How hard is it to be an introvert with social anxiety who lives in the south? I’m gonna go with pretty hard. Seriously, I love being southern and I love meeting up with friends for drinks, but all I can think about sometimes is –

What if they bring someone with them that I don’t know?
Are they gonna ask me about my momma?
Are they gonna bless my heart?

Y’all, Southerners love to talk, and usually so do I. But unless I know you or we have a lot in common (and it has to be a lot) our conversations are going to quickly come to a screeching halt – unless someone hands me a beer, and does it quick!

I can’t be the only one feeling like this… right? I know I’m not. But anxiety, for as common a problem as it is, can make a person feel really awkward, lonely and out of place.

Because of my love of Star Wars puns, I like to think of it this way: under normal circumstances, I’m Anakin Skywalker – cute, fun, charming, a little rebellious and could possibly be the chosen one. I enjoy adventure and am passionate about the things I love, like soaring across Tatooine on my podracer.

But there’s this little voice inside me, or should I say this raspy voice that’s breathing heavily into my ear saying,

Your lack of worry disturbs me.

But in my anxiety’s defense, it feels like sometimes it’s only doing what’s best for me. Like making sure I’m prepared for any situation. Or keeping me from facing devastating embarrassment. Or even using the dark side to protect the Republic…

I know it’s wrong, but sometimes it can be so tempting to give in to the anxiety and just hang out on my little porch avoiding all the social niceties that come from living south of the Mason-Dixon line. And by south, I mean waaaaay south. Like spittin’ in the swamps, South. Like I keep my alcohol in mason jars on a shelf, South.

Down here the rules are a little different. You’re expected to go to gatherings, whether it be family related or work or even the birthday party of some little turd whose parents you only met one dang time.

That doesn’t really work for me, but darn-it-all if I don’t do it anyway. I show up, usually with a beer in hand, and ask all the right things at all the right times. Oh, who am I kidding? I end up sayin’ something weird and awkward and then shufflin’ away to hang out with the dog.

No matter how you look at it, anxiety can be extremely obnoxious when it comes to dealing with life. And my inner introvert likes to throw another log into the fire by giving me a general disregard for large groups of people…and people I don’t know…and just people.

This blog is going to be my way of dealing with all of the get-togethers and the ever present need to just stay home and do nothing. I want to get out there. To say, yes! I also don’t want my fears to keep me from doing the things I love, like writing. And I want to be able to share my writing with the world. I’ll still be awkward. Some things will always stay the same. But I’m sure gonna have a damn good time while I’m at it!

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