Fact: In addition to the multitude of ways in which I’m a waste of human flesh, I am also incredibly socially awkward. It’s only getting worse with age. It causes me some anxiety and guilt, but it’s nothing I can’t roll with. I have recently discovered, however, that it’s a sore spot in my marriage.
My husband is more or less a normal person, and as a result, he likes leaving the house and being around people. I enjoy both of those things in theory, but in application, I panic and manage to spoil the outing nearly every time. I thought I had it mostly under control, with a few bad days here and there, but my husband and I talked last night, and the long and short of it is that it is far from handled and I’m genuinely no fun to spend time with outside of our little apartment. It really hurt to hear that, but I’m glad we talked about it. Marriage is forever, and forever is a mighty long time, especially if you’re miserable even 10% of the time.
“Getting out there” and making friends has been one of the absolute most excruciatingly difficult parts of relocating. I have never been the best at forging new friendships, but the harder things are in other aspects of my life — and, let’s be honest, the more settled I am in my curmudgeonly ways — the more impossible it feels that I will ever have a social group in LA. On the one hand, I’m ok with that. I’m a homebody, and I have my husband, so it’s not like I’m sitting at home alone on a Saturday night crying into my boxed wine and chocolate-covered cherries (ew and ew). Even if I don’t leave home on a Saturday, it can at least be date night in.
But we all know that’s bull shit. Everyone, even antisocial and/or shy people, cannot happily exist without some human interaction. And while it’s amazing to have one person with whom I plan to spend the rest of my life, I need girl friends, too. As it is, one of the reasons I started this diary was because I felt like I only have my mom and husband to talk to about life. I feel isolated, but it’s my fault. Every time I try to force myself outside my comfort zone and into the social world, I just can’t fully commit. I either bail on the plans at the last minute or get myself so worked up and anxious or scared or annoyed about breaking my routine that I have a terrible time. There is something horribly wrong with me.
I’ve been to therapy a few times in my life with varying degrees of success. I think it might be time to try again. Clearly I don’t know how to fix this incredibly pathetic problem of mine. I don’t have any legitimate barriers to going out in the world — like a physical disability or a mental delay. I am just slowly turning into a sad hermit.
Marriage is hard, but it seems that every problem in mine is actually just an issue that can be addressed. None are really the marriage. We love each other so much. Even in the middle of what seems like a world-ending fight, we can both fully admit that we love each other, and the possibility of splitting up is, well, not a possibility. So I guess that’s the good news. It isn’t our marriage. Right now, it’s just me.