an evening ride & anxiety - The Dainty Squid

an evening ride & anxiety

Thursday, August 09, 2012

details
shirt - c/o Modcloth
shorts - thrifted
backpack - c/o Romwe
shoes - c/o Blowfish

Last week Kevin and I went on our first evening ride since I fixed my bike up. The temperatures finally seem to be leveling off and it was the first evening that it wasn't sweltering hot. I'm aware I sound like a big wimp, but I really don't handle the heat well. The slightest bit of heat and my cheeks are bright red and I'm feeling wiped out. Anyway, the bike ride was fantastic. It felt so good to be back on my bike.

...So good that I decided to make myself a little goal to go out on a ride the next morning by myself. That sounds like a silly goal but some time in the last three years (since moving into this house) I became like a hermit. I dread talking to my neighbors for really no particular reason. I swear they're nice people, I'm just awkward.  So this lead to me only going outside for very brief periods of time while Kevin wasn't home, really just to check the mail or water my plants. Even then it sometimes took a little talking it up to myself and checking out the window to make sure no one was out there.

Anyways, I did it and I've since made a habit of these bike rides. Right now they're just short, around the block but eventually I'd like to build enough endurance to ride around town. It feels amazing to go outside, enjoy the fresh morning air and the nice neighborhood I live in. I'm still feeling a little bit anxious while riding but doing better each day. I can't wait until I can look back and realize how stupid all of this was.

I'm not sure when all of a sudden I turned into a big ball of anxiety but after realizing just how bad it was I'm 100% determined to kick it's butt. I don't want to live in fear of talking to strangers and even worse, being afraid to go in my own yard for no good reason.

Hope you're having a fabulous day. I'm heading off on a bike ride now! ;)
xoxo

PS. I'm totally cracking up over how dusty my feet and legs are in that last picture! I didn't even realize.

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73 thoughts

  1. I want to ride my bike again! We have a trail next to our house (my fiance actually bikes 10 miles to and from work each day on it), but I rarely go out there. Since I started working at home about a year ago going outside is a big deal now. I get all anxious every time I have to go somewhere! =[

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  2. Looks like such a nice area to go riding in! There is SO much to be said for being outdoors and enjoying the smells and sights of your surroundings! Especially for anxiety! I know how you feel, I get anxious and hate it because you know it's ridiculous and kick yourself being like it but it's one of those things that is hard to challenge! xxxx

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  3. go you!

    i got dependent on my boyfriend to protecct me from strangers, but i'm trying to spend more time outside alone. and its good!


    chleo x

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  4. OMG. I am exactly the same way, Kaylah. A big silly ball of anxiety. Talking myself up for things that should not need talking up for. Solidarity, sister!

    Hana.
    http://hellodollyvintage.blogspot.com/

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  5. Hello, I think you are very brave talking about your anxiety so openly. I think sharing what you are going through can form part of the healing, just as carrying it around as a secret can add to the burden. I have experienced anxiety almost opposite to yours. I did not want to go inside my home, not feeling safe there. I knew this was not rational but the emotional response was so strong. You are right you can definitely overcome your fears. Somethings that helped me were meditation, relaxation techniques, counselling, taliking with family and friends, but everyone has their own journey. Thankyou for your blog, it is beautiful to look at and to read.

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  6. You remind me a lot of my brothers gf. She's the same way, she also has the same birthday as you. Leo women don't let people in easily. Most friends are casual, and a lot of them happen to run their own businesses. Stay on that bike!

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  7. I've just started following your blog and I love it. I know what you mean about the anxiety, although mine is an anxiety disorder and there are times I have to force myself to leave the house or get in my car or just do something normal. Having my daughter helps. I don't want to hold her back because of my ridiculous anxieties over nothing. She forces me to ignore them. :) Oh, and I love your bike redo.

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  8. Anxiety is such a pain! I hope you're able to kick its butt all the time!!

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  9. It's so weird to hear someone else say this, I am exactly the same way and I've recently made a point to go on a morning ride by myself when my bf leaves for work. i was pretty anxious about it as well once i first got my bike, but now i absolutely love it and have been biking more and more places. i think working at home has contributed to my hermit-ness :)

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  10. The bike and your outfit are awesome!! I'd love to get a bike too but riding a bike in the city is too dangerous and scary for me.

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  11. The best way to kick anxiety's ass is to get out there like you're doing. Nice work!

