About a month ago I had a few really difficult conversations with people close to me/people concerned and invested in my welfare. I have managed in the past few years to get things into a particularly decent routine, and so these conversations were no longer a common occurrence.
However, as a result, have these conversations meant that I felt absolutely wrung out, depleted, like I was looking up at rock bottom. And sitting down there in the dark with me was a few things that I needed to confront.
The main one that hit me hard was the fact that I had fallen into a habit of using my chronic illnesses as an excuse not to do things, I was allowing the fear of my illnesses getting worse control my decisions.
Now, don't get me wrong, often I have to say no to things because I am genuinely too unwell to do them, or because they are just a really stupid idea for me (for example, I generally say no to events with lots of loud noises and alcohol, as my body does not cope well with that). I feel a lot of strength and rightness in those decisions.
But sometimes I was saying that I was not feeling well enough to go somewhere, when really what I meant was 'actually, I would rather stay home with my book at the moment' or 'that doesn't really sound like my kind of thing, so I might sit this one out'. It was easier to go with what people would expect from me than to tell them the truth.
I have realised that the friend group I have around me now is genuine, understanding, and appreciates my quirks. And I want to get to a point where I can say things like 'hey, thanks for the invite, but I am just not that into ______. I hope you have an awesome time though!' and know that I am saying that with genuine love and appreciation.
I have started doing that already, and I hope to continue as the year goes on. As this kind of feeds into fear of new opportunities and of failure as well, I have a feeling I will be working on it a bit this year. Fear of failure is something that I deal with regularly, and not always that successfully. But I am taking on a few new things for myself, and I am trying to encourage myself to try new things.
At this point, I don't want advice on how to be courageous or extroverted, or how to speak my truth more often. This is something I am enjoying working on myself, and I already feel a little outside my comfort zone posting this on my blog. However, if you have similar fear of failure or excuse-using strangeness, I'd love to hear about your experiences or simply receive gentle support in the comments below.
Love to all who read.