dirty dancing, dance routine, dance lift, go out, going out, night out, dread going out

Do you dread going out?

I hate to say this to anyone and I would be furious if anyone said this to me but: sometimes you have to go out. At night. With mascara. And a smile. There.

Am I alone in looking at an evening commitment in my diary and genuinely wanting to cry? Is it only me that thinks, “How?” As in, how will I stay awake, how will I have the energy, how – when I am under this much pressure – will I smile, how will I relate to anyone, how will I get dressed, how will I prevent myself from checking the time every two minutes to calculate an exit strategy directly related to sleep lost and how will I manage the next day? How is going out possible?

This stuff is harder when you’re single. You need to create your own momentum and there is an armour element that married people forget. But after two weeks of flu and panic and money worrying and terrible telly that made me howl (One Born Every Minute is an act of self-harm); after two weeks of watching aloneness morph into sharp and stabbing loneliness, I took some Sudafed, dug out eyeliner and got in an Uber to go out. In heels. To a restaurant. And then a real life human party full of people who do this stuff three times a week.

And it was expensive and late. But it was healing. It was re-joining the human race. It was having conversations that reminded me that, even though I have a lot on my plate – I am far luckier than many. Than most actually. It reminded me that people are sometimes pleased to see me. It reminded me that if I can just get myself out the door now and again, then everything is a bonus. I love my sofa, but it has soaked up too many tears.

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