Oh my goodness, how I relate...Thank you for this post. All day I've been traipsing around the apartment, my social anxiety at an 11, because I just signed with a new agent and the irrational crazy lady that I am is so stressed she's gonna find out I'm somehow an illiterate, unfunny hack and drop me... Meanwhile both my shows are on hiatus b/c of the strike and I'm just SO glad someone else doesn't feel like leaving their apartment and but then DID and that there were possibly hunky firemen involved and SNACKS... which is THE writers room love language as far as I'm concerned, lol. Keep sending Saratonin hits?

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Sara - I read this last night, but I wanted to actually comment with an actual keyboard in front of me. This piece resonated with me, and I don’t have social anxiety. The pandemic, despite all the horrible, was definitely a good news/bad news situation for my mental health. I LOVE being home. I love my house. I love my dog. I love working from home. DoorDash and Instacart and Amazon were invented FOR ME. If I never left the house again, I’d be perfectly happy. I live in suburbia, and I walk my dog, rather than let her out, so I get outside multiple times a day. I interact with my neighbors. But, by and large, I just LIKE being home. And I like my own company. This past Saturday I was asked to be godmother to my cousin’s little girl. Quite an honor, for a variety of reasons. I psyched myself up, bought a new outfit, which given our similar statures, I had to have hemmed, and find a top that could accommodate the 34Gs. It was a lovely day, but it absolutely EXHAUSTED me. Sunday, I was supposed to write a paper for school (4 classes left in my ONLINE masters degree) and I just couldn’t do it. Between perimenopause, which I am constantly addressing with different things, and having been “out” I just couldn’t do it. Fortunately, CSU understands that working people need grace periods, so you have a whole week to submit without penalty, but still, it’s not great to get behind. I wrote some Sunday, about a page, wrote some yesterday, 2 more pages, and really need to just FINISH it today because I have my actual job and this week’s assignments to do!! All of that is to say that “peopling” is exhausting for some of us, even if we don’t have social anxiety.

I have been challenged with depression for as long as I can remember. It started in my teenage years. My father would literally say, “Krista Lynn, you’ve got the world by the tail, what do you have to be depressed about???” That... was less helpful than he thought. The past month or so, I’ve been in the throes of it. I took time off of my masters program to look for a new job - and ... it hasn’t panned out. So, I had to get back into classes because I just need to be DONE with this masters program. So now, job hunting will take a back seat, which actually IS depressing, even if the lack of movement forward as quickly as I wanted it to be, was also getting depressing. My body feels out of control (news flash, it IS!) with perimenopause - which, incidentally, for me started right around 42 (I am 48.5) with massive middle of the night anxiety attacks that would end up with me lying naked on the cold bathroom floor feeling like I was going to throw up and willing my body not to. Turns out, I was having night sweats, which were making me wake up overheated, which is... SURPRISE... how you feel when you get sick in the middle of the night, and I do NOT vomit. I haven’t thrown up since I was 17, so... instead I was freaking out because I was overheated and it took me FOUR YEARS to figure out how to manage that. I still get the night sweats, despite taking estrogen and other stuff, but at least I don’t wake up and have a panic attack!!

So, if you’re not already looking at it, consider that some of what you’re feeling is due to your estrogen not being as plentiful as it was before. Perimenopause is a HOOT. 🙄

Sending love your way. You’re not in this alone, and there are lots of people who feel some of the same ways. Mental health is a continuum. I see a therapist once a week and take Zoloft, which I recently increased. I told my therapist my SAD happens in the spring/summer because I love autumn and winter!!

Thanks for reading, if you got this far. Keep on keeping on. 💜

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May 8Liked by Sara Benincasa

Keep up the good work, friend! My social anxiety also took a giant leap forward into some seriously uncomfortable territory with the Great Reopening...one day at a time indeed. Down here in the DR rooting for ya. xx

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