From the helmet of: Tesla
You know how other peoples' cars and other peoples' houses smell really funny to you? That's the smell of being uncomfortable. It's the smell of the feeling you get when you're around people you don't know. It's the confusion of not knowing what to do with your hands in a photo. And I bet it's the way it feels to start in a new league because your husband wanted to move to Colorado (I'll explain that in a minute). It's got to feel really funny, like putting on a shoe that's the wrong size, and then running a marathon in it. Or, more accurately, skating a bout in a boot that's four sizes too big. Just... a struggle. I've read posts from girls on Freshie boards that make me ache inside. They talk about fear and doubt after changing leagues, about that feeling of not being accepted and everything being so off, and I always thank my lucky stars I'm not going anywhere. I've only been with these girls for 4 months, but it's taken me this long to even settle in a bit and stop panicking. Changing leagues has got to be rough, but for some of us just starting derby was an enormous hurdle. I'm here to tell you that jumping that hurdle is worth it.
I have some pretty ridiculous social anxiety issues. I avoid crowds like the plague, and stay home as much as humanly possible. I won't even go to the grocery store. My husband does all the grocery shopping, and I just deal with it when he buys weird stuff and can't figure out what kale is. Anyone with social anxiety will tell you that THE HARDEST part is getting out the door. Getting to the place. Getting in the door. I struggle with it every day I go to practice, still, but after some trial and error I've found a few things that have really helped me stick with derby and even branch out a little. Since I started derby I've become so much bolder. I mean, I went to a SHOW. A concert type thing! Then I drove home in the dark! These may sound stupid to you, but those were colossal hurdles for me, and I leapt them because of derby.
I want to share the things that really helped me get through the anxiety, but first I'll explain that Colorado thing: My husband wants to move. We've been in Austin for three years, and he's missing snow. I'm from San Antonio, Tejas, baby, and I just don't know about this snow business. I didn't see snow until Christmas Day the year I turned 24. Yeah, it doesn't snow in San Antonio, and only rich folks take vacations. Anyway, I'd kinda been dreaming of seeing snow my whole life, and when I finally got to see it... it gave me a massive panic attack. I'm talking crying, hyperventilating, screaming. I had a meltdown. Snow TERRIFIED ME. Great. Add that to the list of irrational fears. She'll pick up a spider in her bare hands, but show her a cricket and she loses her effing mind. If fears were rational we wouldn't have them at all. For now I've pacified my husband with the promise of a snow trip this winter, but goodness. What would I do if I had to start this derby thing all over? I'm amazed I've made it this far without a therapist. Let's talk about how I managed that. I hope some of these can help you, too.
So, maybe those things helped. Maybe they didn't. Maybe everyone else is a total badass that never needs help. Maybe I'm the only rollergirl with anxiety issues...?
Nah. I'm not. If you EVER need a pep talk, email me, or find me on Instagram (I'm @Libbybot). Friend me on Facebook and we'll chat it up. I'm not kidding even a little bit, and I won't judge your neurosis. When I was 14 my grandmother forced me to go to a youth event at her church "because she needs to socialize!" I was so completely overwhelmed that I threw up on the linoleum of the fellowship hall and then passed out. I woke up in some weird back room with people staring at me, vomit crusting on my face. Now you know stuff.
Tesla and Gravy
Just two rollergirls trying to share the rollerlove from Austin, TX to the world.