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  12. So many of us know that feeling of anxiety!! I wish I lived closer to you so we could be friends!! If you're ever in Philly I'll show you all around. Which will include photobooths, city bike rides, tourist traps and the stray cats of south philly that love me for being the lady w/ treats ha.

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  13. it's so nice to know I'm not the only one who feels that way! I kind of have to see people when I'm in class, but if anyone tries to talk to me I get so nervous and uncomfortable!

    haleypants.blogspot.com

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  14. I love what you did with your bike Kaylah! And this outfit is obviously the perfect biking outfit.
    I really, really need to learn to cycle.

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  15. I know how that random spurt of anxiety feels, mine came out of no where too, but what also came out of no where was me getting over it, at least the social awkwardness part.

    My boyfriend and I have been riding bikes together for a couple weeks now, I went without him once and didn't dare cross any busy streets and stayed only in my neighborhood where I felt comfortable, and it was so boring. When I ride with him I stay behind him and follow where he goes and he takes me on the greatest adventures through town, it's rather nerve racking but I still love doing it. I even got up to giving people a little single hand wave when I pass! Some people look at me like I'm crazy, but when the darling little grannies in their yard picking weeds wave back, it makes my day!
    Keep it up Kaylah, I'm proud of both of us! highfive!

    xomando

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  16. I get anxious going anywhere without my boyfriend or my friends too, it's stupid because I'm a pretty confident person when I'm with them but I always feel so shy and awkward when I'm alone! Well done for getting out there and getting over it though. :)
    Faye x

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  17. Ah so good to hear! I've been having some crazy anxiety issues too (since moving to the country) and I struggle with it every day, so I'm glad I'm not alone and that you are doing so well!
    And I love that shirt!

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  18. I am EXACTLY the same, it's made worse by the fact that it's so cold here right now, in Australia. I'll go anywhere with my husband but if I have to go by myself, even outside, I get a major case of the anxious's! I feel bad for my 3 year old, she loves to play outside, I hope she doesn't catch my "hermitism"!

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  19. I'm right there with you. Just have to take one day at a time.

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  20. I really understand as well. I've always been pretty shy, the kind of little kid that would hold on to their mother's pant leg and hide behind her. She used to get so upset with me because my sister was the exact opposite. All through high school, I'd hear, why can't you be more like your sister. "Trisha, that is so rude! TALK when someone speaks to you."

    In a way I have gotten better, I do not have anxiety speaking to people I don't know. In fact I have now gotten into full blown conversations with random people. But I have social anxieties, I do not like being in public places where there are masses of people. I plan trips to certain stores during really wacky hours so that there won't be many people there. I have become a hermit and love just staying at my house. It takes a lot for me to go somewhere if my mister isn't coming with me. Silly things like a friend asking me to dinner. You would not believe how many times I have canceled because I get so much anxiety leading up to when I'm supposed to be going.

    I'm not sure or how this all happened. Where this ridiculous anxiety came from, but I truly wish I didn't have it. The talking to strangers part was a VERY slow process for me. I think it helped because I was a waitress for a couple years and an older girl took me under her wing and forced me to talk and ask questions. I actually think it was solely because of her that I broke out of my shell of fear of talking to people.

    good luck!

    veranellies.blogspot.com

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  21. I do the same thing. I don't like talking to people because I am awkward and I'm not a talker at all. What has helped me a lot is walking my dogs..it's simple but has helped a lot.

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    1. That's my thing too - I'm not a talker. I'm not looking to get less awkward so I can strike up a conversation with everyone, I just want to not feel sick to my stomach when I go outside alone or when someone looks at me.

      Glad walking your dogs is helping! :)

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  22. I really love that cat tank top. It always makes me smile (crazy cat lady, you know).

    I have this beautiful purple Schwinn bike that I want to fix up, but it needs a lot of repair. Hopefully I'll have the moolah to repair it and ride around too. =D

    And definitely kick anxiety right in the kiester! From the pictures you have taken of your backyard, it would be a shame not to enjoy it at every possible moment.

    Enjoy your bike rides! ;D

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  23. i'm the sameeee way in the heat. and i get really nauseous. its horrible!!!

