Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Brave Coat

Lately, I have put on a coat; perhaps it could be known as a 'brave coat'. It's warm, it's protective, it's familiar, it's comforting. Instead of putting on my coat to lounge in, I've put it on and stepped out.

 I've never been overly shy or reserved, nor have I struggled to make friends. I come across quietly confident in person and sometimes overly confident in my Internet persona. What many people would probably be surprised to know is that I have always had social anxiety. I don't want to use the word 'struggled' with, because I don't see it as a struggle. It almost feels like a personality trait, and although somewhat distressing and frustrating...It has always been manageable and thankfully, not detrimental to my happiness. The best way to explain it, is using the word awkward. I always felt awkward in social situations. Awkward to the point of feeling a little breathless, hands feeling a little sweaty and heart beating a little faster.

Since having had Stella and becoming a Mother, things have changed drastically. I reached out to my close friends and to not so close acquaintances when I became a single mother. I needed to jump out of my shell and jump out fast in order to seek the support I needed. I think at times that this jump has forced me to be the 'social bunny' I am today and without the circumstances I was in, I wouldn't be wearing my brave coat.

These days, I surprise myself daily. I have friends whom I catch up with regularly that I wouldn't have met otherwise. I have introduced myself to complete strangers, struck up conversation about children, motherhood and single parenting. I have organised events; a birthday lunch, dinners, mothers groups, parties. This just astounds me. I don't know exactly when and where I acquired this coat, but damn I am grateful!

I still get nervous on a day to day basis, but on a different scale. I force myself to move past it, to be rational and the mother in me keeps me calm.

Everyday that I pop on this warm, secure coat I feel privileged and proud. Here's to hoping that it doesn't ever need to be dry-cleaned or gets lost.


  1. Its wonderful that motherhood has helped you with your anxiety! I know plenty of women who have struggled MORE with their recurring anxiety issues after having children, myself included. It's so great to hear a positive story. I hope that I can also learn to nurture the calming aspect of "the mother in ME". Thank you for sharing.

  2. Beautifully written and I can really relate!