Struggling to come out of my shell…

I’ve tried very hard to keep this blog light-hearted and humorous, not focusing on living with my disability but for a couple of posts in the past.

Today, however, has started as a difficult, weepy day – because of a realization that hit me between the eyes “like a two by four”.

Erin and her boyfriend Nate
Erin and Nate

Mark received a text from Erin’s boyfriend inviting us over for an elk roast dinner, but Mark refused because of me and my inability to go out in public for anything but medical appointments. Recently, I have ventured out a couple of times and these were pretty big deals for me.

The first was accompanying my daughter to the local mall to change the cell phone contract over to her. I waited in the car in case she needed me to sign for anything, but I was prepared to go in if I had to. Luckily, the cell phone store is located right inside the main mall doors, so I’d be able to make a FAST GETAWAY!

The second time was going to the local drug store with Mark to pick up our prescriptions. I was actually able to go inside and wait with him, wandering aimlessly around the aisles for about five minutes. Luckily, the store was nearly empty and my anxiety symptoms were quite mild and manageable.

I feel very bad for Mark because he’s had to attend social functions (both work and personal) on his own since I can’t bring myself to go, and this Christmas I was unable to attend dinner at his parents’ place for the second year in a row.

Suddenly, the impact of my disability on our family became crystal clear. We are well aware of how close Erin and her boyfriend have become, and it started me thinking of the possible marriages of both Erin and Stuart down the road. What am I going to do then?

I HAVE TO GO TO MY OWN CHILDREN’S WEDDINGS!

Mark and I discussed the situation and after discussing several suggestions, I still couldn’t bring myself to even think of going to social functions. Then I mentioned the possibility of a BBQ for Mark’s and his Dad’s birthdays, and his Mom and Dad’s anniversary. After all, they all fall within a two week window in August – the perfect time of year for a BBQ.

My thinking is that having people over to a BBQ in our back yard would be a lot less stressful. Since everyone would spend most of their time outdoors, it wouldn’t feel like my home and sanctuary was being invaded. That’s truly what it feels like, no matter who is entering my home. I’d also be on my own property and more comfortable (if that word applies at all) in my own home. I’m hoping that once I’ve managed this, attending Christmas dinner at his parents’ place (or them over to ours) would be a very real possibility.

I believe that today is a huge turning point for me. I absolutely have to get past this so I can enjoy my kids’ weddings, and any future grandchildren and their life events as families.

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