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Stuck in Social Anxiety

A major contributing factor to my very first bout of depression, and  the same thing that keeps me lonely on Friday nights and restless on Tuesday nights is the horrible realization that my life will be forever plagued by social anxiety. And while I’m lucky enough not to be one of those people so anxious they can’t leave the house, I’m unlucky enough to have enough social skills to make relationships, and then royally fuck them up with social anxiety. So…here I am, in my sweats with a bowl of popcorn, thinking about all the people I could call up if I only had the courage. Someone needs to take me to the wizard.

I hate fucking up friendships. Relationships are one thing—I’ve fucked up enough of those to just assume that something I do will at one point will bring everything to catastrophe—but friendships are different. When someone gets close to me on that I-can-be-for-really-real-with-you level I do everything I can to preserve it. But this time, well, I fucked it up.

I thought when the school year ended that Caitlin and I left each other on a decent note. I mean, I was doing my best to try to balance time with my girlfriend and time with Caitlin (plus one of our friends), and even though we weren’t as chummy as we had been earlier that year I thought we were still on a friendly basis. But then I hung out with her for a bit a few weeks ago…and it was enough to scare me off. We were in her room, me sitting in the chair trying to keep the conversation alive, and her in her bed staring at her laptop. I was definitely getting some vibes, but she wasn’t saying anything, and I didn’t know what to say. I’ve apologized to her before, multiple times, but it still feels like she’s pissed that I quit being so available last semester. And that’s my fault—I’m guilty as charged. But I just want my friend back, even if I may not necessary deserve her.

And while a normal, rational person might say, “Well then pick up the phone and call her” or “Try to hang out together more”, I’m having the hardest time actually achieving those normal social reactions. My solution so far has been to hide out and isolate myself from almost everyone I know. It’s completely ineffective but also way less scary, even if it does constantly drowned me in guilt. I just keep worrying, What if she hates me? What if she won’t forgive me? I wonder if she thinks I’m a self-centered bitch? I wonder if she will think, “I told you so” when she discovers how fucked up my life is? And these worries are like everything else my social anxiety and depression brings out in me: absolutely useless and counterproductive.

I know nothing will get better until I take the plunge and talk to her. I know I just have to put myself on the line and do it…

But I’m stuck in paralyzing fear…stuck in depression…stuck, stuck, stuck…stuck missing being the person she could love and call a friend.

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Too Many Questions, Too Little Sanity

Sometimes I wonder if this self-destructive streak in me is imagined or actually very real and present in my everyday decisions. Sometimes I know what’s good for me, but instead of actually doing it (like homework, going on a run, drinking more water/less coffee, socializing with the people who live in my hall) I just brush it off in favor of something that lets me avoid it even further (getting on Pinterest, looking up clothes online that I can’t afford, hanging out with a person I don’t exactly trust yet, going out to the frats on Friday nights, eating chocolate). Whether its real or imagined, I’ve known about it for sometime–heck, I think I first noticed it the first time I became depressed. Those days where I wouldn’t go outside at all and just wallow in my patheticness were the first that I actually questioned, “Am I my own worst enemy?”

So anyway, as per usual, this all goes back to a real-life situation I have at hand. There’s this person I work with, slightly sarcastic, cynical, indie rock music taste, shitty-dresser, smart, and very particular. They are the only coworker I have that I actually talk very much with, and we are even on a basis where we make fun of each other (which for me is the foundation of every friendship I’ve ever had). Anyway, so this coworker and I work every Monday night together, just us, in the campus copying center. Mostly we both do homework and my coworker will play music on Spotify or Grooveshark or whatever, occasionally helping customers, but mostly doing an abundance of nothing. (Have I mentioned how much I love this job?) Anyway, sounds like a pretty good basis for a friendship, right? There’s a problem though. They’re graduating in December–making them a senior, and reinforcing the fact that I am a lowly freshman. And does that honestly matter? No, but when you add it with us just being coworkers it makes for a stand-still. Honestly, this coworker is one of the few people at school who I feel truly knows me for the weirdness that I am. And no, okay, they don’t know my deepest darkest secrets or whatever, but they get me. They give me credit for my humor and make me feel at ease, which is a rare occurrence. But we can’t be friends…can we?

