Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Social Anxiety can be painful.

I haven't posted in a very long time.  For the most part I've been doing better.  I had some rough times when my wife lost her job but with the help of good friends and family we both came through that.  I made it through the very busy holiday performing season "relatively" stress free, or so I thought.

Some of you may know that last year after December I had to go into Physical therapy for tendonitis in my left shoulder.  The only thing we could pin it on was all of the extra hours holding my choir folder, combined with the fact that I like to sleep on my arm.  I've always slept on both of my arms so it had to be the combination of the two that  caused it.

It's December 31st and once again I find myself with the same shoulder pain and I didn't think I had performed nearly as much this year so I started thinking about how it could feel worse so much quicker this year.  I realized why in almost an instant.  It's part of why it started hurting last year too when it never had before.


Not a direct result but an indirect issue.  I don't speak up for myself.  I move to accommodate others in pretty much all aspects of my life and I try to stand in the background as much as possible.  These two problems put me in my current predicament.

Firstly,  I prefer standing on the back row whenever possible.  Though not among the tallest in the choir I'm tall enough that when we are standing on risers I can see the director well through my window.  This alone isn't a problem but it means that my folder sometimes must sit a little higher to accommodate the others singers.

There-in lies the second problem.  Really there would be more room for me to hold my folder if I wasn't afraid to ask people for one small courtesy.  It's generally good choral riser etiquette for the front rows to stand close to the front of the riser giving more space for the back rows.  often though as people we push back toward where we stop.  It's like in Feng shui, you shouldn't have the head of your bed on the same wall as a door or window.  It's nature that makes us protect ourselves.  Having your back to the wall (or your leg against the riser behind you) is just instinct.  Usually all it takes is for someone to ASK the front rows to move to the optimal location on the riser. just a baby-step forward. But I can't do that.  And the taller men on either side of me have fewer problems, so I adjust myself.  I stand with my legs pushing against the back of the riser, rather painfully I might add.  I also tweek my shoulder so that I can have my music in a position so as not to interfere with anyone in front of me but so that I can  still see.  As I try to imitate that posture now I can see why my shoulder hurts even without a folder in my hand.

It seems rather silly.  Such a simple thing as speaking up and asking for help would solve my problem.  I'm still a work in progress, as we all are.  I don't know if realizing this will make me speak up yet but I'm closer.  I'll get through this. too.  Luckily I've already done physical therapy once and I believe I can  repeat what I did last year on my own to get through it.  If not I'll go in a get help, but since I don't like being touched I'd like to try on my own first.

Anxiety hurts in the mind but it really can hurt the body as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment