Social Anxiety & MMOs

I don’t know if you guys knew this about me, but I have some serious social anxiety. It’s something so major in my life that I thought I’d share my experiences with it because I’ve very recently realized that a lot of people don’t understand it.

It’s really hard for me to make friends. I hate small talk and I hate having to learn about a person, I’d much rather skip ahead to the part where we already know each other and they realize that I am awkward a hell and can’t handle social situations. I can’t handle situations where there are like more than 2 people… Especially if there are going to be new people there. I get so nervous that I will be sick – literally. Over the summer, I decided to help with my daughter’s cheer team and ended up being the coach. Something that I am terrified of – not because of children (I LOVE working with children. They’re great and real. I love authentic people and children just ooze authenticity) but because of the moms. After the first meeting, I came home and I cried.  It was so scary. I sat there and listened to everyone talk while we were waiting for people to show up and I realized that it is going to be really hard to make friends in Alabama – because I don’t have a lot in common with most of these women… and because I’m not good at social situations. Now, I do have to say that I’ve made some friends because of that cheer leading experience and I did have a lot of fun doing it — after I got to know some of the people.

The other thing I have a really hard time with, it phone calls. I panic. PANIC. If I have to call someone, it generally takes me at least 15 minutes to an hour to work up the courage to call them. (Just enough time to imagine all the ways that the phone call will go) If someone calls me … you know that feeling you get when you’re on a roller coaster and you’re at the top of a very steep drop? That’s the feeling I get when someone calls me. It’s not fun. It’s unexpected. It makes me want to cry and throw up at the same time. It really kills me. Once I’m on the phone, I’m absolutely fine… it’s just the getting me on the phone part that is terrible. Pretty much it is just better for me if you text me. It’s easier for me to handle. It’s not nearly as scary.

Now, I’m telling you this because I have a kind of amusing story about how this social anxiety of mine gets in the way of my gaming life.

I play FFXIV and over the summer I took a little break… you know, moving and stuff. Well, I recently resubbed and got back into it.

I main as a White Mage (WHM) which is a healer for those of you who aren’t big on FF/MMOs … (a basic raid group is 2 tanks, 2 healers, and 4 damage dealers or DPS and a basic dungeon party is 1 tank, 1 healer, 2 DPS) Anyway, I was in this raid group that I already didn’t want to be in because I’m not big on douchey players, but it was still in the beginning stages of being put together… Which means that my anxiety was through the roof. On top of my normal anxiety I also get Healer Anxiety. I feel like that’s pretty normal … you get nervous when you have new content or whatever. Well, I get it for new content, new people – especially new people I have to continue to play with.  Soooooo… I am dealing with the social aspect of my anxiety, the new people I have to deal with, and the healer anxiety, new content, and a douchey raid leader who pretty much didn’t want me there in the first place.  I felt so sick to my stomach that I couldn’t handle it. Also, on top of all that stuff, I had to be in Teamspeak … Let’s just add some voip to the mix, you’ll be fine! I was not fine. I had to focus on new content, new players, not tunnel vision-ing, keeping players up, mechanics AND talk in TS. It was terrible.  Long, boring story short, I quit the raid group and no longer have to deal with a douchey raid leader.

((When I put a raid group together, I don’t feel like I have nearly as much anxiety about it. I think it’s because, generally, I have played with the people before, know their play style and I know that they’re not jerks. ))

It was also interesting to read on the FFXIV subreddit that there are other healers that get healer anxiety… and there are the douchey players that get on there and tell you that if you’re anxious over healing that you need to reevaluate your life. Newsflash, some of us are just anxious. It has nothing to do with our life choices… it’s just how our brain works. 

