When I really think back on my life, like, I’ve always just felt uncomfortable. You know, like, I don’t know what it is, like, my whole life has just been this constant struggle with every moment. Like, I’m just wrestling with every second just to feel okay. Like, I don’t even wanna feel good. Just set me in the middle, you know?
– Theo Von
Now, I can’t say this is the way my life has always been, but I definitely relate to it, especially now. It’s so weird I feel like I know exactly what he is talking about, but the truth he is, I don’t. He feels what he feels and I feel, well, whatever is thrown at me. I have found an app that lets me record these feelings and send them out into the world. What makes the app different? You get five minutes. Five minutes to vent, sing, love or blabber. The app is called Swell, and no, I don’t work for them.
If I could mould my anxiety into a shape or form, it would look like phlegm from the throat, but solid, like crystallized, and it would be big, like the size of a chest. And, it would pulsate. Little tiny spikes would emerge from it. This is the thing that’s consuming me. Every decision in my life is being controlled by fear. This is ruining my life. It’s easy to understand how this works as a vicious cycle, when the problem itself is creating the problem. But I have to deal with it. I was born with it. I will tame it. If that means hours of therapy, then be it. I have to beat this thing. It is consuming me. I want to be free. I want to feel happy again.
Let me explain. If I see anyone, in a social setting, my face does this weird ‘get away from me’ move. I call it the auto-frown. It’s not uncommon. I’ve seen other people do it too, and it doesn’t feel right. This issue has gone down drastically after I’ve starting taking treatment. Like, I became more aware of it happening, and now it rarely happens. I guess all of this is part of my overall level of anxiety going down.
I have lived with anxiety all my life. To be able to control it is like…. I don’t know how to explain it. Wait a minute, of course I do. Imagine Venom. No, not the Tom Hardy Venom. The ol Toby Maguire Venom. Remember how relieved he felt after Venom left his body? That’s what it feels like. Like a cancer that’s in your brain and heart, just got removed. Wow, I just compared a mental heath issue to a comic book character.
When the weekend finally rolled in, I wasn’t feeling well. So I decided to kick back and rest. I ended up not talking to anyone for a whole two days. I didn’t go out either. But then, Sunday night came along and I thought I should probably start cooking. So I cleaned myself up and went outside to get some ‘utensils’. I knew a shop nearby. It had giant glass doors in the front. So you could see everyone inside. I thought to myself, “whoa! that’s a lot of people”. I suddenly felt a little uncomfortable. All of a sudden I didn’t want to go inside. It was like there was an invisible force-field preventing me from getting through. Seeing all those people through the glass doors made me anxious. But it didn’t make sense. I do this all the time. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. What’s even more fucked up was, when I tried to force myself in, I felt a strange pain inside my head. Like, actual physical pain. This scared me a little. I remember feeling this way only when I experience extraordinary amounts of anxiety. The people inside the store started noticing me. So I thought, “the heck with it”. I pushed the door open and I went inside. I couldn’t look at people’s faces and I didn’t end up buying anything but I felt slightly relieved.
I’ve learned one big lesson today. Fuck stores. Just get it online. I’m kidding.
If I don’t go out for a long time/interact with people, I forget how to socialize. It won’t happen again.
Its back. Fucking social-phobia is back in full swing. Everything was going fine. I was making friends. I was getting better at ‘small-talk’. I was mastering the art of socializing. But now, I’ve lost everything. I’ve been trying to find out what caused the sudden change. I ‘ve narrowed it down to two possible causes:
Trip to visit family
I got dumped
The trip back home sent me back to my comfort zone. I didn’t have to interact with strangers for one whole week. One week of harmless, friendly, familiar faces has unfortunately done a lot of damage.
And then I got dumped. In her defence, she was right about a lot of things! Anyways… it happened and I’m dealing with it. Fortunately, I now have an old guitar and a long beard to suit my current situation. To make matters worse, things are not looking good at work and my phobias have peaked. The moment I enter my apartment building, I find myself running to my apartment for fear of bumping into neighbours along the way. I had two panic attacks during the flight back from home. I couldn’t do anything else but play this track on repeat:
What I am trying to say is… life is not great at the moment but I do have my own ways of dealing with this sort of thing. Here are a few:
I find the weirdest things to be uplifting. This animated short by the dudes at Dolby makes me happy(headphones recommended):
Ever get that feeling like some things happen at the right place at the right time for you? Like you are being watched/helped by someone or something? Well, you are not alone. There are millions of people just like you. I, on the other hand have never felt that way. However, I have to admit that sometimes I do feel like someone’s always trying to fuck with me.
I don’t get invited to a lot of parties and if do, I refuse immediately. Its just my inability to socialise. No big deal. But I went to a party today. I went because the person who invited me put it in a very interesting way. This is kind of what she said:
“I know your issue with a large group of people. Yes, there will be some of those ‘fancy stuck-up rich people’ that you talk about but most of them are humble and best of all, they have a good sense of humour. There will be people of all ages(there really was!). There’s no way all of them will react badly to your craziness. You don’t know these people. You might never see them again. So go ahead and embarrass yourself.
So I did and… I wouldn’t say I nailed it but I sure as hell survived it. The highlights of the event were:
I did not offend anyone
I weirded-out a few but they’ll be alright
I talked to everyone
Didn’t get uncomfortable with the ladies
So I am here now. I am still alive. I am looking forward to the next party. Actually, no. Not immediately.
Just like any other day I was sitting in my office planning how to deploy artillery around the campus when I heard the boss say something. My brain could not process what was coming out of its mouth. It kept making a weird noise. It sounded like “Party” aka nightmare. “We are having a party at my place tomorrow. I would like you to come” For some reason my immediate answer was “why?”. But what I really wanted to ask was “why should I come? You don’t own me. Why do you always refer to yourself as ‘we’? Are you a legion or something?”.
Long story short, what should have been a perfect evening with my drums, Rick, Morty and Mindhunter is now ruined because I have to talk to “people” instead. Thanks a lot life! I don’t think it’ll be that bad though. Unless a whole group of people try to corner me and force me to talk. I resort to arson in those situations. Which is highly unlikely given my celebrity status in the office.