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I enjoy writing and am seeking to clarify my thoughts, feelings and internal process.
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Pool paradox & unexpected visitor

Posted 15th May 2014 at 06:49 by Star Rainbow

The lido is open for summer. The paradox of the warm sunny weather is that, everyone wants to go and that makes it very difficult for me.

A/the(?) major trigger of my anxiety/panic is proximity to other people/sharing public space. So I rocked up at the pool yesterday afternoon at what is usually the quietest time. Post lunchtime, pre-end of school day.

The carpark was full and so were the cycle racks. I leaned my bike against the wall, walked to the entrance and peeped across the turnstile. Though the happy shouts of children playing told me everything, I was looking to confirm and see for myself.

Yup, busy. Not by the world's standards, but by my standard. My world is the world - right?

I felt very tender and upset. Not angry or blaming of anyone or anything, just genuine disappointment. Cycling home I attempted to give that feeling some compassionate attention, to soothe myself, but I dont think it was successful.

Maybe the attempt is the important part? Wanting to be with myself at a difficult time? It's a new skill for me that I am learning to cultivate. And all new skills require time for mastery.

Then another 'thing'. A friend of mine, very active in the world, work, travel etc. Well she just showed up at my door. I get it that this is normal behaviour Casual and friendly, just popping in after work.

But to me, an unplanned visitor, that's off the scale, sends me into a total spin. Thing is, I had wanted to catch up with her. Like me, she is a yoga teacher and we have shared adventures in India and at various festivals when I was fully functional

She spent most of the winter in India, and just now a month in Peru, is off to Ibiza in a couple of weeks, then teaching at Glastonbury festival. (Yes, the life of a yoga teacher can be awesome.)

I did want to spend quality time with her and listen to her experiences. But in turning up unannounced, that just scrambled me and I couldnt stay present, my anxiety was too high.

I didnt tell her how I was feeling, went into auto-people pleaser mode, just smiled, nodded, asked polite questions while feeling incredibly tense and uncomfortable. Here's the thing. I dont think that she really gets how..... incapacitated I am? It is so far removed from her experience to imagine, not being able to leave the house, or take a bus journey.

She must still hold those associations of me as robust, active and engaged. I guess that's OK from one point of view. Btw, it didnt catapult me into self-blame, I didnt measure myself to her and compare achievements. I am actually beginning to trust these conditions.

Well, there's no neat conclusion or resolution to this tale. Just me feeling a little unprepared for her visit, I guess no real harm done.

About the swimming, I'll try again today. I kept my schedule afloat during the winter, cycling a 5 mile round trip to the indoor pool 2-3 times per week, somehow fitting it around the winter weather.

So I won't be scuppered by the sun I'll have to rejig my routine and go in the evening for the adult swim. That's busy too, but in a calm way, if that makes sense. Gotta swim!! Really hope I can make it work, either that or will have to pray for rain = empty pool

Thank you for reading
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    To this day I still hate people turning up out of the blue. I think it's actually quite inconsiderate.

    At least you answered the door, that's more than I'd do. I generally freeze where I am and stay quiet until they've gone. Bit like hiding from graboids in fact.
    Posted 15th May 2014 at 11:25 by Laser Laser is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Star Rainbow's Avatar
    Yes, I really do prefer a text/phonecall beforehand. Then I could get good and comfortable and generally have a better time.

    I have a couple of friends who tend to 'drop by', I think it's cos they like it when ppl do this to them and they assume that everyone is the same.

    'Freeze and hide' is a good response, good for you! It's my deeply entrenched ppl pleasing that is such a reflex to open the door with a fake smile and 'welcome' them in.

    I like my friends, I just need to plan the time I spend with ppl, hopefully not a control issue, but personal energy management.

    Thanks for the conversation.
    Posted 16th May 2014 at 08:13 by Star Rainbow Star Rainbow is offline
 

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