woman, dread, stress, going out, social anxiety

Dread is my default

I am quite fun (truly fun people don’t say that but you’ll have to trust Fun Me on this) and – some would say – bubbly. Bad word. But they’d still say it. I can hold my own in the fun stakes.

Trouble is, I don’t look forward to anything. Nothing. My default setting is dread. My sexual fantasy is cancellation. “Come on, cancel me… cancel me harder… I’m cancelled! I’m cancelled! I’m cancelled! Oh God it feels so good.”

Sometimes things – parties, holidays – are fun. But they have to be obviously fun, vulgar in their out-and-out fun-ness, because I am no good at finding the treasure. I can’t play hide and seek with the joy. It either presents itself to me and sticks around or I leave, muttering that I was right about the dread.

I battle the dread at the point of accepting an invitation and then the dread goes latent for a while. As the commitment looms large, the dread grows and grows and I wonder if, how, when I can squirm my way out of the ‘treat’ that throbs in my diary. The weekend in Ibiza. The 40th in the country. The Sunday lunch at the pub.

I throw up my dread-laden hands and admit that I have absolutely no idea how to cure myself. How to press reset. How to look forward to things. Maybe the dread is my insurance policy in case I don’t match up, in case I let people down with my personality (even though I secretly know that I am quite fun. Sorry). The only things I don’t dread are my sofa and my bed. But then I get FOMO. And start culling people from my Instagram feed in a fit of jealousy and bitterness. It’s not their fault I’m not there. It’s dread-full me.

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