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  24. I have the exact same problem. My anxiety got extremely bad a few years ago and since then I have been trying to set little goals for myself. Lately my goal is to get out more often on my new bike. For most people it doesn't seem like a big deal, but for anxious people it can be a big challenge. I'm very happy to hear that you are taking this step and kicking anxiety's huge stupid butt! Keep it up no matter how hard it might feel sometimes! :)

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  25. the same thing happened to me when bf and i moved into this apartment last year. maybe it had something to do with losing my job and just hanging out at home not long thereafter -- but i had some pretty weird anxiety about leaving the house. i'd do it -- but wonder why the jumpiness and pressure in my chest every time. the best thing to do is just what you're doing! keep it up and i'm sure it will melt away.

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  26. This entry was so good to read! I often feel alone in my anxiety and it's so nice to know that I'm not from what you posted and the other comments. When I'm with my fiance, I'm very confident outgoing, at work people know how silly and talkative I really am, but alone, I can't even go to the post office and if I do go run an errand, by the time I get there I probably look like a nervous wreck who people don't want to talk to anyway hahaha.

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  27. I feel you on the anxiety issue, Kaylah! Glad you are getting out and enjoying the world's cutest bike regardless!

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  28. It's fantastic that you're building your trips outside up like this. I have crazy anxiety so I pretty much live like a hermit right now. It's worse because it's the summer holidays so I don't need to go to work every day.

    We don't have a peep hole in our door which is horrible because every time someone knocks on it, I just sit as still as possible until they go away since I can't see who it is.

    So I know that you're doing really well to be able to go on these bike rides. Keep going!

    Becky
    xx
    http://www.beckybedbug.com

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  29. That's really great, I bought a bike for my birthday before last which wasn't the smartest decision because right before I'd been in a car accident, but just recently I've been able to ride it and it's been really exciting, like little adventures on my own.
    I love love the re-vamp you did on your bike, you've got such a great eye for color.

    Ps. I know it sounds geeky, but sometimes I use google map to plan out little excursions so I can set little goals of where to make it to

    -A.m

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  30. I'm the same way, Kaylah. When I first moved to Seattle from middle-of-nowhere-Maine, I was scared and nervous about going out all the time. I had panic attacks at the mall! So many people! But now that I've gotten used to going out and being around people, it's not so bad. I still feel nervous, but not nearly as bad as it used to be. So give yourself some time! You can do it! <3

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  31. Yes, that is awesome that you're taking the bull by the horns and venturing out on your bike! Just take it a little at a time, and set realistic goals for yourself. I used to have a similar issue with anxiety/awkwardness and a lot of it had to do with the fact that I grew up in a strict household that discouraged being "different" (in the way I dressed, acted, etc.); I dressed/looked how I wanted anyway, but still wondered if people would stare at me, judge me, etc. Well, lol, I *am* "different" and like it now! I've embraced it. Anyway, keep on pedaling that bike! :)

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  32. Your bike is amazing! It's seriously so pretty :) I'm glad you've decided to conquer your anxiety! I rarely go outside around my house, although I've been getting better lately too :) I really love the first picture! So pretty :)
    -charlotte <3

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  33. I think it's great that you are so open about your anxiety. - I've struggled with anxiety for almost my whole life, and have just recently got it under control. - Better to kick it in the butt, than let it intensify. Great post.

    - tianna :)

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  34. Wow, I feel exactly the same way... after college I started working from home and I turned into Super Hermit. I always check out the window before getting the mail, and I start blushing if a car goes by because I'm nervous it'll be somebody I know/knew and they'll want to chat. Cashiers making small talk at the grocery store is literally a nightmare for me. (etc.)

    It's so nice to know I'm not alone... and also nice to know that you're this way too since you seem so awesome and sweet. I always feel like if I'm this awkward and anxious I must be a major loser, but you obviously aren't, so maybe I'm not either.. :)

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    1. I'm seeing a really common story here with a lot of these comments - we work from home. I wish there was a way we all could meet up and hang out once a week or something - just to get out of the house and socialize.

      Small talk totally is the worst (especially because they always want to talk about the same thing - hair & tattoos!) I stink at small talk.

      You're not a loser, Kate! :)

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  35. Dude, I'm so jealous of were you live right now! It's so beautiful. City life looks so ugly sometimes, and it makes me sick literally because of all the smog--can barely breath. I hope you kick anxiety's ass!

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  36. I know exactly how that feels, and realizing it is the first step and most important step to get better! At least for me, it was also important to push myself a little bit at a time. But I will always be a little bit awkward :) At least now I don't care. (Try checking out HSP = highly sensitive person).

