Inner Monologues of a Socially Anxious Person

by Noise Pollution

For the last week or so, I’ve been out of town in order to attend my sister’s wedding. As I’ve likely expressed before, I don’t do very well with people. I am not a “people person”. And with me being a member of the bride’s immediate family, there was some amount of incentive for people who I either didn’t know or didn’t know very well to come and speak to me. Which, sure, that makes sense; I don’t blame them. I did, however, have to take many bathroom breaks where I simply sat in a stall and caught my breath for a few moments. Sometimes during those moments, I wrote out my thoughts. Here’s what came out of my head throughout this process.

I’m keeping conversation to a minimum. Along with eye contact. Never make eye contact with anyone. They always expect some sort of smile or head nod as an acknowledgement of their existence. And god forbid you actually know the person. they start talking to you, as if you had any interest in feeling awkward and pathetic and trapped. I mean, that is what people feel when they talk to other people, right? Awkward because you don’t know what to say, pathetic because you’re not doing anything of value with your life, and trapped because you can’t easily slip away. Anyways, I’m keeping conversation to a minimum. With everyone. Thankfully that one particular person seems to be avoiding me, too. I don’t know why, exactly. I was probably an asshole to her over text at some point, however many years ago it was that I was talking to her. I don’t remember. Not remembering is probably proof that I was, in fact, an asshole. If she had wronged me in any way, I definitely would remember. Either way, she’s pretending she doesn’t know me. Which is fine. I’m keeping conversation to a minimum, remember?

Bits and Pieces

My head is full of spiders and awkward conversations with nobody.

Everything changes so fast, then nothing changes for a long, long time.

When I tell myself that I suck, there are so many voices talking at once that my thoughts fall apart and I’m left with nothing but a vague sense of disgust, directed at myself, of course.

I want to cut my arms to ribbons and use them to tie a neat little bow around all of my emotions and give them away to someone who needs them more than I do.

Someone did come up and hang out with me out of pity for a little while. I appreciated the thought. I wanted to be alone, though. She seemed like a nice person. I have literally no idea how she’s related to me or my sister or what her connection is to us at all, and I feel far too awkward to ask. She is staying at my father’s house, too, but I’ve been fortunate enough to not bump into her too often. And I really have no idea what our relation is. Everyone in my house only seems to refer to her by both her first and last name, though that could be due to her sharing a first name with another houseguest. I have no idea. Having a blended family is weird. For all I know, she’s a close cousin who I happened to have never met before. Maybe she’s just one of my sister’s friends? I don’t know. But I don’t even know why I’m going on about it. I guess I’m just weirded out by not knowing who this person is. But anyway. She noticed me off sitting alone and hung out with me for a sec. It was really obvious that it was out of pity and a desire to be nice. Not that she did anything wrong by trying to be nice. You just get really attuned to people’s intentions in regards to this sort of thing after a while.

I was lucky, because our conversation was cut short by the cake-cutting. I was able to be relatively away from people again after that.

I did manage to slip away for a little bit, though having to perform made that a much more difficult prospect than it needed to be. It actually rained, just for a few moments. That’s kind of a rarity here. I got to be antisocial in the rain. You don’t usually get atmosphere like that in real life. Top it off with the fact that I was singing this song to myself when I felt the first few drops, and it almost feels like something important. But it isn’t.

It wasn’t important, for your information. Nothing came out of that moment aside from arbitrarily-contrived dramatic tension. Not that I don’t enjoy arbitrarily-contrived dramatic tension, I just want to make sure that it is known that nothing fated or destiny-related happened after that. Life just kept going. It pretended nothing was wrong.

Now it’s the final stretch of this obligatory activity. Not that I would have missed it if I could have; I love my sister; but all of these traditions just seem weirder and less meaningful with every wedding I attend. But anyway. We’re just putting things away now, but it’s a super-slow process and I’m anxious to get home, away from all of this.

If anyone actually did manage to strike up a conversation with me that didn’t immediately make me intensely uncomfortable, I would make sarcastic remarks to them about my social anxiety, and it would be hysterical. But that hasn’t happened yet, and it’s not going to happen at any point in the immediate future, either. But I’ll reiterate: it’s okay. I’m keeping conversation to a minimum.

Now that I’ve made it home (kinda) I just have to decide if my mood is bad enough for me to call a crisis hotline or not. I’ve never called one before. But that’s because I’m usually not that worried about the end result of my depressive and anxious episodes. But I’m not actually at home right now. I’m on the other side of the country. Fucking all this up and ending up in a psych ward all the way out here is really not an option. I would just end up more panicked and crazy. So the idea of actually calling a crisis line is not totally out of the question right now. I might just self-harm instead. I might just take my Ambien so that I can’t physically stay awake long enough to hurt myself. I don’t really know, and this indecision is probably going to result in my arms getting carved up. Again.

Okay. We’re back to me. In like, the now-time. Present-day. Whatever you want to call it. I didn’t end up self-harming, if you were wondering. I didn’t call a hotline, though. I just took my Ambien. Eventually I fell asleep and then it was morning and there was too much going on for me to hurt myself. So there’s that. Anyway. That was how I spent the last little while.