Making Friends When You Have Anxiety

I have never been that person who had a lot of friends but I do like to have a couple of close friends in town that I can do things with or vent to when things get tough. In the last 20 years I have not had that and at first it did not bother me so much because my Bipolar Disorder controlled my life. I was either dealing with my depression and did not care really if I had friends or the mania took over and I was doing a lot of different things and did not realize I was missing not having friends in town. I have my friends on Facebook and I think that was helping at that moment.

As I dealt with my Bipolar though I began to realize how much anxiety I had. It had been covered up for so long and now I am having to deal with it. I am also having to deal with the fact that there is this void in my life and I finally figured out that I was missing having a friend or two here in town that I could just do something with. As my kids are getting older they are not needing me as much and I see others out and about talking and laughing and I think how nice that would be. Then I start to tear up because it is almost a paralyzing fear that takes over thinking about trying to make a friend. My heart starts racing and I worry about what would I even talk about really?

Do I even know how to keep a good friendship going? I have not had a true in town friend in 20 years. I was in the Navy the last time I had a friend. That seems so long ago. I struggle in my mind with I really want to do this yet I do not because I do not feel confident enough. Right now I have a friend from childhood and we do these videos to each other which is really helpful so I can get some of that anxiety out and talk about it. I feel at times like this should not be so difficult to do yet I struggle so much. I see some of my kids struggle with it too. How can I help them with it if I can not help myself?

I do listen to my doctors and do a lot of mindfulness meditations and other helpful things for anxiety because I want to be able to control it. I hope one day I will find a friend that likes me just the way I am. All I can do is take it one step at a time.

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