Dating with anxiety
Talk to elderly people on the bus, make small talk with shy strangers at parties, call old friends out of the blue.
Whenever anxiety rears its head, find small ways to push back against it.
The trick to habituation is to seek out small challenges that raise anxiety without triggering full-scale panic - and the best way to fight social avoidance is to look for quiet, low-risk opportunities to engage others in conversation.
Just to give you an idea of the potential catastrophe, on the side of my Klonapin bottle it says that mixing with alcohol may cause "erratic personality changes." Awesome.
Even if you have pre-planned (#3), these things do slip your mind occasionally.
One minute, you're having a great date at a free outdoor concert, and the next minute, your heart is pounding and you feel like you are trapped in a Ziploc bag. "Playing it cool" is straight-up not in your repertoire. There's gotta be a country where "sitting at a bar staring into space and inevitably sweat-staining the pits of your expensive Madewell top while your brain moves 100 miles an hour" is considered playing it cool. Anyone familiar with benzos (that's an #INSIDER'S term for anxiety-alleviating tranquilizers) knows that they don't mix well with alcohol. Worst case scenario, you black out and wake up at the Formica table at an Arbys in another state. And you're so worried about whether they'll like you that you barely pay any attention to whether you like them. Every time a guy doesn't text you back in the early stages of dating you assume the worst and immediately go into crisis mode.
You have to plan way ahead to figure out your tranquilizer/wine situation. You're inevitably teased for your compulsive nervous habits. Asking me to stop is like asking a normal human being to stop breathing, or stop talking loudly about politics at a party where nobody cares. You're never really excited for dates because you're too busy obsessing and being worried. One glass of prosecco and I'll turn into Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.11.For the past few weeks it has been hard to breathe.