Saturday, 17 December 2011

On becoming a recluse

I think I'm becoming a recluse.

Not out of choice you understand, it's because I can't face social situations.  I'm fine if it's home or going to visit someone else because that's usually a more relaxed situation, but as soon as it involves getting dressed up and going 'out' out, then I start panicking and thinking of ways to avoid it.

Last week I had a great weekend and genuinely enjoyed having friends over on Friday and then visiting friends the next night.

This weekend was the Christmas staff night out and I started dreading it this earlier this week. Of course, it didn't help that I didn't want to leave Tall Daughter home alone (the Teenager was going to a party) and the only person who could look after her was my ex-mother-in-law who didn't want to stay late. That meant I could only go for the meal which meant driving myself there and  back and not drinking. Not the end of the world, I know, but it's a pretty miserable night when you have to leave before everyone else while they're having a good time. It's not the first time I've had to do that, afterall it's difficult to get childcare sometimes, but having said that I am the original party pooper. I've never been into late nights and prefer to go home early.

As it turned out it started snowing in the morning so by early evening there was thick snow everywhere and I really hate driving in snow, so it was easy for me to cancel. It was a huge relief to cancel it but even so, I felt like I'd let my work friends and more importantly, myself, down.

I don't remember when or where this fear of social situations began, but it's fair to say that I've never been a party animal. Even so, I've used to enjoy going out with friends and meeting new people but that seems like a long time ago now. I bet most people just think I'm a miserable cow and that's why I don't go out and maybe they're right.

I think one of the main thing that puts me off is the need to get dressed up. I just never look any different because I put absolutely no effort into it. I just don't know how to do it anymore - how did I lose the ability to get dressed up for a night out? I'm so overweight I can't get anything remotely nice to wear, and compared to my colleagues who all look amazing when we go on nights out, I just look like I'm going to work in a slightly smarter outfit than usual. It's a huge part of the problem.

I don't get that many invitations to go out, but it's hardly surprising that the invites dwindle as time goes on.  Who can blame people for not inviting me out? I make excuses as to why I can't go - some genuine and some down to my crushing lack of confidence in social situations.

I don't know how to break out of this, although sometimes I just feel like retreating even further into my reclusiveness.  It's easier not to have to deal with it all but I worry that I will end up with no friends and so it has become something that needs to be dealt with. I have no idea where to start.