Wednesday, July 30, 2008

some of you might not know this ... but a lot of you probably do. i have a serious case of anxiety.
how serious?, you ask ... well, example:
it was lunch time. and i was hungry. i drove to the albertsons down the street from work and saw a lady with a clipboard in her hand at the entrance door. i had no idea what she was peddling or what petition she wanted me to sign, but i felt my chest tighten. my thought: i will just park close to the exit door, and go in that way, and come out that way and avoid her. but as i pulled down the aisle closest to the exit, i saw a man holding a clipboard. my breathing became labored, my palms got sweaty (and its not because its 110), and i thought my heart might burst from my chest. so as i approached the end of the aisle, i took a right, and headed straight back to the main road, and back to work.


yes. i skipped lunch. because someone might talk to me on my way in and/or on my way out of the store.

two sundays ago, i was to introduce myself in the relief society, since we are in a new ward. they asked that i stand up - and my legs physically would not work. i sort of slithered to the end of my chair and turned to face the room (yup, im so righteous i sit up front, hah!). i then promptly averted my eyes to the floor and said - "uhm i have anxiety, i dont think i can stand. im nicole. i just moved in to uhm ... talega ... and uhm i guess thats it" the very nice woman up front supplemented that i have a husband who's name is nathan. and i said. "o yeah. and there's nathan". mostly people think its funny, and i let them think that.

but really. sometimes it debilitating (aka i skip meals).

that being said, today i took a HUGE step. my boss has been saying that i should take people out to lunch. cmon, he says, you've got a corporate credit card! sure. no probelm. he has been saying this for 5 months. 3 weeks ago, i told myself, ok this is it. i am going to ask on of the coordinators at one of the brokers to have lunch with me. after two and half weeks of saying that - i then had to spend at least 2 days discussing it with my coworker - how do i ask her? what do i say? where should we go? what will we talk about?

then yesterday afternoon, it was time to call her and ask her to lunch. a fabulous lunch on me - anywhere she chooses. but i chickened out. i emailed her and said something like - want to go to lunch and give me the paper work you wanted me to pick up? if not. no worries. i will just be totally devasted and never ask anyone out to a business lunch again. ill probably be so embarrassed, in fact, ill quit, and never leave my house again.

ok no i didnt do that. i simply asked if she wanted to go and if not no worries, i would pick up the paper work later.

i was, however, so nervous for her response, i left early at 4 and did not check my email again until 10 las night. i was so anxious to even read her response, i almost couldnt breathe. she said yes. so of course, all night i dreamt of ways i could get out of lunch. my conference call at 11 went too long was my strongest excuse. and i worked all morning today preparing it. i would HAVE to email her, because of course, i'm on the phone on this conference call, so i cant call. but the call didnt go to long, and i couldnt really feel good about lying.

i drove to the restaurant. pretty much on the verge of hyperventalating. i sat at a booth facing the door - waiting for my guest. and i was praying that she would have an envelope in her hand containing the papers she was to deliver. otherwise, i wasnt sure how i would recognize her. all my business is done on phone or email. i met this woman once - 5 months ago. i barely remembered what she looked like.

PHEW. theres a woman with an envelope looking around lost. i waved. and she smiled and came right over. we shared a pizza. had some salad. and talked about how we like our jobs, where we worked before.

and what else? about how unbelievably nervous she was to come meet me. she said she was on the phone with her coworker outside the restaurant saying "how do i do this? do i just go in and look for her? what does she look like again? what do i talk about? ..."

this was a huge step for me. i cant promise i will do it again. i was still shaking on my way back to the office, even though lunch went so well. but it was like talking to myself at some points. it was weird how nervous we both were ... and, yet, so comforting.

2 comments:

Annie said...

Good for you! You did it! Sometimes I feel that way too, and it DOES help to know that other people are nervous too. I think all this technology makes it worse, honestly. You have to do it again though! Every time you do it gets easier, I promise. It's like learning to play the piano. :) Practice, practice, practice. I'm in the same boat - and I STILL don't have public speaking down after about 1.5 years in the R.S. Presidency, teaching lessons and conducting each week!

Annie said...

Good for you! You did it! Sometimes I feel that way too, and it DOES help to know that other people are nervous too. I think all this technology makes it worse, honestly. You have to do it again though! Every time you do it gets easier, I promise. It's like learning to play the piano. :) Practice, practice, practice. I'm in the same boat - and I STILL don't have public speaking down after about 1.5 years in the R.S. Presidency, teaching lessons and conducting each week!