I’m not very good with people. If you don’t start a conversation, we won’t have. You ever heard of the idea that if
you tell a lie big enough, and keep repeating it, people will eventually believe it? “She’s just shy, she’ll grow out of it.” This, was my lie. So I kept waiting for the day I would finally
be able to show my true colors, without the fear of being judged. But that day… never came. Remember that quiet kid in your class, the one that used to sit in the very back and never raised their hand. Yeah, that’s me. Always too scared to speak up. Fighting my battles inside my head. And losing each and every one of them. A couple years later, not much has changed. What you’re are about to witness may seem funny, until you realise how tragic it actually is. Social anxiety doesn’t just ruin your life. It stops you from living it. At all. Self-consciousness on steroids. That’s the perfect description. My life seems quite normal on the surface so I don’t think anybody knows. But my world is black and white. Everything I do has got to be
perfect, because if I make a mistake, people will remember it, judge and laugh until I die. At least, that’s how I see it. All the little things you take for granted make me extremely nervous, so I end up sweaty, blushing, with a shaky voice and a blank mind. I have no idea how to operate small talk, so I practice for an hour in front of the mirror before I order a coffee. But you can’t just shut yourself in. You’re an adult now and a living is
not going to make itself. It’s hard to get and keep a job though, because it always involves human interaction. So I usually give up halfway through, because I can’t even enter a room full of people, let alone talk to them. Besides, talking to authority figures is terrifying, so most of the time I subconsciously WANT to be late, so that I can avoid the meeting altogether. Now, you probably already guessed my love life is not exactly thrilling. Every time I agree to go out, I instantly regret it, wishing I was back in my comfortable bed. And before I leave the house, I practice all the different conversations that might take place. The meeting itself is just a bunch of uncomfortable silences and some serious wall admiring. And in the end I get completely wasted because it helps with anxiety. The problem is, I talk nonsense when I’m drunk. So the next day, you wake up in terror, overanalyze your perfomance and identify non-existent flaws. And after an hour of going through each and every detail of what happened, you decide he probably hates you. And then he calls. It’s a call you will not answer and you’ll try hard to avoid the guy, because you really like him… Which makes no sense, I know. The most frustrating part is that I know I’m being irrational. Now, isn’t it funny how those who are terrified of human interaction are still more attentive than others? I think people can tell we really listen instead of just staring blankly into the void, waiting for our turn to speak. Maybe that’s why I keep attracting weirdos, and end up in extremely awkward situations. I mean, I know it’s 2017 but that: “I save my used dried out contacts in a baby food jar” is not a casual first liner, is it. Lesson learned, never take your headphones off in public. I have to admit though I’m not a complete outcast. But I don’t think my friends understand my social anxiety very well. I guess I come off as uninterested or rude, but in reality, I’m just too terrified to speak. I try my best though, because alone can turn into lonely pretty fast. So I lie there, all dressed up, trying to remember how humans work before I leave the house. And every single time, I know I can’t stay, but I don’t know how to leave. And all I’m left with in that moment is… Art. Art allows you to gift-wrap your feelings with words and images so that you can hand them over for public consumption without any personal judgement. Nobody needs to know that this one might be about you. Now, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do about it, and the answer is locked away in one simple word: therapy. You build up your hopes, you try your best, and then you… fall apart. Days pass before you finally manage to pick up the pieces and clumsily put them together. Each time a part of you gets lost and you know you’re never getting it back. But I let that which does not matter, truly slide. Because I know that with
every piece I loose along the way, a new, better one will always fill that empty space. And even though I’m not there yet, I know there will come a day, when I’m the one in charge.