During quarantine I remember jokingly saying something along the lines of "Yeah, it's a good time to have social anxiety, I don't have to go out and do things anymore". I would say this before, as well. I never actually looked into what social anxiety is or how to treat it. Or how many other people have social anxiety. I just.. assumed I may have it based off of what little I knew and used it as my excuse to not do something I was not comfortable with. I always just assumed everyone else is normal, and I need to get over myself because of their response that says they don't understand completely why I don't want to do something with them. Why I don't want to go to the movies. Why I don't want to go anywhere alone. When I go out and do things, it's usually errands. I dress my best on those days- I actually say to myself, in my head, "It's okay, I have my battle armor on". I would wear flats, and nice pants with a fancy blouse. Hair curled and makeup on. Normally I wear old sneakers, black pants, baggy t-shirt. No makeup. With my battle armor on, I go and do a few weeks worth of errands. Groceries, pharmacy, bank, ect. Then I don't think about it for another 3 weeks and rest from my war. With battle armor on I can extinguish any thoughts that go "your posture is so bad you look like a goblin lol / your posture is so good you think you're so good looking, huh?" instead I can be "I'M ON FLEEK IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT MY POSTURE IS LIKE THEY DON'T KNOW ME MAYBE I HAVE CHRONIC BACK ISSUES FOR ALL THEY KNOW THEY DON'T KNOW ME LOOK AT MY LIPSTICK I THINK I LOOK GOOD THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS" which essentially is my war mantra. Being proud of myself for spending time to doll myself up. Pride > Anxiety.
Yesterday I stayed up for 30 hours to fix my abnormal sleep schedule since I have weird hours at work. (I do understand you can fix it by sleeping 2 hours earlier than usual, but this works best for me).
While being profoundly sleep deprived, I had bad paranoia trying to sleep (I anticipated this, as it's not my first rodeo).
I felt crippled in bed. I wanted nothing more than to pass out, but my brain was voicing the opinions of my roommates who were in the living room doing their own thing. Their "voices" were judging me and my past and every little thing I did. I do realize it's all in my head, though that doesn't stop the guilt of not meeting their expectations and the mean things that are voiced. Exclamations of who I should be and what I should do based off societys' and my own opinions of 'perfection'. It's so stupid to have to think twice about my breathing, what I think, my sleep position, ect. I didn't want to make a loud enough blink of my eyes. I wanted to disappear into nothingness. You can't judge nothing.
After waking up I decided to look more into what social anxiety is. All the symptoms aligned. I then decided to look into forums to see what real people do to deal with it. I found a whole thread on Reddit dedicated to social anxiety. I was fascinated. I read memes. I read stories. I got caught off guard and instantly started crying after reading one of those lame uplifting pictures, it was "things you don't need to feel guilty about". It included declining a phone call and telling people "no", which is typical and lame to me because you see them everywhere. With the social anxiety context included it hit me like a brick to the face. I'm so relieved I had to write about it so I don't cry my eyes out at 7am. It's such a nice feeling to not think about what others think. To do things of my own accord without the 'hater vibes'.
Knowing what afflicts me doesn't fix the affliction... It's just nice to not feel alone. It feels nice to know that I can be understood, and to not be judged for what I cannot help. It feels nice to know that I don't have to battle alone, or even battle at all. It feels like everyone is out to get me because of my borderline paranoid brain thinking for others' opinions of me. Even though I realize the whole world is not fixated on someone who is not as great as Keanu Reeves, I become my own world with how self-conscious I am. It had gotten so bad- for years now I would be ALONE in my room and still feeling like someone was over my shoulder judging every move I made. That someone was me- a ghost of ludicrous expectations I personify and make into real thoughts. It has probably pushed me to do some great things, but mostly it has pushed me into my dark bat cave and hissing at the light of receiving phone calls. The ghost I myself personify started in middle school when I read a poster about integrity in my science home room. I started to think about my moral code and who I wanted to be. I started to think about what others would think of me even as I was alone- because integrity is what people would think of you even if they couldn't see you. This started out good, because I wanted to think of a God watching over me and I wanted to bring out the best me I could be- not to go to heaven, but for the sake of being my best at all times to fully 'integreatness' my life. No matter what situation. I wanted to perfect brushing my teeth, to my body language. Perfection. That's when it started to go downhill to me trying to imagine what other members of society would think of me, instead of the only entity who can properly judge. When personifying an ever watchful and understanding God, I would still be myself. Baggy clothes and messy hair. As someone that doesn't care to know which makeup brush is which or who their favorite mean girls character is, among other things, this lead to some pretty hefty guilt. As small as the guilt is, it happens every day. Because of the guilt, this went unnoticed for years up until... now. You just kind of lose yourself when figuring out how you can be better- and in my case it became society. Not that I changed in any way other than be more withdrawn from society because of how different I feel from the vast majority. I just wanted to be myself and have others understand that because no matter what, I'm a part of society as well. Integrity is good, but I lost myself to opinions. Lost myself to paranoia.
Knowing that I have a serious anxiety disorder, and knowing that i'm not alone and have found understanding, is a turning point in my war. I'd say it's in my favor now. Hashtag ******** the haters sweatdrop
I don't care who starred in the movie or even the characters' names. I only care about the moral of the story. What lead to the Climax- the quality of immersion. (I only remember titles of movies I would watch again). I don't care how you look or how you dress unless I need to fix a tag on your shirt or to compliment you. I don't care how you speak unless you're mean and ignorant to empathy. I don't care who the president is because I'm the president of my own small world. I don't care about things I cannot change. I don't care about death, but the memories left unread. I don't care how much money anyone has, as long as they have what they need. I don't care about people who do not care. I don't care about having the newest things to gain clout. I don't care for fake people. I don't care how bad the graphics are in a video game as long as it's fun. I don't care to be competitive, I care about the experience. I don't care about who you were in the past. At all. I care about the now. I don't care about what you do unless you are having fun and not without empathy. I don't care about a lot of things that don't matter, even if society says they do. Epstein didn't kill himself, and it's good to know we have misinformation; what are we going to do about it? I'm a problem solver, not a person to talk about who to blame. I don't care. I'm a person who only moves forward, and I don't care to take anyone's pawns.
This is the type of person I am, and I, for once, have no shame in who I am. Or what I think. Or how loud I blink. I am me, and i'm ALIVE Goddammit.