Social Anxiety and Drinking

I had a work party to go to the other night.  This was challenging on it’s own as I am very self-conscious and anxious in social situations.  (Finally, got a screen for social anxiety a couple visits ago with my Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner on which I scored positive…I do believe social anxiety got officially added to my diagnosis list.)  But, I like my co-workers, and though I skip most of the get togethers, this was one that was hosted near me and I have been to the person’s house before….So, my safety zone was set up and I thought I could handle it.

I did okay for the first half hour….Caught up with folks, listened to work stories, and people-watched as the alcohol was consumed.  My co-workers know how to drink it down!  This is actually one of the reasons I avoid these work parties….I get very, very uncomfortable as people get more and more buzzed.  And last night, they were buzzing!  Beer and wine were just flowing like a river.  People were flushed, and loud and talking a mile a minute, and disinhibition was kicking in, not that people were out of control, they just were not themselves as I usually know them.  I tried retreating to a smaller group outside, but they were talking about beer and some kind of race where you chug beer, run a quarter mile, chug more beer, run a quarter mile…Not exactly the conversation I needed to feel better about the party.  And I could feel my anxiety ramping.  I tried going back inside…but at that point, I just felt pretty anxious and alienated, so I said my good byes and got the heck out of there.

I don’t know why being in groups of people who have over-imbibed is such a trigger for me, but it just feels so unsafe.  And like I said, I actually know these people and like them, so it’s not like I was actually in any danger…I guess it’s just one of my quirks.

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