How to go shopping with an anxiety/social disorder

Yea I know it’s just shopping right? What’s so scary about that? Ask anyone with anti social or anxiety issues and I’m quite sure it will be confirmed as an absolute nightmare. I went grocery shopping yesterday (on a Saturday, hello first mistake) to get 7 items. 7! Long story short I left the store after getting around 3 of those items and I was so overwhelmed and disappointed in myself I cried the whole way home. That feeling stayed with me the rest of the day and I couldn’t shake it. I decided to design a little game plan to combat this.

1. Go on a weekday…in the morning, or at 3am.
I have a real issue with crowds. Really I just hate it when people are in my way. I don’t know why it just gets me so frustrated that I cant concentrate. So rule number one is to shop when the least amount of people are shopping. Weekday mornings are good, as early as possible. You could go at 3am if you have a 24 hour place near you, but that’s not reasonable for me.

2. Make a list. A detailed one!
I’m talking map out this bitch. When I get all flustered I forget where things are, and that makes me more flustered. Vicious cycle! So I’m going to make a list so detailed, it’s going to look like a map. Just figure out your stores layout and write down what you need AND where it is. That way you have it all written down and there is no more forgetting where the shredded cheese is. The lasagna is saved!

3. Take your meds!
If your prescribed any type of anxiety medication. Take the recommended dosage before heading to the store, just make sure your good to drive. If you don’t take meds, do whatever it is you do to calm down. Take a bath, drink some tea, whatever floats your boat.

4. Give yourself a pep talk.
I’m big on self talks. I talk to myself all the time. I’m not scared to admit it either! I figure I’m already “crazy” right? My advice is to be firm. Say something like “your going to be fine” or “you got this”. You don’t have to say it out loud or have a full on conversation with yourself, but just repeat some words of encouragement in your head and it can make a difference.

5. Blast some music on the way to the store.
Music is magical. It can make you miss your ex or make you feel like dancing, so choose wisely. Make a playlist. Use uplifting fast paced music, or use strong motivating music. (Eye of the tiger!) Whatever type of music makes you happy, or reminds you of being happy, turn it up! You’ll be in a great mood and ready to tackle the deli!

Last but not least is to just BREATHE! You are not the only one going through this even though it may feel like it. Don’t beat yourself up. I don’t expect to get this all right the first time and neither should you!


5 ways depression makes you a bad friend

Depression is a bitch. It turns you into a raving lunatic. If the people in your life have never been affected by it, you’re going to have a bad time.

There is no shortage of information on depression, just ask google, but those are just words on a screen. Depression isn’t about words. It cant be explained like a physical medical problem. It’s not a broken leg or appendicitis. It’s not technical. Its emotional, and we all know that emotion is for pussies. Emotion makes you a whiney little brat. Nobody wants to be friends with a whiney little brat. Here are some reasons why depressed people seem like shitty friends, and why you shouldn’t write them off just yet.

1. You don’t return phone calls, or texts, or emails, or facebook messages…

There is this thing that happens to depressed people. I don’t know the technical term for it or even if there is one but I like to call it the black hole. Most of the time there is a trigger, like a bad day at work, then the darkness comes. This darkness is made up of things like sadness, fear, insecurity, and anxiety. This is not bad break up sadness. This is deep rooted sadness that takes over every part of you. The worst part is you cannot get rid of it, no matter what you do! I compare it to being held captive with a garbage bag on your head and your hands tied behind your back. Its terrifying really, nothing makes you happy, nothing changes, you just cry. You don’t know when or how your going to get out of it. You don’t even know what’s wrong. The only thing you know is that this shit hurts and you cant make it go away. This can go on for a few hours, or a few weeks (sometimes longer) and you have no way of knowing how long it will last. So if your depressed buddy isn’t returning your phone calls, they are not being assholes. They just need someone to reach into that black hole and yank em out. It’s also nice to know that someone cares enough to do that.

2. Your lazy….and boring!

Being in public is scary as shit. Getting dressed in anything but your pajamas is a freakin chore and will most likely end up making you cry. They want you to socialize with people? How? Your a leaper! People will obviously detect you and your darkness and run far far away. Nobody wants to be friends with you, your lame. Your also a cry baby. Why not just sit inside your cave and wear pajamas all day? Nobody can hurt you there. This is what the black hole does to you.
The worse thing you can do for your friend in this situation is to complain about it. Don’t tell them they are being anti social, because they know that and that also makes them sad. Just tell them they will get through this, and maybe bring over a movie and a pizza.

3. Your a bitch.

Depression makes you feel hopeless. Like getting a life sentence with no parole. Your pissed that other people don’t have to deal with this. Your pissed at happy people because you cant seem to get your shit together and be happy. Your going to snap at people. Your going to say “whatever” a lot. You are mad that your depressed. You’re pissed at the universe for choosing you for this bull shit. You also cant help it. You don’t want to be a walking bitch machine but you literally don’t know how to stop it. You feel like shit and nobody….fucking….gets it.
Here is my bitch approved way of dealing with your friend. Be a bitch with them! No, seriously it makes them feel like they are not alone. When it comes to depression it’s very important that they feel like they are not alone because that’s the root of the problem anyway. So call them up and have a bitch fest, then tell a funny story to get them laughing. That bitch will disappear in no time.

4. Your overly sensitive and get upset about the smallest things!

Constructive criticism? Fuck that! That shit will put you in the black hole like a swift kick to the skull. Depression makes you feel inadequate. You don’t feel like your a whole person. You are so insecure because of your depression in the first place that if someone is even remotely critical of you it feels like death.
Lets not forget rejection. That hurts depressed or not but when you are depressed rejection feels like it could kill you. Even the slightest thing can be seen as a rejection. Like cancelled plans or other friends. Its like, you already feel like you don’t belong and that person just confirmed it. Rejection is a terrifying thing for a depressed person. Your worst nightmares are coming true. People don’t like you. Your friends don’t want you. That’s just how you feel and like I’ve said before… cant freakin help it!
This one is tough. Dealing with someone in this state is tricky. Just retreat to a safe distance and throw loving words at them.

5. Your selfish.

This is a big one. It’s all about YOU. Your depressed, your sad, blah blah blah. Everybody has problems! There is one thing I would like to get straight about depression. You want to be a good friend. It tears you up inside that you have to burden your friends with your stupid feelings. It’s not that you don’t care about other people. It’s just that depression consumes you. Here’s an example. When I was in labor the nurse told me that a good way to know when I needed an epidural was when the pain gets so bad that I can no longer speak through it. That’s how depression is, it’s just emotional instead of physical pain. It hurts so bad you cant even formulate thoughts. Your mind is black. Your entire body and soul is empty. You’ve got nothing! Except for the black hole of sadness and fear.
There really is no remedy for this one except to just be a friend and understand that this person needs you. They need people to love them. That’s the best chance they have of climbing out of the hole. Just know that these things will not go unseen. When your depressed friend finally sees that light and is freed from the darkness they will remember who was there for them, and who was not.

Bottom line here is this. If your friend is depressed, fish or cut bait. Figure out if you really love this person enough to ride it out with them, because it wont be easy. One thing I can assure you though, it will be worth it. If your not willing to deal with it then do them a favor and let them go. It will only hinder the healing process. It will do more harm than good. Unless your a cruel jerk, I don’t think you want that to happen.
The one thing I feel is most important to get out there is that depressed people are not doing this on purpose! Nobody chooses this. I’m no doctor so I wont get into the whole chemical imbalance thing I just know what I know from experience. I know that it’s debilitating. I know that you will do anything to change it. So don’t write your friend off just yet. You may very well be the reason they escape that black hole and never fall back in.