“Writing is something you do alone. It’s a proffesion for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”
In all honesty, anxiety makes you look like an idiot. I don’t reach out to people. I’m terrified of talking on the phone and starting conversation with strangers. I’m scared of texting certain friends and coming on too strong. So I wait too long to answer back. I don’t let on that I care. But I care more than anyone realizes. I care so much it hurts.
I come across as a snob, because I find it hard to talk, hard to force a smile. But I’m not trying to be rude. I’m not a good conversationalist – and it makes me seem like a shitty friend. Trust me it is the worst feeling. I don’t jump into conversations. I’m quiet in groups. People assume that I’m sitting there, judging them, but I’m just in awe of how easily they can communicate. How natural it is for them. How human they are. I hate myself I’m an anxious introvert.
Of course, they don’t realize that I have anxiety. They just think I’m quiet. Shy. No, they don’t realize I have anxiety, because I’m not shaking at the table hyperventilating into a paper bag. My meltdowns happen before I see them. The night before, on my drive back home, I’m freaking out the entire time. Imagining all of the things that could go wrong. Picturing how embarrassed I’ll be.
But when I’m finally in public, I internalize everything. I’m still anxious. I’m just not showing it. Secretly, I’m freaking out over what I look like. Freaking out over why someone across the room gave me a strange look. And if I need to compose myself, I’ll escape to the bathroom and heavy breathe inside of a stall or splash water across my face, and then walk back into the room like I’m perfectly fine.
But I’m not fine. Anxiety makes sure I’m never fine. It makes me turn down opportunities that I know I’d enjoy. It makes me stay quiet when I have something important to say. It makes me look like an idiot. And that’s why I lose people. A lot of them.