As an introvert with unmedicated anxiety, my desire to be supportive of friends and family can be somewhat less than what I’d like depending on the day.
On my best days, I can show up. Physically. In person. When my batteries are fully charged and my anxiety is either low-tide or manageable, I can actually be there for my people. Yes, I am capable of pushing myself for really important events when I’m not feeling my best, but I honestly try to make myself social interaction ready prior to those events. This means as much alone time as I can beforehand along with having my anxiety coping methods at the ready.
However, I can’t always do that. I work in a customer service job. Even part time, I can’t always successfully recharge my batteries. My anxiety can prevent it. Or my depression if it’s acting up.
So, sometimes -most times, too many times- I don’t show up. Not in the physical form.
Most of the time my support comes in a less full-bodied form. Text messages, emails, likes, favorites, retweets, memes, cards. It’s not ideal, I know. But sometimes it’s all I have the energy to do. I want you know that I’m thinking of you, that I support you, that I’m proud of you. Those little gestures are the best I can do and they’re the ones I end up doing the most.
And even with the easiest of these gestures I can still struggle because of my anxiety.
As I’ve mentioned before, my anxiety’s favorite thing to tell me is that people do not like me and do not want to hear from me. This applies to my closest friends and even my family. I have to psych myself up sometimes to text my own sister. Crazy, right? Yes, I am.
There are times, when I do not respond to social media posts even though I want to because I feel like that’s for the best. That my support would best be expressed with a like or a favorite or a share or a retweet rather than an actual verbally communicated interaction because I don’t want to be too familiar and/or bug anybody. And yes, this applies to people I’ve known for years and that I’m related to. I quite frequently backspace.
I’m lackluster in a lot of ways. My best is rarely good enough. But I do try. And I do care about the people in my world.
Believe me when I say that I’m cheering you all on.
But from over here.