I had a good sleep last night.
Surprisingly so considering what happened just a few short hours before that.
I went to an album launch….which is part and parcel of my job really…nothing out of the ordinary… in fact during my days as an out and out journalist for a certain “scandal” magazine, I was at a function 4/5 evening a week. I knew the scene, I knew the people.
But last night… it was different.
First, more on the History lesson….
When it comes to going out, one of my worst fears is when an invite includes a partner, or a plus one. Its not about finding a “date”…its about knowing im not alone….which I almost always am.
Two years ago, there was someone I used to bring with me to functions for a few months at least, and the evenings always became about the drama between us, and the repercussions lasted for days.
Eventually, when things became so bad, I shut myself off from the world. I stopped going out, and didn’t go anywhere… even to my friends functions… if I did, it was a guest appearance.
Over the last two years, I’ve become so much happier….at the expense of a social life…
If I want to go out, say to a movie… I got to the late show, when I am the ONLY one in the cinema. (Irritation sets in if there is even just one other person in the cinema)
If I go CD/DVD shopping, I always pretend I’m talking on my cell phone so that no assistant will come and ask me if they can help…..in fact… I will create an elaborate discussion with myself on the phone…complete with making up names, and storylines as I go on with the conversation.
As I say, I’m happier, I really am, I’m not the moody, miserable git I used to be. And the simple reasoning for this, is I avoid people…people who disappoint, hurt and irate me. Is this my fear about meeting new people?
Maybe it’s a safety mechanism I have build up….but you know what…it works.
For years now, I have not gone out to social functions. I’ve made excuses, I’ve ignored invites and I’ve simply just avoided putting myself in those situations.
Then, over the last 2 or 3 months, I’ve felt myself somewhat motivated. My creativity and drive has returned (as evident by my plethora of blogs), I’ve started becoming my own person again, daring to be different, dressing like I used to, feeling good dammit.
I know the exact reason behind all that, I know exactly what’s been motivating me. This time I’ve been smart enough to know how to deal with it.
Then last night…..
I decided, last minute, to venture out into the big bad world again, I felt ready to be myself again. I had my concerns, but I really felt I was ok to be around new people….
The function for all intensive purposes was well organized, well attended and pleasant (I’m sure). I however, am not one to stick out in a crowd. I am jut naturally someone who draws attention, whether it be my look or my vibe (only you can answer that), which makes it impossible for me to become inconspicuous.
At the function, I immediately noticed heads turning and looking at me (I blame my new awesome curly moustache for that though), and already panic was setting in.
Saying my hellos to people I knew, I quickly made my way outside for air. Only to be followed by a stranger who clearly was up for conversation…
He opened up with the ironic words of “you look lost buddy”…..
I made the rookie mistake of talking back to him.
Then he engaged in a conversation all about his career and electronics store.
As the crowd began to fill up, I began panicking even more.
I ordered an orange juice at the bar, and the bartender in his condescending tone, look down on me and said “really?, I don’t think we have”, and then proceeded to list the juices they do actually have once I realized I was serious.
“Idiots! They all idiots!” is what I kept thinking to myself….arrogant I know… but lets be honest…most of that crowd was. With some notable exceptions – who know who they are.
I couldn’t stand still…I walked up and down….eventually…after about an hour… I cracked… I had to leave…the function hadn’t even started yet, but I just couldn’t anymore.
I snuck out and left. (I won’t even go into detail about my parking ticket irritation that followed.)
Why did I put myself in that situation?
I know why, and I would do it again and again for that exact reason…because for this reason, I would try to become a better person without question.
I prefer my hermit life…it makes me happier… lonelier …but happier.
Thanks for reading…but now I have to get back to my research on social disorders, Agoraphobia and Panic Disorders.
oh and also…about that movie premiere on Wednesday night…(plus finding a plus 1 is going to be fun).