In my last post, I wrote about how excited I was to be going to Blissdom this week. And that I am excited to be a Community Leader. And that I am so excited to see my friends!

But here on Living the Balanced Life, I try to be real, I try not to hide the not-so-happy, not-so-perfect parts of my life. Because I know others have them too. And it helps when we see that others aren’t as perfect as they may think at first glance.

So while I am VERY excited to go to Blissdom, I am also very afraid.

Ever since my breakdown in July 2010, I have struggled with anxiety. More specifically social anxiety disorder.

I have always loved being with people, and have been called a conference/seminar junkie in the past. Yet since my breakdown, I prefer to be at home. Where I feel safe. And oddly enough, being at my laptop makes me feel safe, as I am in control of what others see in me, and of what I share for others to see.

When I am gone from home for more than a few hours, I have this invisible rubber band that is attached to my heart and soul, and the other end is attached to my home. The longer I am away, the more overwhelming the pull of my rubber band, to return to the safety of my home. As I was trying to visualize what this feels like, the best way to explain it is an extreme feeling of homesickness.

Last year, when I attended Blissdom, I stayed off-site with a group of ladies in a condo. The price was phenomenal, but being off-site made it more difficult for me. I ended up leaving the conference during the late afternoon break, and not returning for the evening festivities.

I needed to get away, to safety, but because of parking/transportation cost, I did not make myself come back in the evening. Of course, looking back, I so wish I had!

In many ways my anxiety is better than it was last year, but in some ways it is not. I am very much a homebody still. I go for days without leaving my house. Some days I think I would like to return to employment outside the house, but I am not sure I am ready for that yet. My sweet hubby makes sure I get plenty of public time on the weekend!

I have made sure that I am staying on-site this year. And I have even more friends who understand my situation better. I have roomies who will drag me downstairs if I try to hide under my covers!

If you read this post, and then meet me in person, you may never put the 2 together, as once I get in a group of women, I feel in my element. It is just pushing beyond that aching inside to hide, and making myself get to that point!

In preparation for Blissdom

This past weekend, I ended up at a short 2 day women’s conference near my home. I had NOT planned to go, but a ticket divinely landed in my lap. I did NOT want to go (25 women from my church, my friends, were going). I really struggled with it, but my husband encouraged me and I had basically run out of reasons to say No.

And I have to say, that while there was a whole lot of other things I learned over the 2 days, I also realized that I “could” make it through. I could handle being out of my comfort zone. That I was not alone in my struggle. I had Someone who was there with me, and will be with me next week at Blissdom as well.

While my anxiety is still there, it is not overwhelming me. I am not freaking out so bad about this week, other than all the things I need to get done!  I really AM getting excited about being there among all my bloggy friends!

And if, you are one of those people who are nervous about the crowds, are anxious about being in a new place, please reach out to me. If you need someone to sit quietly with, or even someone to say a prayer with, just @ me on Twitter, I would love to be there for you. (I am @womanonajourney)

I am linking this post with Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out.