Anyway, the point of this story is, that when you talk about social anxiety it can seem almost comical that someone would get so stressed out about such a silly thing but it is really a big deal for some of us. I can tell you that sometimes it’s the most frustrating thing in the entire world… but sometimes, when you have a friend that understands your anxiety, it isn’t so bad. So, if you have a friend that has it… take the time to nurture their anxiety because it’ll mean a lot more to them than you realize. Chances are that they want to see you but might need a little push or a little nurturing to come out of their shell.

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My Dirty Little Secret: Depression

Saturday was a really great day. I woke up HAPPILY at 6 a.m. — something that rarely happens. During the week, I’m up between 5 and 5:30 to get Chanel off to school and then I lay back down until it’s time for Trowa to get up. I woke up, got my blue hair dye on my hair so it could sit for a couple of hours, fed the littles, watched a movie with them, showered, put make up on, and went shopping with my mom. I came home, cleaned my room and spent the rest of the afternoon working on my blog. Now, that might not sound like anything big to you, but it was kind of huge for me. It made me kind of realize that I’m finally getting out of this rut I’ve been in.

Mostly because depression is such a personal subject, I don’t really want to go in to the details of mine. It’s something that I’ve dealt with for a long time and something I’m sure I’ll continue to deal with. I don’t take any medication for it because I don’t like how the medication messes with me.* I obviously have my ups and downs, like any one else, but I feel like most of the time I have it under control.

There are few things in particular that have saved me from myself – all of them are books or book related things (okay- and maybe a few bands). First, Lord of the Rings – I saw the Fellowship of the Ring first and fell in love and devoured the books and have been obsessed ever since. It got me through high school. I’m not joking in the slightest. I would not be who I am today without it. I had a really great group of friends that were just as obsessed with it. We dressed up, we learned to write elvish, we watched the movies and discussed the books. Even though high school sucked and I spent many, many hours crying in the girls bathroom, I had a great group of friends that made it better. Secondly, Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen … This book series means so much to me. It’s crazy. I am so in love with the characters and the writing and the world that it’s insane. In high school I feel like everyone needs that strong heroic person that they look up to, and I stumbled across Sabriel. She was this strong, female character who saved a kingdom … It just, it made me fall in love with writing. It made me want to write and I wrote some really, really bad poetry and stories, but I wrote things. I have since gotten rid of a lot of them. (I’m sure my mom has some hidden around… I cringe at the thought.) But, I remember write one where there was a line in it… “She’s a synonym for broken” and for YEARS after my username for almost everything was SynonymForBroken because I felt like I was. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to accept myself and really embrace certain things about myself and most of the time I like myself. That’s something that even like 2 years ago I probably couldn’t have said.  I still to this day read the Abhorsen trilogy (I guess now it’s not a trilogy because of Clariel) at least once a year if not more.

Anyway, I got myself into this bad routine where I was basically not doing anything unless I had to. It kind of sucked. I think a lot of it was situational, a lot of major things have changed in my life – I mean, I moved across the friggin country – but I’ve finally adjusted. Not that Alabama is necessarily a bad place or anything like that, just the I’m a creature of habit and change freaks me out. The move itself was happy. The … culture shock of it all? I don’t know, the major differences between Utah and Alabama is what really got to me. I went from seeing pretty mountains everyday to seeing green hills. I have no sense of literal direction and the openness of Alabama is almost scary. I’m so used to living in a valley where you know where you are pretty much at all times and if you’re lost, it is pretty dang easy to find where you’re at again. It’s a different culture, terrain, and a different climate and I honestly was not prepared for that to throw me into a weird depression. But, I’m finally okay. It’s such a great feeling!

I’ll be completely honest, my blog readers have helped. I’ve gotten so many sweet messages and comments and I love them. I love every single one of them. I have some really amazing readers! It’s nice hearing that there are people who like my writing, who enjoy my opinions and that there are even younger girls that look up to me! So, you guys are amazing and awesome and rock so hard!

*please don’t message me about medications – I honestly have NOTHING against them other than they’re just not for me. I highly suggest that if you have depression you talk to your doctor about it before stopping any medication. And of course, there are so many wonderful places to get help.

