Progress Report #2

So, you may remember that I have had major issues before with being outside around strangers, but it really is getting better. A couple of days ago, I walked around the community without freaking out. That sentence still saddens me somewhat. I remember when being near strangers wasn’t really an issue at all.

Don’t misunderstand; I’m an introvert, and quite happily so, and many of my previous group interactions involved more watching and listening than talking or doing. Even then, I wasn’t living as my truest self around strangers or in crowds, but relationships with introverts are always richer when you hang out with them one on one or in small groups. You just need to invest in them a bit more deliberately, and they thrive.

So, pro-introvert comments aside, what I was trying to say is that my healthy social interactions are different from the American ideal, and I’m ok with it. I am not measuring myself against an extrovert who is energized by meeting new people. I will never be like that, which is fine with me, because I really love having deep friendships, where we can talk about painful topics or meaningful dreams. I can’t find that kind of depth in large groups of people.

But back to the immediate issue… people saw me walking, dogs were barking, I was outside, it was daylight, and this time, I didn’t have a panic attack.

I wish I could express just how happy I am right now, because it just feels so good to be back to my old self. I had my first real panic attack back in June or so, and I am really, really hopeful that this will end up being a season that only lasts for six months. It sounds like a small thing, I bet, but every symptom that goes into remission is a victory.

Here’s to the next six months and the growth that’s still to come!


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