On dreading nights out...and looking forward to them

Oh I'm so confused.  In my party girl days, I never refused an invitation.  I would always be with friends, I was young, reasonably happy about my looks, lazy about grooming by today's standards, but no-one seemed to mind.  I just wanted to have fun.  Getting ready meant  a quick shower, some hair gel, deodorant, black eye liner plus a little short dress and high heels and 30 minutes later I was out the door.

That was then :)

It's not like that now.

I do still want to have fun.

But it's much more complicated.

Apart from a few trips to the cinema, I haven't been out since the Christmas party in December.

So I was thrilled to be included on a invitation list for an upcoming celebration.  I love my friends, I'd love to see them, yet as the event gets nearer, I'm so tempted to find an excuse and just stay at home with a couple of glasses of wine and another episode of Orphan Black.

I'd love to go out looking slim and fashionable and groomed, feeling confident, sociable and entertaining, with no curfew imposed by children who won't go to bed until I arrive home, and stories to tell that don't involve special needs and a crumbling home.  I'd love to believe that I will say the right things.  That I will be amusing, empathetic, interested in everyone, able to remember everything that has happened in their lives recently, the names of all their children and other significant people, but I'm afraid that I will just stand there awkwardly, clutching my glass of sparkling water and almost wishing for an emergency call to come home.

But if I stay home and stop trying to go out, it will be like giving up.  Accepting that the life that I anticipated is well and truly over.  I'm not ready to do that yet either.

And you know what?  Even though I don't feel like going out, I'm going to make myself do it.  And I'll have a great time too...

Anyone else feel like this?




19 comments:

  1. What an interesting post! Mainly because i'm completely the oposite - always shy and nervous in my teens, looking back I can see i was pretty but at the time I felt awkward, and on the edge of groups, never belonging. Since growing up I've found it really doesn';t matter mmuch, all the things we worry about are just that, our worries, people are too busy worrying their own worries to care if we are witty or pretty or ...something else that rhymes with witty.

    I say grab something you are comfy in and go for it - friends are friends, and anyone else's opinion doesn't really matter does it!?

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    1. I went from being very shy during the early teenage years to finding my niche and loving and enjoying a very varied social life - and it didn't have to include alcohol either!

      Social anxiety crept up on me after my marriage break up and the revelations that revealed, and then becoming a carer made it difficult to get out too....

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  2. Firstly - you are the only person on the planet that I know who watches Orphan Black! I absolutely LOVE it but can't seem to find anyone else who knows what I'm talking about!!

    Anyway - that said - yes I have felt like that and it's not a good way to feel, and I still can feel like that if I'm going out with people I don't know well or in a big group. But I am more confident about how I look now and I'm not sure what to put it down too. However I have been on a course recently and the group was very accepting - that has certainly made a big difference to my confidence. But insecurities rear their ugly head when you least expect/want them and it's a hard path to follow. Have you tried trying to act like you did years ago? Become your teen self for just one night? What would she have said/done at a party?!

    So glad you are going anyway - don't give up.

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    1. Woohoo! That's makes you, me and my daughter who are hooked on Orphan Black :)

      Not sure about being my teen self again - she was very self centred :)

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    2. (Love Orphan Black but yes, does seem no one else watches it!)

      ...proper comment in a minute...

      L x

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  3. Oh I so totally understand your quandary! I think-that it has to do with how full regular life is..day in and out EVERYTHING done is for a purpose..so you forget what it is like to have no purpose other than to relax..(relax? what's that?) I know that on the rare occasions that I do find myself out-I spend most of my time thinking about whats going on at home. Also-and this has nothing to do with special needs kids-and at the same time everything to do with them..My perception of the world has changed..what is important to me has changed..so, while I do enjoy having the rare moments away-I am very choosy about who I spend that time with. I am not very good at small talk..Kind of like-take me as I am-and I'll take you as you are-and we'll have a fine time. Sometimes I choose not to go to certain things-I know what you mean about choosing to stay home vs. going out..I don't think that the latter is about giving up (at least for me) It is just that most of my time is owned by others-so I am rather stingy with my own personal time..hope this made sense-I get long winded I know! :)

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    1. It makes perfect sense, and the small talk thing is hard for me now too -- which is probably one reason that I enjoy going to the cinema so much - peace, relaxation, no interruptions and very little small talk!

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  4. Good for you, I believe that you should follow your heart and do what you feel is best for you. If you enjoy going out then do so but if you feel that you need motivation to do so then call a friend who is for it and have her help you get yourself out the door.

    I don't go out, per se, but I do things that I enjoy such as going about doing my photography out in nature which I sometimes need motivation for but once I go I love every moment. I used to be a party girl for most of my life until Griffin came along now my excitement comes from the joy of hearing his laughter and laughing with him. Also spending time alone.

    Have a blast and go out and enjoy yourself doing exactly what you feel!!!

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    1. Thanks Lora, and glad that Griffin brings you so much joy xx

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  5. What I find is that as I've got older I am more comfortable in my skin and don't feel the need to be more extrovert and go out a lot because that is not really who I am. But the danger to that is that left to my own devices I could become a total hermit and lose what social skills I do have. So like you I do make myself go out even when part of me doesn't want to, even though often the part I enjoy most is when it's all over and I'm on my way home.

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    1. Yes I definitely have a touch of hermitisis here too!

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  6. Glad to hear that you are going anyway. It is very easy to forget ourselves when the majority of time is spent caring for our kids with special needs. However, it is SO important to put our own needs first at times. I guess the outing will be your *edge plus one*! Have fun. xx

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    1. "Edge plus one" is a perfect description, and I did go out, and had a lovely time, even if I struggled a little bit xx

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  7. I absolutely feel like this much of the time. I've lost count of the times I've made excuses not to go out. I am trying to change that and on a recent (rare) night out I had the most amazing time and am so glad I took the plunge. Time to be yourself away from the home is so important but we tend to overlook it don't we?

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  8. We are four and a half years in and our social life has suffered. We do need to make more of an effort but I never regret it once im out :-)

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  9. (And here's the proper comment!)
    I know what you mean about the anxiety, I feel much the same. As well that our social circle is limited, as most people don't hang around after you've had to cancel a few times because of complex kid things - not sure if they think it's excuses sometimes, but Smiler actually has a highly honed sense of when we have something planned, and chooses that moment to have some kind of crisis!
    I hope you have a fab time though, as I do think it can be easier to just never go out, which doesn't set a good example for any of pur kids - they need to see that we are more than 'just' mum and dad, and that as important as they are to us we still value ourselves too, you know?
    Let us know how it goes!
    Take care
    Lucas

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