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  37. I hear ya. I get anxious going places without the bf. I want to kick it's ass too!

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  38. I'm the same way but have learned one tip that works for people like us who are nervous about awkward silences and small talk: Ask them lots of questions about themselves. Compliment their yard and ask them questions about it...or how long they've lived here....If you can keep others talking about themselves and interject with kind comments here and there, the ice will be broken sooner or later.

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  39. I am the same way about getting out of the house. There are so many things around my little town that I want to explore, but when the time comes, I just can't get my butt out the door. One of my goals for August is to JUST DO IT. :)

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  40. I have anxiety and agoraphobia, and trust me, I know exactly what you're talking about! Before I go out on the balcony, I always check to make sure my neighbours aren't on their balconies, cause that would just be awkward, right?

    I admire your positive attitude about kicking anxiety's butt, and I think you're off to an excellent start! :)

    - sasha
    www.lacewinged.com

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    1. Haha, that sounds awfully familiar. I always used to peek out the window to make sure my neighbor wasn't watering his plants before I was about to go out so we wouldn't be out there at the same time. Now I've made a no checking rule.

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  41. it feels really good to take care of errands on your bike too! I know you don't drive, but it's great taking care of things and being outside without driving/wasting gas. keep it up!

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  42. I understand where you're coming from. I currently work and go to school from home, so I've noticed myself leaning towards a more hermit like lifestyle and I hate it!

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  43. I love to go out and socialize with my friends, but when it comes to strangers (or even my neighbors) I'm super shy and awkward also. The thing that has help me break out of my shell is having my camera with me while I'm out. I can always hide behind it! ;)

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    1. hahah I just saw this on the Clothes Horse blog and it pretty much sums up what I was saying..... http://www.flickr.com/photos/sirinthada/6434186247/

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  44. I used to have social anxiety. I've learned to breathe better and slow my thoughts down when going into places. It has helped. I still get anxious sometimes,but it's not as bad as it was a year ago (also including my childhood). Go,Kaylah! You got this! Nice camera,by the way and I love the artwork on your right arm (I think I've said that before...).

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  45. Dude :0 This is something that's been bothering me lately, too. Not just the heat (we live in Texas, insanely hot all summer) but being anxious for no real reason. I get nervous when I know I'll have to make conversation or if I feel like I'm in someone's way. I've noticed my heart starts beating faster and I get a little jittery when I'm at the post office and/or anywhere where there's a lot of impatient people :p I'm thinking the way to get over it is to just keep getting out of my "comfort zone" as often as possible. I'm always a little envious of people who seemingly have no trouble talking to a perfect stranger.

    Ready to kick it in the butt! Life is too short to miss out, ya know?

    Sweet wheels, I have a bike very similar that's been sitting around for 4 years because I bought it on eBay and it was missing a part. My husband fixed it up for me, I just need to air the super flat tires, and get riding :)

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    1. Yep, exactly! I'm really weird about feeling like I'm in someone's way too! (I am therefore the worst person ever to grocery shop with!)

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  46. I am totally that way on the anxiety level! I'm really loving that outfit you're wearing too, very hiker/explorer friendly. :)

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  47. You seriously have the best style ever. What a lovely evening for a bike ride :)

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  48. I'm the same way! I've been in this same house for almost a year and the people across from us are awful, so that discourages me from interacting with my other neighbors, even though they all seem awesome. I'm just awkward, too. :/

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  49. Stay strong! You're not alone in the silly fears department :)

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  50. That's great news :-)

    Somehow, after not driving in years, I found myself petrified of riding in a car, nevermind driving one. I just imagine I'll mow down pedestrians by the dozens (although I used to be a safe, sensible driver). I am getting there slowly. At least I am no longer a hairball of anxiety when in the passenger seat.

    As for social graces: I've been grumbly about the odd comments I left on your instagram first thing yesterday morning all day, wondering just how much of a rude weirdo my awkward joke made me seem :) It's funny how blown out of proportion little things can get.

    Enjoy your next ride!

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  51. Great goal! I regularly don't feel like talking to people- I'm a journalist by day and I just feel like I have to be switched on all the time. As soon as I stop working I don't want to talk to anyone ever again.

