Today something remarkable happened. I went to a friend’s cookout by myself knowing only the couple who invited me. For an introvert with anxiety THIS IS HUGE! I cannot tell you the last time I went somewhere alone and felt comfortable about the whole situation.
I am that quiet, shy person when you first meet me. It typically takes me awhile to warm up to someone enough that I can initiate or continue a conversation. There are people I have known for months or even years that I still cannot fully be myself around. I’m still pretty quiet at family functions. Part of all this is due to trust and part of it is due to my anxiety and introverted personality.
Today I was not that person [entirely]. I talked to people I never met. I pulled up to the cookout without the knots in my stomach and the nervousness of how awkward this could be. I busted right in and made myself feel at home. The best part? It felt great. I did wish my husband was with me and did miss him but at the same time it was a big step for me to do that on my own.
There are times that I am invited places where I find some type of excuse or reason not to go because I don’t want to be uncomfortable. There are times I have to muster up the courage to get out of my car at someone’s house or even just a business to get something taken care of. I literally have to talk myself into things sometimes because it’s the healthy thing to do. After all, how can I overcome anxiety without being brave and courageous? Small steps and Jesus is all it takes.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6