So I’m fairly sure I have people in my family or friends on Facebook who have noticed that I have a pretty extensive social life, I think it’s time to tell you why.
My whole life I’ve thrived when I was around people. I love to talk, I love to listen, I LOVE to sing. Most of you know my hubs and I were briefly separated in part due to my social life but at the time I was drinking heavily, that’s pretty well known. After we got back together I stopped going out completely. That was all well and good because the kids were still fairly young so I could focus all of my attention on them.
As the years went by I started having massive agoraphobia and anxiety issues. I couldn’t go to the store, I couldn’t go to my neighbors parties, I just couldn’t function in society. I was on SO MANY PILLS and I lost all of my confidence and creativity, I even stopped blogging.
After my dog passed it got worse, I was officially alone in the house. Everyone was at work or school all day and while I am one to sleep late I wasn’t sleeping so late that I wasn’t alone the bulk of my day. There were times I was overwhelmed with loneliness and sadness, my only friends were those I had never met on Facebook who I adore and am still friends with to this day.
About a year after Tribute died I asked if we could get another dog. I was so lonely I said, and Ryan was so amazing and we got Lex the next day. That was great for me. I put ALL of my time into raising and training him and I started going to the local dog park. I was feeling better.
I continued going to the dog park for a while but even then I got anxiety. He has a lot of energy and when fights broke out he was like “YAYYYY I WANNA FIGHT TOOOO!!!” and I would stress out. I started taking him on the off-hours when nobody was there. Once again, I was getting back into my antisocial ways.
Then one day last March I wrote a very long post in my local Fort Mill moms Facebook page about how sad I was, how lonely. How I don’t remember what a tribe feels like and I am so scared and awkward would someone please help me?
I got about one hundred replies. I was so overwhelmed. I started scheduling lunch dates with some amazing women (I love you Stephanie!) and met about seven women. I also was bold enough to ask if anyone wanted to try the local karaoke we had on Wednesday nights at Blue Olive, THAT is where my life began.
Singing is everything to me. The first time I went I met a wonderful lady and we listened and talked but I didn’t sing. I went back two weeks later and met my now sister, Dee. Holy moly did we click. The karaoke host, Nick, welcomed us in and made us comfortable and I was talked into singing a song, it was a disaster. Won’t go into that.
So after that Dee and I decided we would go every Wednesday. My confidence grew, we started meeting people, we started making friends. Life was great.
Fast forward again a few months and Blue closes with the promise it will open again soon (still waiting Sal, get a move on.) I felt lost without a home base. Nick the karaoke host said he bartends on Monday’s at the pizza place we go to in Rock Hill, Empire Pizza. So to Empire I went.
Here is where it morphed into nightly. I snore. Loudly. It was summer time and there weren’t any house rules, kids can do as they please with sleep and play, we never saw them. Ryan mentioned how he wasn’t sleeping well because my snoring like a freight train was waking him up. My suggestion was that I stay up until 5:00 when he wakes up, then I will go to sleep. I already went to bed at 2:00, I prefer staying up at night and sleeping all day so lets give that a shot. The stipulation was I had to go hang out on the picnic tables at Empire drinking my Diet Coke until the bar closed because sitting alone on my couch from 9:00-5:00 while Ryan slept and the kids gamed was just as emotionally damaging as it was in years past, I had to surround myself with people and I HAD to have that experience to be able to get myself to stay up that late or I would be so bored I would take my pills early just so the night would end.
It’s a situation that works for the family. The kids don’t want to hang with their parents, they want to mess around with their friends, my husband wants to sleep. I sleep from 6:00-3:00 and we do homeschooling when I wake up. The kids are getting straight A’s, my husband is sleeping through the night, and I am SO FREAKING HAPPY. I have friends, good friends. I am a regular, I have confidence, I sing boldly and without abandon. In the months since I started going I’ve also started hanging out at my brother Dex’s house from 2:00-4:00. That just helps me all the more. I listen to music (you guys, I like country now), I watch LetterKenny, I listen to the different animals in the woods behind the porch we sit on.
I’m happy, my kids are happy, my friends are happy, and my husband is happy. It took getting used to for all of us I think but I am with people we all trust to keep me safe, I don’t get hit on or harrassed, I only drink water or Diet Coke, and I have good, wholesome fun.
So for all of you curious lurkers on Facebook seeing pictures of my social life thinking “She’s abandoned her family and is hanging out with girls and a guy!” *GASP!* Just know I am with people who are now a part of my family. I don’t just see these people at the bar, Dex in particular. He came over for Christmas with his mom, he took my kids fishing for the first time, and he is about to take the whole family to the shooting range for our birthday so we can see what it’s like to shoot a shotgun because he is taking Jake turkey hunting for his fifteenth birthday. He is my brother, regardless of DNA. He is the uncle to my kids. He loves Ryan. EVERYTHING AT HOME IS WONDERFUL.
So there you have it. I left out a lot of details believe it or not, I know this was a long post. I felt like it was long overdue. Since I have started this new lilfestyle I am off antidepressants, take half the bipolar meds, take one Xanax where I used to take four, and barely need sleeping pills. I’m happy, I’m healthy, and I’m fulfilled. I also have my creativity back which is why I have started blogging again. I thank all of you for reading and I thank you all for your continue support.