What I’ve Been Up To & Why I’ve Been Quiet

Hey you guys!

…you’re still here, right? My silence hasn’t scared you away?

Oh good.

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚


I suppose I would summarize it as:

ANXIETY

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[parenting, freelancing, blogging, body, social media presence]

=

What I’ve been up to & why I’ve been quiet


So yeah.

The kids were away for a week a couple of week ago, visiting Jesse’s mom and stepdad. The break let us rest and reset our routines and priorities.

I introspected (as I do). I realized that the more burnt out I had been feeling as a mom in lockdown, the harder I was leaning into my Instagram account and, especially, leaning on my community there for support and company.

Which is good…

But the more I leaned into my Blushy Ginger-ing, the more I was feeling disconnected from the kiddos, and it wasn’t helping my burnout on the mom front.

So when they got home, I became very quiet online, left my phone in other rooms of the house (gasp!), and just focused on spending time with them.

Which Is good…

But the more I leaned into “being the best mom I can be,” the more I was feeling disconnected from my support system online. It might be hard to believe if you don’t do the online thing, but the friendships I’ve made online with other mental health and motherhood writers and creators have been huge sources of comfort and encouragement.

So… I’ve been having kind of a crisis of clarity and balance.

Obviously the kids are my world, my priority, my snuggly little cupcakes of cuddles and giggles. But I do still need my own time to use my brain and work on my mental health.

I’ve been having trouble finding balance.

So, I went quiet online, especially on my blog.


I’ll save the freelancing and body parts of the equation for another post.

I just wanted to give a little update.

Oh, and I redesigned my site, yet again. This time, it’s to bring my freelancing services under the same umbrella as my mental health blogging. I’ll chat about that soon too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for still being here.

Anxiety Mama Series #1: Our Journeys Through Anxiety with Marijke Visser

I went live on Instagram for the first time! My friend Marijke (@girlmom.strong) and I chatted for an hour about how anxiety has impacted our lives and influenced our motherhood.

Some things we talked about:

  • Anxiety levels at the beginning and end of the Live
  • What anxiety looks like for us
  • How anxiety impacts our parenting
  • Tips for someone experiencing anxiety
  • Favourite books on mental health or motherhood
  • Questions from viewers

This video is now available on IGTV for anyone who might be interested! (Or you can scroll down!)

I can’t bring myself to re-watch it yet.

We’re talking about making this a monthly series, like Anxiety Mama Monthly or something. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • The feature photo for this post includes part of the promo graphic created by Marijke.

Blast From The Past: I Used To Blog About Freelance Translation and Editing

So, this isn’t something I’ve talked about much on here, but when I’m not blushing gingerly or being a wife and mom, I do freelance translation and editing.

Before the kids were born, this was my full-time job. Over time, it moved to part-time, and the flexibility to be able to do this is exactly why I chose freelancing.

Since lockdown started, I have hit pause and I’m not taking on work (with one possible exception upcoming). It’ll continue like this for the summer since school is over now. I know this is a privilege not all families have, and I’m grateful that we have the option to have one of us pause work.

Aaaanyway, this is all a long preface to say that, years ago, I wrote a blog on being a freelance translator and editor. And this post that I’m reblogging is from the blog. (Unfortunately, I am not able to get back into the site as an admin. I tried but it says the blog is deleted… which it clearly isn’t.)

I had a bit of a worlds colliding moment (to quote my friend Liz) this week when someone approached me about possibly discussing translation and anxiety.

And it made me realize that I have never really talked about how severely my freelancing growth has been affected by social anxiety.

So I wanted to share this post. I’m contemplating whether or not this is a topic worth spending some time on going forward. Social anxiety as an entrepreneur must surely affect lots of people, right?

Here’s the post! I hope you enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚ It feels like revisiting a past life, for me.

Sadie

Cibliste

Iโ€™m a little ashamed to admit that I have been unfairly interpreting my catโ€™s refusal to spend time with me as targeted rejection on a very personal level.ย Heโ€™s a recent rescue cat, you see, and very timid. He spends most of his day behind the washer, and hisses when heโ€™s afraid (which is always).

This weekend, I had an Aha! moment that has already helped me not take my catโ€™s behaviour to heartโ€”and I think itโ€™s a lesson that can help us freelancers deal with rejection from prospective clients as well.

