Trigger points.

Have 20 minutes before I start a workshop, managed to find a small place to connect and reflect about the last few days.

Things have been better. Much better.

But I wanted to write about a particular feeling that happened last night.

I was at a gig, a very big gig. A very big gig where I knew a few people (including people who I know do not approve of me being good enough for my bf) would be there. I don’t really know them enough to comment on their part, but their judgement is based on alcohol (too much on my part), I’m guessing, Facebook (because that is the only place they would be able to see anything from me) and perhaps other people (but they can’t be people that I know too well, or indeed know me that well unless it was from (you guessed it) drinking and/or Facebook.

I was feeling ok. In fact, been feeling ok all day. Was back at work yesterday and the clearer head is definitely helping a lot – knowing that I will never need to struggle on through with the effects of anything induced that will affect my judgement or fill me full of panic before 9am is definitely the positive I am lamenting at the moment. I also had a nice, chilled out and relaxed evening before we headed out.

But it was when I got to the gig, 20 minutes before the main act, having skipped the support and the 2-3 hours of pre-beverages that come with the ritual of gig going that I just felt a-washed with anxiety.

Here be a trigger point.

I was surrounded by drunk people. Loud people shouting, staggering people dropping their phones, sweaty and bleary eyed as grasping a quick cigarette break. Standing in the queue for drinks whilst my bf was in the toilet, people trying to make pleasant chat whilst we waiting. I was just frozen with dread- for one, I was worried about coming across like a bitch for not having much to say, then I was panicking in case I ran into the people who don’t like me, running through every scenario in my head about what I would do, what would I say, if I would say anything – as seeing they have only met me once, when I was in a really bad and annoying nick, any action I did do would probably either confirm their thinkings or arose suspicions. I know I shouldn’t care, but I hearing that they would have not went to the gig if they found to be sitting near me (even if it was over reaction) does fill me with a pang of sadness, like I gave such a bad first impression that they would jeopardise their own enjoyment to avoid me.

Anyway, my head, standing in the queue, despite driving to the gig and knowing fine well I wouldn’t be drinking – especially as I had a 5am start this morning – was cursing the fact I wasn’t drinking. For that one moment. That one moment, that once I talked myself down realised that drinking would have been the worst possible thing to do, especially if you ran into people who you were terrified of offending AGAIN (because the last time you met them, you are completed blotted) – that’s the trigger that leads me to drinking. Feeling like I should to fit in with the vibe, feeling like I should to blot out anxiety, feeling like I should because perhaps it would make my chat a bit better.

It doesn’t.

And then my bf came back, and we went to our seats without purchasing anything as the queues were just so busy, too expensive and generally meant we’d have to clamber over everyone needing to go to the toilet every 15 minutes.

The gig was excellent. Singing and dancing without a drop of alcohol – and remembering every single thing.

We drove home. Got a wee happy meal. And I went to bed. 6 hours of good sleep and I was up for a very early start to catch a boat for work.

A few weeks ago, before I realised that I needed to seek help, what would have probably happened would be that I would have agreed to go for a few drinks before – instead of chilling out and sorting my bag for today. Then I would have spent 20-30 quid outside the venue, got a taxi there and back, instead of driving, drank through my nerves, talked nonsense to strangers, talked nonsense on facebook and wouldn’t be sitting here – if I hadn’t of missed the boat, rushing on the later ferry, making an excuse about alarms or trains – not giving myself time to collect my thoughts and prepare for the class I’m about to take.

£8, 2 pints. Might have killed the anxiety dead at the time. It might of killed the anxiety dead at the moment but I would be paying back now in excuses and triple the worry. Not worth it.

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