I am thinking of signing up for GISH.
It's a sort of adventure non-profit that Misha Collins started up. GISH (or sometimes GISHWHES) stands for Greatest Internet Scavenger Hunt (or Greatest Internet Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Known). I've been thinking about for close to a year now. But I always end up NOT signing up.
I AM TERRIFIED!!!
No ifs, ands, or buts..... utterly and completely terrified...... of signing up for this. I cannot overstate the amount of terror instilled in me when I think of signing up for this and doing it.
Meet new friends (IRL) - TERROR!!!
Do crazy, socially unsanctioned things - ANXIETY!!!
Show people I don't know my greatest fear - HORROR!!!
So I'm looking at the GISH page - the theme is 'STFU' - Save The Forest Unicorn - IE, save the unicorns by signing up for GISH. LOL. I'm laughing through my terror, really.
I want very much to 'lean into' the fear - I can't remember where I read that, I'll have to find it. The concept is to lean into things that cause you anxiety or fear, thereby helping you overcome them. I've had mixed results. Some things are so deep seated it takes a little talk therapy or something to help us past them. And other more minor things this concept can work somewhat effectively. I say somewhat effectively because it does NOT make the anxiety go away. It helps condition your mind and body to learn how to push through it. Maybe for some people it eventually eliminates the anxiety or fear. Hurray for them!
For me the main effect has been to allow me to 'push through' and accomplish things anyway. That can be valuable when you're fighting depression. It can also be a detriment - when you get so used to fighting through the fear that you stop listening to it - because that fear and anxiety are telling you where your boundaries are. And you can end up in a very unhealthy, su*c*d*l, burned out place if you ignore that too much. Just like it is not healthy to let it stop you from living, it is also unhealthy to keep pushing through it mindlessly - the key there being mindlessly.
Please don't be too offended by my next statements - I'm speaking them from experience, if that makes a difference. If you know that your fear is not in proportion to your situation, then you can teach yourself to push through it, and this will by and large serve you well. But if your fear has some basis in experience - PTSD, Assault, Abuse, Trauma, etc - and you are no longer in that environment or exposed to that factor anymore - then it would be better to work through what is causing your fear in your current situation. If you are no longer exposed to that which caused your fear, you need to ask yourself what around you is causing you to feel that fear again? You'll get farther by figuring that out, and finding ways to deal with that, than you will just blindly pushing through. If you blindly push through and 'lean into' your fear in those situations, without stopping to consider and work through WHY you are feeling the fear, then you will be doing more harm than good in the long run. Because ultimately, our fear is there to teach us - sometimes it goes overboard and we have to learn how to rein it in. That is very often easier said than done - I understand.
So I'm currently trying to 'lean in' to my fear of relating to people IRL by signing up for GISH. I don't know if I'll have the gumption to actually do that this year - who knows. Maybe all I'll get done is just to sign up. For now, I cannot even conceive of the possibility of meeting people I don't know. Weird, huh? It seems like a 'doh!' thing, that if I sign up, of course I will meet people I don't know - that's why I'm afraid to sign up. But I can't think about that second part, it psyches me out every time. So for now I am tearing it up into little bite sized pieces. Step one, sign up. Adapt to the fact that I signed up. When I stop freaking, step two - look at who and what is in my area. When I stop freaking about that, step three - join a group. Gasp. I'm freaking again.
OMG, I know that first pic is like, girl-porn - he's doing his own laundry..... Okay, now I can get on with my day....