I am writing this post from a local non-corprate ice cream shop, and right now, I am participating in a type of therapy.
I made this therapy up. I call it "Chill Therapy" it is to treat me, using desensitization, for my Social Phobia. Social phobia is an anxiety disorder where, when around people, you feel as if they are paying attention to you and judging you. One of the reasons I didn't graduate college is that on mornings I wasn't feeling attractive, or if I was late, I couldn't bring myself to class, I was convinced that when I walked in the room everyone would look at me and judge my clothes, my skin, my hairstyle, even my body language. Thanks to the desensitization from my current job and my former job as a waitress, this has gotten a lot better.
I still, on my days off, really prefer top be at home. I don't feel like interacting, being friendly, or being outside of my comfortable domain. This therapy I have invented is an effort to expand this comfortable domain.
Nearby there are a few restaurants and coffee shops, including a Leanne Chin's, a burrito place, an italian deli, a Jordanian corner store that serves Gyros, and a cool NY style pizza place. What I have decided to do is to begin to hang out, "chill," at these places and the local coffee shops. They are within a few blocks of my house, so it is like a baby step, expanding my comfort zone.
A big thing that I notice when I go out, is my voice gets ugly. I start sounding like a bitchy snob girl, you know those voices, with the long trailing end "Yeahhhhhhhh, I was totally maaaaaaaad" and that weird phrasing sentances in the form of a question "So I went to visit my friend?..." I need to be in public (as myself, not as a flight attendant) more so I relax and start talking normal, I also need to learn how to lower my voice projection so other people can't hear what I am saying.
As my comfort zone expands, I can add a block to the circumfrence, until hopefully I can go out with my friends as Diana, not "trailing off question sentance girl." I already feel comfortable, this week we have gone here, the burrito place, the Gyros shop, and a corprate coffee shop, and my voice sounds much less self-concious and asshole-y already :)
I am getting more accomplished too, because I am not obsessing about my apartment's neatness shortcomings (in rough shape since my awesome roommate moved in) and I have gotten to bond with roomie Tera, as we get aquainted with this really great neighborhood.
This place has Wi-Fi so I am hopeful to get my laptop hooked up with it. Blogging is a nice security blanket that could help me get comfortable in public more, I feel hopeful, I think this therapy is going to be really helpful, and since I invented it maybe I can make a million bucks so I can afford the cappucino bills!
mood: relaxed :) (in public!!!!!!!!!!!!)