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  52. Well done you! I also struggle with anxiety and a lot of people really don't realise how hard it actually is to do something as 'normal' as go for a walk or bike ride. Mine also kicked in for no apparent reason which I think makes it harder to deal with (There's no apparent underlying problem to work on) but that totally makes you a stronger person for coping with it!
    P.s, your bike is sexy as hell!

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  53. I've fallen in love with your bike. And I stupidly realized I can easily repaint/refashion the bike I already own as well. Cool!
    I love biking!

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  54. This was so refreshingly honest, thank you for posting it! I feel the same anxiety when it comes to venturing out alone and it's nice to know I'm not alone! Baby steps is all it takes, good to hear you're making progress! And your bike is adorable!

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  55. Wow, you sound just like me. Only I find it almost impossible to muster up the courage to go outside alone. Sometimes even when my girlfriend is with me I can't stand to have to talk to my downstairs neighbor. She is also a nice person, I just feel like I'm being judged. I hate seeming like a jerk and I actually really want to socialize, but have an incredibly difficult time doing it.
    I've always had anxiety, but it has intensified as I've gotten older. I used to go out and have a social life, and now I only really hang out with one friend.

    I can get myself to brave certain social situations if I plan the scenario step by step. However, when anything causes the scenario to change, I panic. Aging is so much fun.

    I'm glad you were able to get past it! It doesn't sound like a little step at all.

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  56. I'm actually on medication for anxiety, so I know exactly how you feel. After a car accident, I became a total hermit and started becoming totally frightened of going outside for no good reason. What I do now when I get anxious instead of running away and hiding (thanks to a lot of therapy mind you), I take a deep breath, recognize the anxiety, and remember you always have options! (Sometimes when my anxiety hits I just feel panicked and like I only have one option. Taking a few minutes to center yourself, push your feet into the ground and feel the ground supporting you, think of a colour you like, and picture it bathing over you and covering you to warm and protect you. It takes a lot of practice and patience, but I've made HUGE strides, and I know you can too!! It also helps if you don't dwell on what is making you anxious. I used to try to always analyze and be like "I'm anxious because..." but a lot of times anxiety is triggered from smells, actions, memories, and things you may not even be aware of! Sometimes if I'm "body anxious" (shaking) I'll plant my feet into the ground, push both hands into a wall, and close my eyes, concentrating on pushing all the negative energy and anxiety out through my finger tips.

    Anyways, now that I've written a novel, I wish you the best, and I'm totally making it a goal to kick my anxiety's butt too! I'm glad to know it's not just me that feels that way about venturing out and having to talk to neighbors!! Have a lovely weekend!!

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  57. I am the same way but didn't use to be! Someone suggested the book called "Triumph Over Shyness" so I got it w/ an Amazon giftcard. Maybe there will be something useful in it! IDK. I'm not sure how or why it started either but I am just incapable of talking to people I'm not used to being around for a long time.

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  58. yep i get it too!! but so surprised to hear you get so anxious and grateful for your honesty...makes the rest of us feel not so alone x

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  59. Go you! I used to have that exact same problem, but I've been working a lot with myself the last few years and I've improved loads. Small steps, or bike rides, help loads!

    And what an incredibly cute bike!

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  60. I'm kind of an hermit to even if I love people! I really like everything in these pictures : your bike, your teeshirt, your camera!!!

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  61. Kaylah, you are such a sweet soul. And you are so brave for speaking about your anxiety. So many people suffer from anxiety and everyone who does, feels alone :(

    I overcame anxiety with homeopathy. I had a slew of symptoms that came on slowly after having my wisdom teeth pulled in my early twenties and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one this has happened to. Before then, I could be shy and maybe anxious a bit now and then but it turned into full blown anxiety after that.

    I can still get anxious about things at times, but the anxiety attacks have never returned and I don't fear going out in public anymore. That experience inspired me to become a homeopath and I have seen many other people use homeopathy successfully for anxiety as well. I hope you don't mind me saying this, I know you didn't ask for advice. But because I understand how debilitating anxiety can be, I felt drawn to tell you my experiences.

    Your bike is so incredible! It's great to hear you're enjoying it!

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  62. I love this post like crazy. The photos are making me wish for your bike, backpack and this experience!

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  63. Wow I can so relate on the social anxiety/being a hermit and it is great to read in your latest post about how you are now so much more confident. I am struggling with getting out of the house at the moment and I am so awkward with people, I think when you stay in the house to much it becomes a habit and a safe haven. Hopefully sometime soon I will be conquering my fears too!

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