My moment of clarity occurred thanks to an excellent event this past Saturday called โ€œBuilding Your Freelance Business: A One-Day Seminar for Writers and Editors.โ€ For me, one of the quotes of the day came from Diane Davy (Work in Culture) during her presentation โ€œRunning Your Business Better.โ€ Iโ€™m paraphrasing a little from memory, butโ€ฆ

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Social Anxiety in the Bedroom #2: 15 Shockingly Honest Thoughts

Content warning: If you are related to me and/or a client and/or a former employer and/or a little squeamish about hearing details of my brain on sex, you may want to skip this one. (Obviously you’re welcome to read on if you’re cool with this topic.) The previous post is not about sex, and it’s here: Social Anxiety Is Standing In My Way Today. No worries, no pressure. xoxo


People are sometimes surprised when I say my social anxiety doesn’t “go away” when I’m with my husband.โ €
โ €
And I totally get where the surprise is coming from, but the reality is that social anxiety is present even when I’m by myself.โ €
โ €
Because my mind is always with me.โ €
โ €
Social anxiety is a disorder. It’s not the same as shyness, which can fade with familiarity with someone. โ €
โ €
I definitely don’t experience social anxiety symptoms as intensely with my husband. But they’re still there. They’re always there. โ €
โ €
And I know from chatting with others that it can be hard for a non-anxious partner to understand just how ever-present the disorder is. โ €
โ €
Especially when it comes to sex.โ €
โ €
And I can empathize with that, too. If I’m getting naked with this other human, shouldn’t that mean I’m fairly comfortable with myself in this situation? โ €
โ €
Yeah. No. Social anxiety laughs at that naive hope. โ €

Today, I’m sharing a very incomplete list of anxious thoughts I’ve had in the bedroom. I hope it’s relatable and helpful and makes you feel less alone.


15 Socially Anxious Thoughts I Have During Sex

  1. Exactly how clean am I right now? When’s the last time I peed/showered/used a baby wipe
  2. What’s the last thing I ate? Should I brush my teeth, or will that be *too* fresh?โฃโ €โฃโ €
  3. Why am I wearing my [insert geeky graphic tee] again? (He has legit said, “Is it a Foxy Mama kinda night or a Snaxolotl kinda night?”)
  4. Should I take charge? I don’t want to take charge.โฃโ €โฃโ €
  5. Have I gone on top yet this month? This season? (I’m not against going on top, it’s just that I’m always tired and also it’s also a very tummy-flappy position and when I’m on top, my knee pops, and that makes me feel old. I don’t want to feel old.)โฃโ €โฃโ €
  6. Oh shit, does ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ think I’m old?โฃโ €โฃโ €
  7. Ow, my hip.โฃโ €โฃโ €
  8. Do I look weird from this angle?โฃโ €โฃโ €
  9. Am I boring? โฃโ €โฃโ €
  10. Do I look old from this angle?โฃโ €โฃโ €
  11. Oh god I just saw my tummy. It looks like a waterbed. Don’t look down. Never look down.
  12. Am I looser since having the kids? Mental note to ask him after.โฃโ €
  13. Is my climax face weird? Mental note to ask him after.โฃโ €โฃโ €
  14. Is he bored? Definitely don’t ask him right this second..
  15. Wow, that was an intense 10 minutes mentally. Anyway!

Parting Thoughts

These worries are real, but I’ve presented them in a lighthearted way.โฃ This is also a shortlist.
โฃโ €
I don’t necessarily have ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ thought above in this ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต order ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ time we get naked. โฃโ €
โฃโ €
But… I definitely have had all these thoughts often enough to write them down. โฃโ €

There’s a lot more to say about the intersection of (social) anxiety and sex/sexuality.

But I think I’ll leave it here for now.

This post originally appeared as two posts on Instagram. This one and this one:

View this post on Instagram

๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด… ๐—ฆ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜…๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—บ. โฃโ € โฃโ € ๐˜ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ป๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ'๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต! ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ! ๐˜น๐˜ฐ๐˜น๐˜ฐโฃโ € โฃโ € ๐—œ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ: โฃโ € These worries are real, but I've presented them in a lighthearted way.โฃโ € โฃโ € I don't necessarily have ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ thought below in this ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต order ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ time we get naked. โฃโ € โฃโ € But… I definitely have had all these thoughts often enough to write them down. โฃโ € โฃโ € ๐— ๐˜† ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜…๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜…: โฃโ € โฃโ € Exactly how clean am I right now? When's the last time I peed/showered/used a baby wipe?โฃโ € โฃโ € What's the last thing I ate? Should I brush my teeth, or will that be *too* fresh?โฃโ € โฃโ € Why am I wearing my [insert geeky graphic tee] again? (He has legit said, "Is it a Foxy Mama kinda night or a Snaxolotl kinda night?") โฃโ € โฃโ € Should I take charge? I don't want to take charge.โฃโ € โฃโ € Have I gone on top yet this month? This season? (I'm not against going on top, it's just that I'm always tired and also it's also a very tummy-flappy position and when I'm on top, my knee pops, and that makes me feel old. I don't want to feel old.)โฃโ € โฃโ € Oh shit, does ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ think I'm old?โฃโ € โฃโ € Ow, my hip.โฃโ € โฃโ € Do I look weird from this angle?โฃโ € โฃโ € Am I boring? โฃโ € โฃโ € Do I look old from this angle?โฃโ € โฃโ € Oh god I just saw my tummy. It looks like a waterbed. Don't look down. Never look down. โฃโ € โฃโ € Am I looser since having the kids? Mental note to ask him after. โฃโ € โฃโ € Is my climax face weird? Mental note to ask him after.โฃโ € โฃโ € Is he bored? Definitely don't ask him right this second. . Wow, that was an intense 10 minutes mentally. Anyway! โฃโ € โฃโ € ๐—™๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€โฃโ € ๐˜ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ'๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ'๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ซ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜น. ๐˜ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ. ๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜'๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜น๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ. โฃโ € โฃโ € ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜€๐—ผ ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ฐ.

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Tending Your Social Anxiety Garden

When social anxiety flares up, it’s like a wall is being placed around me. A wall of weeds, maybe. โฃโ € โฃโ €

This is one reason that I’m not so sure social anxiety can be “cured.” โฃโ €

I think it can be managed, much like a gardener manages the growth of unwanted weeds in her flower beds. โฃโ € โฃโ €

But if she stops pruning and tending, the flower beds become overgrown, and she has a lot of work ahead of her. โฃโ € โฃโ €

That’s how I see social anxiety, or my experience of social anxiety. โฃโ € โฃ

If I’m not constantly pushing myself to stay engaged with other humans, the fear returns. โฃโ € โฃโ €

It’s tiring. โฃโ € โฃโ €

And it’s sad, because I think there might be something of a social butterfly trapped inside this social anxiety chrysalis.โฃโ € โฃโ €

๐˜ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ ๐˜ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜น๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ. ๐˜๐˜ต’๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ. (๐˜ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด, ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ.) โฃโ € โฃโ €

Social anxiety is not *who I am.* I am not social anxiety. โฃโ € โฃโ €

I’m the gardener. โฃโ € โฃโ €

Social anxiety is the overgrowth. โฃโ € โฃโ €

But the past few days, I have been struggling to even pick up the pruning shears. โฃโ € โฃโ €

I just wanted to let you know, because I know I haven’t replied to you the way I normally do.

But I’m here, and I see you, and I appreciate you. โฃโ € โฃโ €

And if you’re in the midst of a flare-up too, my gentle words of advice would be to remember that social anxiety is not who you are. โฃโ € โฃโ €

๐˜๐จ๐ฎ’๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐š๐ซ๐๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ. โฃโ € โฃโ €

(๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜บ.)โฃโ € โฃโ €

Recovery Is Not About “Getting Over Your Issues”

I used to think that if I could just “get over my issues,” I would be happy.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž “๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ” ๐ฆ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ. โฃโ € โฃโ €

Plus, my interpretation of ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด looked like stuffing them down inside and ploughing ahead, hiding my limping mental health. โฃโ € โฃ

I say ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ because if I had *actually* been limping physically, I would have stopped to rest and assess. โฃโ € โฃโ €

Not so with mental health. โฃโ € โฃ

Today, I no longer think it’s ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ/๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ. It’s not “either you have issues, ๐จ๐ซ you are happy.” It’s not “either you get over your issues, ๐จ๐ซ you remain unhappy.”โฃโ € โฃโ €

The two are not mutually exclusive, nor does one guarantee the other.โฃโ € โฃ

Overcoming ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ/๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ, ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ-๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ-๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ is an ongoing part of the recovery process, for me. โฃโ € โฃโ €

Thanks for reading. xoxoโฃโ € โฃโ €

P.S. ๐˜’๐˜ฎ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ-๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ want ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ. ๐˜’๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜’๐˜ฎ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜บ.

