personality is actually just a subtype of Borderline Personality Disorder which in all honesty is a massively under researched illness. It makes me sad when I read or hear of stories of people that clearly showed all the signs and were ignored or misdiagnosed.

if you already feel like you can relate to the above here are some more signs and symptoms –

  • Flirtatious with others, sometimes without even realizing it.
  • Captivating, able to act with a natural magnetism.
  • Elusive and mercurial.
  • Superficial, easily entertaining others on a surface level but avoiding more meaningful interactions or relationships.
  • High levels of energy and easily bored.
  • Thrill-seeking and risk-taking behaviour’s without regard for consequences.
  • Attention-seeking behaviour’s.
  • Charismatic and charming.
  • Dramatic.
  • Highly manipulative of others, particularly in order to position oneself as the centre of attention.
  • Complaints of chronic or recurring illness.