What the hell am I supposed to say? This isn’t second grade where I can just go up to the crying kid in the room and volunteer to be their friend (how I met my friend Val, an over ten-year friendship). There’s a fine line to walk. I can either do something risky, like invite them to hang out which a) they could decline, b) they could decline and then be totally awkward around me at work, or c) could mistake me for hitting on them and then proceed to never speak to me again from utter horror. Or I could just not be friends we them, and keep things the way they are, which slightly sucks. Either way I seemed to be screwed. And you haven’t even heard the worst part yet:

I sort of have this school-girl crush on him.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I’d rather have a good guy friend to pal around with, not just some other jerk who will ditch me whenever he wants. (Not to mention, I have a fantastic boyfriend…who I’m in an open relationship with…but that doesn’t mean I should do something stupid just because I can!…Right?…Aww, geez, what’s wrong with me…)

I should just forget this whole thing, right? I’m just blowing up nothing, and will ruin the best almost-friendship I ever had with him. Besides, just because you are attracted to someone doesn’t mean you should do anything about it. I’m just out to get myself…out to screw up the fragile stability I have in my life right now. This isn’t even important… I mean, yeah, I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, but I didn’t do anything all those weeks then why should I do something about it now? Are there certain people you are never supposed to be friends with? Damn, is that even a real question?

I’m just sitting here, typing, and just a minute ago I even asked him, “Do you think we are always supposed to be friends with the people we get along with?” Needless to say, he didn’t know how to answer it, because it’s a strange, ambiguous question. “Aren’t you already friends with the people you get along with?” See, this is the difference between men and women. Women blow up their brains with over analyzing (or maybe that’s just me–I shouldn’t generalize), and men don’t even have a concept to over-analyze, because the problem only exists in the woman’s head. Yeah, that sounded really sexist didn’t it? My point is, my mind is all screwed up, and I hate that only fifteen feet away, my coworker is completely oblivious and watching the Cardinals game.

Maybe I’d just be better off if I stopped asking so many questions. (But isn’t asking questions one of the first steps to gaining knowledge?)

So continues my “struggle”.

Friends, Frats, and Feelings

One of my biggest anxiety traps is when I begin to compare my social life to everyone else’s. That’s when the doubts and the insecurity fill me up–after all, if I’m not having as much fun as most people or am being hit on as much as most girls are or even have as many friends as most people it must be because I’m too shy, not pretty or skinny enough, not interesting… And I will admit, that’s pathetic. I know I am better than that bullshit. I had my insecure years through middle school and my doubts whenever guys have treated my unfairly; I need to stop thinking that what is right for other people is necessarily right for me. But…that doesn’t take the sting of occasional loneliness away. Well…actually I wouldn’t call it loneliness, just a lack of comfort that I had with friends from home. You know that comfort you have around old friends where silence is okay sometimes and there’s never any pressure to be more or less than what you are? That’s it. That’s the sting I’m talking about.

I did however, make one big step onto the social scene yesterday. I went to my first college frat party! And before you get the impression that I got rip-roaring drunk, let me tell you that I did not. I did drink a little bit though, and I did actually have fun without being drunk. My new friend that I went to high school with (see last post), let’s call her Caitlin, had a great time cracking up about what the completely trashed girls we went with were saying. And I don’t mean that in a cruel way, just in a goofy way. They were very open about what they wanted (to have sex) and very affectionate (“you’re SO NICE!”), and if was just sort of funny to hear them go on about things (“I am not a drunk…I mean, I party every night and everything, but I am not a drunk, I pinky promise.”). And it was fun to dance and see what a real frat house looked like. The frat guys were ridiculous, though. Most of them were completely wasted, and took things like minor eye-contact as an invitation to come over and introduce themselves and their sleazy, crooked smiles. So some stuff like that was pretty stereotypical. There was chugging, there was grinding on the dance floor, there were guys in togas, the ol’ same things you’d expect from a university frat. Girls were dressed as angels from heaven and satan from hell, but then there were others in cocktail dresses, jean shorts, and T-shirts. The floors were always sticky and wet from spilled alcohol, empty cans and cups were scattered about. But like I said, not bad time. It was interesting to witness all of it and think, “So people actually live like this…”.

It made me miss my boyfriend, though. Sure, there were tons of cute guys, but that only made me think of how much I wanted MY cute guy. And around him I never feel insecure about if I have a pimple on my nose or am not wearing the cutest outfit, I know he doesn’t just see someone to sleep with, but someone to BE with. I only have 6 more days until I see him, though, so I’m trying to stay positive. Not having him around isn’t as easy as having him at my side all the time…that’s were some of this insecurity comes in. Around him I feel great, but not having that confidence boost constantly is going to take some getting used to. As bad as it sounds, convincing me to like me takes more work than convincing anyone else. Somehow my boyfriend knows how to convince me, though. And if it wasn’t enough to miss him for him, now I also miss who I am when I’m around him.

But after a day of sleeping in and watching three Harry Potter movies with Caitlin, being the sort of girl who is only satisfied by going out every night doesn’t sound too appealing, anyway.

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