About a week and a half ago I started a meetup group with the aim of forming a group of Baltimore area families that meet-up for nature walks/hiking geared toward children. I set a date and location for our first meet-up for this past Thursday.
For days I checked it and saw no new members or any interest. I thought, “well that was a stupid idea, why would anyone come?” (I say mean things to myself, my inner voice is quite an abusive bitch sometimes). Thursday came and my son Patrick cut his toe. It wasn’t an emergency room situation or anything but he didn’t want to put on shoes. I thought, “oh well, its not like anyone was coming anyway.”
An hour after the designated meetup, I decided to go look at the site. I was thinking of taking it down.
Have you guessed yet?
People had signed up, I just hadn’t gotten the notifications and presumably those families had been waiting on a no-show leader. I felt, and still feel, terrible about it. Excuses aside I should have been more proactive in double checking. I hate letting people down. Though my initial desired response was to just erase the meetup, I didn’t. I put an apology on the page, but I totally get if people don’t want to give it a second chance. I haven’t gone back to look to see yet.
I blame me, I blame that bitchy inner voice, anxiety manifest that defeats so many of my efforts.
During my neuropsychological evaluation I was found to have “elevated” physiological panic, social phobia and negative affectivity, as well as mildly elevated worry fear. Taken together it came to a determination of “Severe Clinical Severity” (which was in red block letters, eek) To say I’m anxiety ridden is an understatement.
In my mind, every day I deal with a scornful abusive voice of worry…
“no one wants to hear what you have to say, why would your ideas matter, you’re going to mess this up, what if X,Y,Z happens, its not going to work out, why bother, you’ll be an idiot, give up, people don’t like you, something is wrong, the future is empty…. etc. etc.”
Now, rational me knows its irrational and negative. It doesn’t matter much if I’m feeling stressed or have rational worries on top of it, which is often. I listen to her, sabotage myself and then add that to my list of past mistakes I feel guilty about. Oh and it ends up in that negative self talk as well.
Anxiety medication has not worked out, I can’t afford counseling at the moment, so my only means of combatting it is through expressing my feelings, and getting out more. However to be able to do that, I need to get around that voice to begin with because it tends to be in the decision making/planning/pre event process that the most difficulty occurs, not in the actual doing. It short circuits my executive functioning.
Interacting with other adults around things that interest me is my idea of social outside of the internet. I do that when I attend Sherlock Holmes themed events. I do that when I help with butterfly counts, and other nature related events. I do that to some extent in general ways as a parent educator.
I was really hoping that the meetup would be a good option as well.