This New Year has initiated some kind of new way of thinking about myself, as you can probably tell from my last few posts.
And the funny thing is, I feel so much more content with myself.
I feel so much more content knowing that I’m trying hard to be someone I’m not in the public, and that this self that I spend so much time alone with is my true self. That’s good because I like my true self.
I don’t mind my public self because it gets me through school and interviews and all that.
Today I’ve really noticed how content I feel, however. I’ve been so stuck on the subject for the last week that I keep forgetting to eat again. This happens a lot. If I go on a writing binge (which is often) I might skip breakfast, lunch, and dinner and not eat until four the next morning when I finally figure I’ve had enough. Then I’ll wake up the next day and start the cycle all over again. I’ve inadvertently lost weight in the past doing that and when I noticed I’d dropped ten pounds I started eating again.
I did eat today because I was at my boyfriend’s house when they made dinner. There was food all over the place and I was instructed to eat so I did so. I was already hungry anyway, but I didn’t really care if I was hungry or not. Not until there was a bowl in front of me and my tastebuds started tingling.
I slurped that shit down like a hog eating slop.
I’m hungry right now (I’m telling you, I haven’t been eating) but it’s 1:34 in the morning, it’s too much energy to go make food and I’m too busy in my head.
All the possibilities.
There are so many.
I won’t go as far as to say I feel comfortable going outside.
But now that I see I actually do interact with the world differently than most people and I’m not just some social weirdo incapable of “normality” I feel more comfortable with myself in public.
I always say I don’t care what people think about me when I’m out in public. That obviously seems like a contradiction when social anxiety disorder is all about caring what other people think about you.
But as I’ve stated, mine is a little different. I’m more worried I’m doing something socially unconventional–a weird tone, the wrong facial expression (too exaggerated? monotone? angry?) or blurting something random in an attempt to keep conversation flowing which, obviously, never works–and that’s where the bulk of the worrying about their opinion comes from.
I also worry about the usual things like “I look shitty today” or “that group laughing over there is laughing at me because I’m walking like an idiot” and I have the tendency to bend over my paper like a reincarnation of Gollum pounces on The Ring from Lord Of The Rings. I cover my writing because I hate people reading my stuff.
My writing is my true self. It’s raw and unarmored. I don’t like people seeing that squishy, fleshy part of me. At least not people I have to see every day. I feel violated.
I’m a private person. I like my solitude.
I do wish I could express my emotions a little more though. It’s really hard for me to formulate them verbally. They just lodge themselves in the pit of my stomach and the back of my brain and only release when I have a pen in my hand or a keyboard on my lap. I have no other release.
It’s not that I don’t want people to know how I’m feeling, it’s not that I don’t trust them with my feelings, it’s that I physically can’t do it. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s just too hard to put into words the feeling and whenever I’ve tried, it didn’t come out how I wanted to.
In order for me to say what I’m really feeling, people would have to ask me pretty specific questions and even then it’s going to be a struggle getting it out of me. Sometimes I wish they would so I could at least make an attempt, but how are they going to know what to ask?
However, when I say I don’t care what people think about me, I really mean it. I’m not terrified of them like it seems, and if they don’t like me I really don’t give a shit because I prefer being by myself anyway.
But the fact that I need to blend in and be one of them in order to get where I want to be on this Earth makes me stress over being socially proper. Stressing over being socially proper makes me 2x more socially anxious than I already was.
I still don’t care what people think.
What I learned this semester was invaluable, however. A month or so back, I ranted and raved over how proud I was that I spoke up one night and interacted with the group. What I did not say was how the interaction really went.
Yes, it was a huge success. However, having a conversation with me sometimes is like starting at point A, leaping to point G, sliding into point C, and then launching to point Z. I’m all over the place. I don’t really understand how to carry a conversation unless the other person leads, so the majority of the time I just throw out irrelevant ideas to see if something hooks.
I’ve learned, over the course of my life, not to interrupt people with random things.
I also learned that night how to appropriate and weave through the sentences floating through my head.
Sometimes I want to say something but I’m not sure if it’s good enough to say, or right, or if it fits, so it just kind of sits there on my tongue.
So I listened closely to the subject my group was discussing and I had to search through all those random sentences floating in my head and tried to find one that related to whatever the hell they were talking about. I used them as practice and they didn’t even know it. They were my test subjects.
So when they were talking about where they lived, a great idea popped into my head! Talk about the nasty ass swap that smells like rotting eggs every time it rains just three minutes from my apartment!
It might have been disgusting to think about but it was related to their conversation: it was near where I lived. I described the street I’m on and I was kind of part of the conversation and it kind of worked.
That night took a lot of energy out of me, though. Two hours of pressuring yourself not to be a complete dingus is difficult.
And I drove them in a lot of crazy directions. We went from talking about vegan food to “What’s with that weird language sign on the wall; look at that one in the corner!” in a matter of seconds.
My doing, of course.
They didn’t seem to mind. But how the fuck would I know.
The next time I tried it, one of the other girls was a psych major and happened to mention one of my favorite psych professors at my college. That sent me off on a tangent. Mention psychology and your ears are done. I’ll tell you my whole life story and link it to every possible thing I’ve learned in psychology thus far.
And I’ve been hitting the textbooks and research books and living the life style for way longer than I’ve been in college. Who needs college to learn?
So you better have your facts straight with me if you want to talk psychology. I have a tendency to be very aggressive with my knowledge.
I do try. I have to really analyze a situation and solve it like a puzzle, but at least I make attempts.
It zaps my energy just thinking about it.