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The Nerdy Fox Gets Real

So, if you follow my twitter, you might have seen my tweet about getting my first mean message from a reader/blogger/follower, yesterday. I’ve decided to address the main points that really bothered me.

1. “You’re not even nerdy. You’re a try hard.”
Ha. Well, honestly, I’m more nerdy than I let on. I saw Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 22 times in theatres. Let me say that again, I saw LotR:FotR TWENTY TWO times in theatres. I have a pikachu tattooed on my arm. I have a giant dragon on my back inspired by Smaug. I play video games on a daily basis. I read comics. I read fantasy. I love Sci-Fi. I love space. I love action figures. I love Funko Pop! figures. I LOVE Star Wars, Star Trek, LotR, Harry Potter, and many, many other movies/books. I have always, and will continue to be, as real as I am. If that isn’t good enough for you, then you don’t have to read my blog.

2. “You’re a feminist using posts to get hits.”
the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” 

You’re right, I want to be on the same level as men. Show me a “professional” blogger that doesn’t use hot topics to get hits. We’re all in the for the same reason. I choose to write about things that I am legitimately concerned about and/or interested in. The fact that I get called a “fat slut” or told to that I “belong in the kitchen” on voice chat when playing a game with a dude, isn’t acceptable to me. I wanted to be treated with the same amount of respect as anyone else. I can handle smack talk. I can dish out some smack talk. But there is a fine line between playing around and just being a chauvinistic pig. 

3. “You write when it’s convenient for you. You can’t even be considered a real blogger because you stop posting.” 
You’re right. I write when I can. I post when I can. Let me let you in on a little secret – I have a life outside of my blog. Crazy, I know. I would love to post daily here. I would love to write an article a day/outfit a day – and I hope to get back to that. Right now, I am busy. BUSY. The most busy I’ve been in a really long time. I hope that my readers stick around with me through the next couple of weeks until things calm down. If not, I understand. Not only do I have a real life outside of the internet, I also get bouts of depression that make me literally not care about things like this. 

I’m realizing that the blogging world is a cruel place with catty women. I don’t understand why it has to be like this. I will always support the blogs that I read – successful or not. The funny thing is, the same thing happens in the crafting world. I’ve been attending local farmers markets and there is definitely another “soaper” that is doing similar things to me. She tried to scare me away from selling and now when we’re both at the same location, she gives me the cold shoulder when I’ve literally done nothing but try to be nice and supportive. 

Lesson learned: Not everyone is nice. 

I hope my readers take something away from this. I just wanted to address the “concerns” of this particular reader. I hope that the readers I still have are on my side and understand that life gets the better of us sometimes. I also hope that my readers can take something from them and realize that there is a real person behind a blog and most of us read every single comment, email, remark, and review and the nasty comments still hurt us.  

On a happier note: I will be post as much as I can over the next two weeks but after those weeks I should be back to posting daily! If you haven’t already entered my giveaway, please do! Feel free to share it on your facebook, twitter, and instagram. 😉

and take a moment to read this post about the acer tablet. 

I hope that you all have a lovely Tuesday! 
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I feel like I’ve been MIA for a bit. I feel so overwhelmingly busy that I can’t handle it. Between working on my etsy shop and running kids to practices and whatnot.. I feel like I just have zero time. I’ve been homesick for Utah for … a while and I couldn’t figure out why. I mean aside from the obvious – I grew up there. Of course I am going to miss it. But, I feel like I shouldn’t miss it as much as I do… I had an epiphany last night about it, though.  The south is insanely different than Utah. There are so many things that I don’t understand. However, the main thing that makes me homesick is that people constantly are asking me if I’m from “up north” & calling me a “yankee” and it is really messing with how I identify myself. I’m not from “up north” — I’m from out west. I’m from Utah. I’m not a Yankee.