I’d like to share a post by fellow mental health blogger Megan, because she has echoed a lot of what I’m experiencing from an anxiety perspective: Mental Health Monday: 7 Tips for Having Hard Conversations About Race When Youโ€™re White and Have Anxiety

I will end with this thought, which is imperfect, but my understanding of everything that’s going on is just as imperfect and constantly evolving:

Social Anxiety in the Bedroom #1: The Struggle Is Real

Content warning: …sex. Obviously. (Not too graphic though.)


If I had to break down socially anxious sex into 4 overly simplistic, tongue-in-cheek steps, it might look like this:

Step 1:

Start with all the typical fears related to social anxiety.

To name just a few:

Being judged by others in social situations

Being embarrassed or humiliated — and showing it by blushing, sweating, or shaking

Accidentally offending someone

Being the center of attention

Source: WebMD

Step 2:

Hold on tight to those fears as you remove all your clothing.

You are now naked.

Proceed to step 3.

Step 3:

Continue to hold on tight to those fears as you turn to other human or humans in room.

Note that they, too, are naked.

And looking at you.

Step 4:

Prepare to interact with other human(s) in the most intimate way imaginable.

Now.

Right now.

Congratulations!

You are now ready to have socially anxious sex.

But Seriously Though

It’s not your fault if anxiety is creating challenges for you related to intimacy or sex.

You didn’t choose to have anxiety in the bedroom any more than you chose to have it outside the bedroom.

Anxiety doesn’t END at the bedroom door

(I keep saying bedroom but feel free to replace this with your sexy location of choice.)

Anxiety is hard enough to manage during non-sexy times, and it affects an individual’s whole life.

So it only makes sense that these challenges would carry over into the bedroom. You’re still the same person there, after all.

Anxiety can be a mood killer

It can be physically difficult, if not impossible, to relax enough to enjoy the moment. (No relaxy, no climaxy.)

Medication can be a factor

SSRI and SNRI medications can cause sexual side effects.

This can be infuriating, embarrassing, and discouraging. (There are ways to mitigate this effect depending on the medication. For example, for me, adding Wellbutrin [buproprion] offset the anorgasmia caused by SNRI and SSRI medication. Talk to your doc.)

Anxiety is pretty common here anyway

Sex can be nerve-wracking even without an anxiety disorder in the mix.

It can be fun but scary, exhilarating but finicky, restorative but messy. (So messy.)

Moral of the story: We’re all imperfect

Please don’t be too hard on your imperfect self for being imperfect in the bedroom, too.

Anxiety disorder or not, WE ARE *ALL* IMPERFECT IN THE BEDROOM.

AND DON’T LET ANYONE MAKE YOU BELIEVE OTHERWISE.

xoxo

P.S. Why I Wrote This Post

The impact of social anxiety on sexuality is a legitimate issue that I would love to see discussed in a candid and relatable way.

The tone I aimed for here is lighthearted and hopefully a little funny.

This isn’t “the” definitive post on socially anxious sex.

I’m just hoping to open the door to more conversation and thought.

And even if there’s no public talk, maybe someone out there will feel a little less alone and a little more understood. xoxo

I Feel Self-Conscious About Wearing Shorts (With Audio!)

There’s a video at the end of me reading this post out loud! I thought it would be a fun new challenge for me. (It was!)


I love summer.

I hate shorts.

There is not a single style of shorts that I feel comfortable in. (Which is maybe not surprising, considering there is all of ONE style of pants I feel comfortable in, plus one style of workout legging.)

But shorts.

Shorts are ACTIVELY unpleasant.

And then you have tank tops. And t-shirts. And bathing suits.

And I’m all for body positivity, body neutrality, body acceptance, and generally tearing down the whole diet culture institution.

But my own body image issues are not as progressive or empowered when it comes to MY body.

Long story short, I’m really happy that the weather is turning warmer, but I’m also dealing with a major flare-up of body anxiety.

That inner voice, somewhat subdued during the winter, is trying to tempt me back to the restrictive and obsessive tactics of summers past.

And I’m not going to succumb.

Because I know acceptance and confidence will not be found down that well-worn path.

But the alternative path is unfamiliar, and I’m not really sure how to make progress in that direction.

And that is why I am directing all my anxiety and frustration at shorts.

All shorts.

(I was tempted to end with, “DOWN WITH SHORTS!” but then I realized that pulling down shorts would leave me in my undies, and I’m not much more fond of how I look in those. So the shorts remain up and on, but only because of what they conceal.)

