Why I’m At Home With A Blanket And A Cup Of Tea – Anxiety:
I know I’m supposed to love meeting new people, and I’m supposed to know exactly what to say to everyone I come into contact with. But I don’t.
As a matter of fact, at any given moment, I have about 5 different alternatives to every response I give in a conversation. In the 2 seconds it takes me to reply to your statement, I go through 12 different sentences, 150 words, and 3 different facial expressions to partner with my response, until I make up my mind and it half-hazardly flies out of my mouth into the space between us. And it sits there. It lingers. It surrounds me, and suffocates me. While you respond immediately, and so easily, it feels like a century has gone by, and now it’s my turn again.
The cycle continues until I have to say goodbye and I struggle with hugging you, shaking your hand, high-fiving you, nodding, or just walking away, and it inevitably ends with me stumbling over my words and saying ‘thank you’. Thank you for what? I have no idea, but I just said it, and when 3 a.m. hits, I will be lying awake with the lights off, thinking about this very moment.
“Why are you always so tired?” Because it’s exhausting. Anxiety is terribly exhausting. It’s exhausting to have a three-ring circus in
your head 24/7. It’s exhausting to hold back tears, and trying to explain them when they inevitably slip out in the middle of a 9 a.m. lecture. It’s exhausting to make plans with people, get excited about them, and then later have to think of excuses of why you “don’t want to go”.
Do you want to know the real reason I’m not there? Because anxiety won. Because the comfort of a warm blanket, and a cup of tea inside the safety of my own home, calms me in a way I can’t even begin to explain.
I realize that having social anxiety isn’t something I can realistically let happen, with all of the things I plan to accomplish in my life. One day I’d love to give a TedTalk, and while that thought absolutely terrifies me, it excites me more. I’m going to work on overcoming this, but do me favour, and in the meantime… please try to understand why I’m at home with a cup of tea and a warm blanket.