In a few comments on the site I have mentioned one of my biggest goals in tackling my anxiety is going to a restaurant, ordering a meal and not rush the experience wanting to get out as quick as possible before 'something happens'. Well last night I went a big step towards that and went to a local restaurant with my best friend. After half an hour of debating whether a takeaway would be easier I decided to go for it, of course I lay down the rules of engagement first, namely that if I want to bail midway I will do.
It's only a short walk to the local Indian I mention it being Indian as this is also significant as before my anxiety I was a chilli head and could eat chilli that would burn the soles of your shoes. Anyway back to the short walk that seemed to be miles, my chest started to tighten, my breathing became rapid, I was shivering cold, even tho last night was quite warm, the stairs up to the place felt like a climb with lead in my boots. The restaurant was fairly packed and we had to wait for a bit, could hear my head scream 'you're being foolish, get out before something happens' but I didn't, I stuck with it. Eventually we had a table, I didn't have any alcohol as I was still on edge when they came for the order and I also ordered the mildest curry as I know the effects of chilli all too well I did it though, I relaxed, my chest relaxed, my speech wasn't pressured, I didn't want to run, we took our time paying the bill, if anything they (the staff) were pushing us to leave and 'nothing happened' other than I had an enjoyable, relaxed meal out. Not a completely anxious free evening but not far off from it.
It can be done!!
Thank you if you have taken the time to read my bit of self congratulatory indulgence. Hope you are having a good day.