P.S. Capris, you’re just almost as bad.

I did a reading of the post!

I did a reading of the post!

Lockdown Life #4: Preparing to Emerge From Our COVID-19 Cocoon

Lockdown has felt like the strangest limbo version of life.

Ontario, the Canadian province we live in, is entering phase 1 of turning itself back on again after 9 weeks of flattening the curve.

Here are a few reflections I’ve had over the past 9 weeks, which I’ve been jotting down as we go.


A big small world

For me, everything feels less “compartmentalized” globally now.

We all got sick together, as a planet. Our economies suffered together, as a planet. And sickness and economic suffering are still happening.

Strength in numbers has come to mean strength in isolated numbers. And vulnerability in physical proximity.

Viruses don’t care about borders

I understand more than ever that borders are not impenetrable to tiny viral invaders.

I understand more than ever the importance of an active economy, and the challenge of balancing physical health, mental health, and economic health.

Daily life has become tiny and quiet

Our contribution has been to stay home. Our role is to help stop the spread by staying away from others.

We know the world and situation are constantly evolving, but it has also felt like someone hit the Pause button on reality.

The spectrum of experiences for this pandemic is vast

For us, it could be described by words like isolated, quiet, eerie, simple, and confined.

For essential workers, the description would certainly be a lot grimmer.

For those who experienced illness or the death of a loved one, the pain must be unimaginable.

We don’t know what “normal” will look like after this

You don’t get to know how history will unfold as it is happening.

But we do know that the Global Pandemic and Great Lockdown of 2020 will make the history books.

There are silver linings

I have been reminded to appreciate everything that we have.

I’ll never resent all the extra time I’ve had with my kids and husband (even though the flip-side also meant occasionally overdosing on each other’s company).

I’ve finally started to miss other humans

I told Jesse the other day that I think I’m ready to start seeing other people.

“Socially,” I added.

He thanked me for specifying.


I’m conscious (and a little self-conscious) of my privilege in this situation. As hard as parts of this have been, my family has been very much “okay” this whole time.

But these thoughts have been on my mind over the weeks (months), and I figured I might as well share them, because pushing myself to do the uncomfortable is almost always valuable practice.

How has this all been for you?

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Thinking Back To My Shy Teens

There have been times when I’ve thought back on my teens and 20s, and wondered:

Did my debilitating shyness and untreated social anxiety come across as me being unfriendly or thinking I was too good to make friends?



In high school, I was an anxious overachiever.

  • I always aimed for A+ and panicked if it didn’t happen (or seemed like it might not happen).
  • I memorized every detail I could before a test (but was too fretful to ever pause to digest the information).
  • I became editor-in-chief of the high school yearbook because I NEEDED TO MATTER.

Beneath the surface, hidden from even my own insight and self-awareness, I was riddled with anxiety, perfectionism, and rock-bottom self-esteem.

Years later, a former classmate made an offhand comment that I don’t remember verbatim, but it came down to “you were too good to hang out with us.”

My teenage self would have been mortified to hear this.

That shy, lost, neurotic 16-year-old who wanted nothing more than to stop feeling like she only mattered if she was perfect.

There is so much I would go back and tell that girl. So much pain and burden I would try to take off her shoulders.

I had no idea how I came across back then. All I wanted to know was, “Am I okay yet? Am I good enough now? Is this right?”



I’m 34 now

  • I still don’t have a good sense of how I come across to others.
  • I wonder if my “extra-ness” and nerdiness and perfectionism come across as stuck-up or goody-two-shoes.
  • I wonder if my empathy and vulnerability and people-pleasing nature peg me as an underdog, a sort of homely but hopeless puppy.
  • I wonder if my social anxiety and shyness make me seem flakey and cold and uninvested.

These worries are becoming easier to manage as I grow and heal.

Most of the time, they are background music that I can consciously tune out. The music takes over only in my hurting moments.

But I’ve come a long way. I’ve learned that imperfect is way more relatable.

And that it’s better to be the flawed, friendly person at the party than the aloof cool kid that everyone is afraid to approach. (Not that I was “cool” anyway.)

Is This a realistic goal?

I want to get to a solid place of not needing to care either way.

I want my sense of self and self-esteem to be so unshakable that I just do my thing, appearances and perceptions be damned.

But I’m prepared to accept that I still have a lot to learn about all this.