Or so I have thought for a long time.
I guess it all goes back to my first real girlfriend and my anxiety that was in its first terrifying phase. She was very chilled, laid back and confident. I was anything but. We muddled along but it soon became clear that she neither wanted or found it possible to understand what I was going through. We were both in our late teens so looking back I don't blame her. "Panic attacks" were an alien thing to most GPs let alone spods like me.
However I think this had a critical effect on how I lived my life and still do despite recent leaps and bounds. I hid my anxiety away from people as much as I could as I thought they wouldn't want to know me anymore. Like she did.
So this past year has really smacked me round the head with revelations. I have met more people and made more genuine friends in 2011 than I have in years. And as you can see I have laid all this stuff out in front of them.
And to a man\woman they have all been supportive, interested and I must say i really didn't expect that. And that's no indicator of how I regard my friends and colleagues NOW its more a reflection of how people from my past have. And of course both friends new and old are learning about this at the same time. A couple of people who I only met last year were totally floored by this blog as they didn't see their experience of meeting me in what was going on under my skin.
And now I'm grateful for friends looking out for me when I'm out and about in town. Not in an annoying way but just to let me know that they are there if I need them. They want me to do well, to feel better, to lose some of the fear but if I feel bad then they are with me. Its an unfamiliar but happy place I find myself in atm.
I've been doing really well anxiety wise. Went and saw The Ladykillers again and was absolutely fine (again if you haven't seen it - GO! before it disappears) was very relaxed and chilled. Been on the underground and despite getting a bit lost in the Northern line spaghetti around Kings Cross and Euston I took it in my stride. I hope to add and improve on this over the coming weeks.
So to all my pals, I appreciate you more than I have before, I hope I'm less cynical and open about people - well maybe. And if you know someone that you haven't called in a while cos of work, stress and other bullshit that piles up - pick up the phone, get out there and do it.
I think that until recently i couldn't see myself having a serious relationship with anyone again cos of all this bullshit in my head. Slowly I'm appreciating that might not be the case.