Chronic Shyness

Attack of the Killer Anxiety


    When I was in high school, I knew I had anxiety because it would come up when it was my turn to order something at a restaurant or when a teacher would call on me at random to answer a question that I knew. I would feel physically sick and irritable. Sometimes I would not eat at family events just to avoid having to tell people what I wanted. So when I was told by my psychiatrist that I had anxiety I just stared at her, anxious but, indifferent. However, at the time that I went to the psych, I was a high school junior who had been at the same school since I was 12 and never was really faced with having to meet new friends or any new form of social interaction. In the beginning, I was one of the weird irrelevant kids but, overtime, I managed to make a few friends that I held onto. I didn’t really care about making friends with the new kids that would pop up in the class each year, which was completely fine because they weren’t interested in me either.

     Most of the kids who I had classes with consistently from seventh to twelfth grade warmed up to me. For the most part, my awkward behavior made me invisible to the students at my school and never made me a favorite amongst my teachers unless they appreciated the quiet kid. (Sometimes my teachers even heard me say something funny next to one of my more outgoing friends!) Not to say any of this was the end of the world for me. It wasn’t. I had anxiety after all so, repelling people felt like a relief because I didn’t have to deal with embarrassing myself or stressing about saying something stupid.

    The symptoms of anxiety are cool things like “fear of impending doom” and “racing” “unwanted thoughts” so, my day in social settings are always pretty exciting. One of the rare gems is literally shaking in public but, I usually only have one of those fun experiences when I’m talking to boys that I like. For these reasons I basically hate going outside for any reason unless I’m going to the movies.

    Needless to say, college ruined the uneasy existence that I had been perfecting all of my life. As I had said before, my roommates in my first year of college knew each other so, I felt like the awkward one in the room. Just like when I was younger, I was too nervous to go to the campus dining hall and the campus restaurant (the hub) because all I could think about was being surrounded by people and getting dirty looks because I was by myself. After about a week, I was convinced this was how the rest of college was going to be and I didn’t know why I ever thought it would be any different.

    I was lucky enough to meet my friend Amirah because of her outgoing and kind nature. Eventually I made more friends through her. However, my nerves made it hard for me to be open up with all of my friends so, I still feel nervous and alone around people that I know well. Not to mention I never made another friend on my own at my old school. Being nervous, quiet, awkward and monotone made other people think I thought I was “better than everyone else” and “snobby”. Also, I never talked in any of my classes and all of my teachers probably thought I was such a freak…or they didn’t and anxiety made me think that lol who knows!

    When I transferred to my new school I knew that it would be even more difficult. What were the chances of me getting an Amirah twice? Of course, I didn’t get another Amirah! At first I tried to step out of my comfort zone but, it usually went horribly. I then decided me and my laptop would be best friends and watched TV before all of my classes. I’m probably going to get a lot of slack for saying this but, I feel like I need to because a lot of people say “just join a black student union” or “you should’ve went to an HBCU”. Black kids are kind of cliquey. I’ve always been a “weird” “alternative” black kid so, they look at me like I’m a freak too. My high school was all black and I still had like five friends! Of course joining some kind of black group wasn’t really going to work for me! I went to free comic book day 2017 and there were people sitting in front of the comics (to monitor how many people took) looking super friendly. I almost cried and felt so nauseous that I didn’t get any of the free comics, bought something instead and left as soon as possible. Certain kinds of people don’t make me nervous, everyone makes me nervous. I could really want to talk to someone and just not do it purely out of fear.

    I think there are some perks to anxiety. I spend so much time being quiet and just watching people that when I do make friends they’re good people. I guess that’s how I got to still be friends with the same people I was friends with in high school. That’s probably a silver lining. Plus I think I’m pretty funny on the internet and I get every joke in Awkward Black Girl…that’s cool too.

    I guess I should probably make an appointment with a therapist but, that requires me having to call someone on the phone (yikes!) and risk them be rude to me (nope). I would probably rather die than do any of that so, here I am!






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