I’m never one to shy away from giving my personal opinion, however when it comes to things related to me it’s all a little different. Now I think it’s time I shared this and it’s taken a while to decide whether or not I would, but, writing about things and getting them out there is therapeutic for me.
Now some people in my group know that I suffer from anxiety, a particular kind known as Social Anxiety. Medically known as “Excessive fear of embarrassment in social situations that is extremely intrusive and can have debilitating effects on personal and professional relationships. Also called social phobia.” – Source: NHS. For me, its not about the embarrassment in social situations, it’s being in a situation I can’t control. My phobia comes from childhood, reminding me of situations where gangs of guys would surround me to bully me. Now when it comes to reacting in this atmosphere each person reacts differently, psychology tells us that we either fight or fly, in other we get aggressive or we run from the situation. When it comes to me I was always the fighter, getting really aggressive and angry, that has pretty much stayed with me since then. When put into a new situation, if I feel uncomfortable, I lash out at the person who put me in that scenario, must people don’t understand and it can be quite extreme.
Sadly when it comes to going out and being social, I used to need a drink or two before going anywhere to calm my nerves as they say. When put into these scenarios’ my drinking would become more aggressive as to try and remain calm, and as your inhibition’s lower, you feel that sensation of anger and can’t help but confront the person no matter the situation – which I can tell you, has never ended well for me.
In the end, it was better for me to stop putting myself in these situations not only for my mental health but to stop me rom turning into a potential alcoholic who needed it to get through their day. Now in narrowing down where you will and won’t go, for some people is quite debilitating, for me it’s my way of protecting myself from having mini panic attacks. Adding in a relationship to the mix is a difficult one, because, not only have you got to adjust to their baggage they’ve also got to accommodate what you can handle too – its never an easy ride.
When it comes to depression, it’s never an easy subject to discuss. Even with those whom you love and if anyone has or is suffering from it, will agree to such a statement. I never used to suffer a lot with depression, I was manly angry all the time, maybe my mind hiding my depression from me until I was ready to deal with it – that’s for a therapist to find out. Depression is defined as: “feelings of severe despondency and dejection.” – Oxford Dictionary. I can certainly respond to those words in particular, whether it comes to my career or personal work I’m carrying out, there’s always this point of “what’s the point?”. If, you’re like me, a perfectionist, you put lots of pressure on yourself to do well. Not because society tells us we must, but because we ourselves want to prove a point to those who have disbelieved, judged and scarred us.
Dejection has at least for me, come from society, in which we are expected to perform and achieve. Not in a way that would be beneficial for me, but for a system that is based on statistics and regurgitating facts and when you cant perform that makes you less of a person. This system has failed many creatives and other people who don’t fit into the box that has been created by government and education, we get left behind and told we can work minimum wage jobs and that’s it. I feel there is a major disconnection with society and what it expects of you, it still hasn’t changed and I don’t think it will be anytime soon either.
It’s never easy to balance both at once, it’s a daily thing to battle and making sure it doesn’t completely consume your life. Living with it, it becomes almost normal, because it is part of who you are, it adds to all your odd personality traits. I have ultimately learnt that you are never alone, there are others who can support you and guide you through the tough times, you just have to be willing to let them. I think that’s my biggest piece of advice, don’t be afraid to reach out for help, going it alone doesn’t have to be some big mammoth task – you’ve got the power, use it.