Inclusion, a word which here means: the action or state of including or of being included within a group.
When you do not invite me to get-togethers, you enable me to be weaker and feel less strong. I am not blaming you for my anxiety or my personal setbacks, but assuming I do not want to attend based on my anxiety, pushes back my growth and overcoming.
I am sorry I say “no” or “maybe some other time,” all the time. You, as the others before, have caught my anxiety and have figured out the reasons for my (polite) rejections. And, like all, eventually, the invites stop. What you don’t know is how happy I get when I am invited places. I feel included, I feel loved, I feel a part of something that terrifies me – it can feel exciting at times.
Do not say to me “I didn’t invite you because I knew you’d say no,” or “I didn’t invite you because I know how you get sometimes in large groups,” or “I didn’t invite you because I know you have anxiety.” Do not answer for me, do not answer for my anxiety. I answer for myself and I answer for my anxiety. I will not make promises to you or anyone and say that 100% of the time I will be there. But I will attend some things, I can at least promise that. Most of all, I will have fun and enjoy once I have overcome that challenge.
Without an invite, without inclusion, I stray farther from that challenge. Please do not limit me. I know what I can do, I know the enjoyment I can feel. I know that nervousness that causes stomach cramps, tears, and sweat. But I know, too, how good I feel when I push past it and delve into the situation. Without inclusion, I am stuck, not being presented with an opportunity to try again, even if, for the millionth time.