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When “normalcy” feels abnormal

Last night, I did something for the first time in literally years.

I went to the movies.

Yes, shocking, I know. I actually don’t know what’s more shocking, the fact that I actually went, or the fact that we haven’t gone in years. My husband and I used to go relatively frequently, maybe once a month or so. Or whenever something good was out.

But when Covid hit, we stopped doing anything like that. And we never got back into it, or going anywhere, for that matter, because I just never felt safe. And my anxiety told me not to.

Whether or not it’s more due to my anxiety regarding outings in general, or more of a fear of the Covid and illness side of it, I’m not sure. Probably an unhealthy mixture of both. Remember, both my boys have a serious genetic disorder, and a severe respiratory illness would very likely kill them. So I’m not just worried for no reason.

We went as far as to buy the seats next to us as well, to make sure no one would be sitting right next to us. It was a relatively full theater, so it was the right call.

Sitting through the previews and all throughout the time before the movie started, I had some serious panic attacks. Which for me, don’t look like much on the outside, but they sure do feel like a lot. A girl behind me was coughing, people around me were drinking alcohol…I was struggling.

A weird thing about me is that when there are other people drinking alcohol around me, it sends me into full panic mode. I am terrified of other people who drink, unless I know them personally. I don’t know why, it makes no sense, it just straight up panics me. I think it’s because a lot of the time, drunk people can be stupid, and I’m afraid they’re going to try to hurt me, or do something else that’s dumb. I guess a significant trauma history doesn’t always make sense though, does it.

I felt better once the movie actually started, but I was still on high alert. I was hard to relax and just…be.

I struggled to a certain extent with this before the pandemic, but taking years off from any sort of public social gathering definitely did not help.

It’s bad to the extent that, besides taking my kids places, I don’t do anything recreational. It has nothing to do with Covid fears and everything to do with anxiety in general. Covid just became a fantastic excuse to live my best introverted life.

And honestly, I’m just so exhausted to the point that if I don’t have to go somewhere, I really just don’t want to out of pure exhaustion alone. The effort isn’t worth it, I’d rather stay home and not put on real pants and be cozy.

I’m glad I went, even though it was uncomfortable. It was nice to be able to go out with my husband again on a more “normal” level. Honestly, I tried a few months ago, but got anxiety about it and changed my mind at the last minute.

If anything was going to get me out though, it would, of course, be a Harry Potter franchise movie.

I’m an introvert to the extreme, and it takes a lot out of me to be any kind of social.

“Normalcy” still feels very abnormal to me. I imagine it still will for quite some time. The anxiety took a lot out of me, just from being around people in general.

Interestingly enough, big travel doesn’t give me anxiety. Going on a trip, going to the airport, flying, staying in a hotel somewhere completely new…I’m totally fine with that. I love it. It’s just the small stuff that I have an extremely hard time with.

I want to get to a point in my life where going out to places that aren’t in my typical routine doesn’t feel so overwhelming, but I’m not sure if that will ever happen.

Maybe it’s just one of those things I need to expose myself to more..

(By the way, we finally got our power back late last night, hooray!!! It’s very felt so good to have power.)

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