As soon as they find out I’m from Utah, the immediately tell me about their snow storm last year. And any input I have about their version of a bad storm, I just don’t understand because “snow freezes here” and then they get black ice. It takes so much for me to not be like, “Yeah, snow does that. Just because it’s humid as f*ck here doesn’t mean that we don’t get black ice in Utah.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that it was a bad storm. Alabama isn’t equipped to deal with snow like Utah is. I understand that completely. But, I grew up with snow. I’ve never had a snow day where you get to stay home from school because it snowed.Like…. ever. I think we had one “optional” day but the schools never closed down. Our stores don’t close down because of the snow. Believe me, I understand snow.

The point of this story is that I’m labelled as this “yankee” from “up north” that doesn’t understand the woes of their weather. It’s not who I am. I am a girl from Utah who doesn’t understand the insane obsession with high school/college football.

Isn’t Utah pretty?

Have you guys ever had something like this – Where you’re identified as someone that you’re not? How’d you deal with it?
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How Do You Make New Friends?

 I’ve been in Alabama for about a month now. I’ve found a cute lake with baby ducks and have been enjoying the real rainstorms! Boyfriend gets a kick out of how much I enjoy the rain here.

 So, now that I’ve been here for a bit I was thinking of trying to make some new friends. Here is the problem though, I’m super shy and awkward and very much a homebody. What do you do when you’re an awkward, weird, geeky girl who wants to make friends? Blog about it. xD Just kidding.. kinda.     I’ve always been the kind of person that has a few really close friends that I see regularly. So the idea of making new friends kind of gives me social anxiety. However, I think in order to keep my sanity, I am going to have make a friend or two here. 😛

There are things like Meetup where you can find groups online with people that have similar interests. However, meetup isn’t really too big of a thing here…(nor is reddit. It’s so strange to me. xD but, what can you do?) and I haven’t found one that is particularly interesting to me. Someone suggested checking out the local bar scene… But I’m not really into that sort of thing either. Back home, I started a book club and made friends through that – it’s something I’ll probably end up doing here, as well.
Since I’m not an overly social person, I haven’t really pursued too many social gatherings here. I’ve met some of the people from my Dad’s work and they seem like nice people – not my age, but nice people all the same.  Like I said, I’m mostly a homebody so I don’t plan on having a huge social life or anything. I just would like to find a few people that are around my age to hang out with. I figure through work and social connections I’ll find a nice group of people with similar interests.

What suggestions do you have for someone in a new city? How do you make new friends?

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Random Facts About Heather

What is your middle name?: Dawn

What was favorite subject at school?: Art

What is your favorite drink?: Water

What is your favorite food?: I just love all food. I am craving sushi, though.

What is the last thing you bought?: Groceries.  

Favorite book of all time?: Of all time?? Uhhh I don’t think I can pick just one. LotR, Harry Potters, The Abhorsen Trilogy

Favorite Color?: Yellow

Do you have any pets?: My parents have 2 dogs but no, I don’t have my own pets.

Favorite Holiday?: Halloween.  It’s another excuse to make a costume!

How many siblings do you have?: Three. One brother and two sisters. All of them are older than me and I’m not particularly close with any of them except Tara.

When was the last time you cried?: I cry almost daily. Uhhh the last time I REALLY cried is when I found out I was moving again… from Kentucky to Alabama.

Favorite Movie?: LotR, Star Wars, Harry Potter

Favorite TV show?: I’ve been watching Star Trek, DoctorWho, and Cosmos

PC or Mac?: PC

What phone do you have?: A broken POS iPhone.

How tall are you?: 5’6”

Can you cook?: Yes. I like making soups from scratch.

Do you have a favorite fandom?:
  The Tolkien fandom has always been an amazing group to be a part of.

Do you have a least favorite fandom?:
Twilight. That fandom needs to go away.

Tags: I tag anyone who wants to do it. Link me your post or tell me in the comments below!!

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