A while back (okay, quite a while back), I wrote about myself and social anxiety. It was the first time I had really told my wider circle of “people I know” about it. The post basically doesn’t exist any more. I read it about 2 years later and I shook my head, thinking I just didn’t do a good job of articulating what social anxiety was like for me.
I don’t plan on revisiting that, don’t worry. But I did want to put some of my thoughts down, especially with how I have struggled recently with… well, with myself, as a person. I’m not entirely sure what I want to say, or even what I want to write about specifically but I know I need to write something.
It’s no secret now that I’m “starting life” later than most people. It’s no problem really. These things happen. I’m really quite thankful that I even have the opportunity to change my life and do something. I’ve had many ideas through my life, things that I thought I would love to do. None of them happened. Anything I did try, didn’t work. Last year when I finally decided what I wanted to do, that I really could push myself and do something… it was like a pretty big breakthrough. And it wasn’t just me that had a breakthrough. Most of my friends will know that it was a massive year for Zeta, too.
I won’t lie though. It’s a constant struggle in my head. Day in and day out, it’s the same thing. Maybe this isn’t for me. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I will do all of this and it will end up as nothing. I have to tell myself, no. This IS what you want to do. You CAN do it. You ARE good enough, and even if you weren’t, who the hell cares?
Me obviously. Only I can really bring myself down.
When I was first told that I had social anxiety disorder, things kinda clicked. Certain things I had been doing for so long made so much sense, I couldn’t believe it. It made sense as to why I just couldn’t cope with a whole range of things in my life that probably came quite easily to most people, even next to the awkwardness that being a teenager was anyway!
I easily pushed people away, even though deep down I didn’t want to. Lies came pretty easy to get away from people. “I can’t do that for this completely fabricated reason”. Then there was my sexuality.
Lies to cover lies because I was worried about what people would think of me, especially when it came to my sexuality. Imagine that? Having anxiety because you wanted to come out to people, worried about how people would treat you, what friends would you lose. Throw some social anxiety on top of that (which you never knew you had in the first place), and well… it’s quite the recipe. I don’t really know how long I knew about my sexuality. I’m not sure any of it really made sense until I was just coming up to 18. Even to this day, I don’t know when I went from being heterosexual to bisexual and then the very quick leap to homosexual, because nope, you definitely don’t like the male kind, Nyssa.
It was actually the most natural thing in the world to me, to be fair.
Anyway, I never did get to have my own coming out story, so-to-speak. Someone else did that for me. It’s not something I’ve ever really spoken about. I think everyone just knew and that was that. It’s somewhat amusing when I look back on it now. I sometimes look back and think it would have been nice to be more outgoing about the entire thing but back then, it wasn’t really readily accepted like it is now. Not that it is entirely accepted now, of course. Society has a long way to go.
What I’m trying to say here is this: my mental life up until this moment was a mess and I never spoke about it, never really sought help with it. I have not had an entirely difficult life, of course. People have it much worse than I ever had it. But it’s not surprising that I’m struggling at the moment to come to grips with the changes going on in my life. I have to keep reminding myself that it takes time. Learning to interact with other people properly isn’t going to come instantly. Giving up on my studies, which let me tell you would be so easy to do right now, is not worth it. Being happy with my direction is going to take some getting used to.
I won’t get anywhere if I keep running away from everything. I have to constantly keep myself in check, not to let the negative thoughts run away with my life, especially now when I’m making so much progress. Of course, I couldn’t do it without my lovely wife though, the one person who really truly believes I can and pushes me to my limits without pushing me over the edge.
Sometimes, you just got to stick it to yourself!