I know I’ve talked about it before, but I’m going to do it again, because, today, I had a sudden surge of pride in myself. Normally, pride is a bad thing. Or so I assume. It has to be one of the deadly sins for a reason. But considering what I’m prideful of, I allowed myself this sin.
I was thinking today, again, about how far I’ve come in my journey to leave behind social anxiety. Yeah, I have some bad days, and when I do, they’re bad, bad days, but, in general, this past year has been crazy successful. I tend to get swept up in concentrating on the bad days, because I want so badly to improve myself. A day-to-day improvement is what I aim for in life, so when I fall back on something so dramatically (as in wanting to run out of a room after trying to talk), it’s like a giant, gross, smelly fish from some sketchy market has hit me in the face… and then proceeded to come back as a zombie merely to point its smelly fin at me and laugh. (Zombies can laugh! Fish can laugh! Zombie fish can laugh!)
But then I have other days, which have started to outnumber the smelly fish days. I have days where I am able to go out to a bar, drink, talk, laugh, and not have to excuse myself every few minutes so I can recollect my emotions so I don’t completely fall apart. I’m able to have days where I can completely casually hang out with someone I met at a party once for a few hours and be mostly at ease. I’m able to have days where I’m able to take charge of these choir meetings to keep people on track and leave having accomplished something. I’m able to have days where I can talk to people in my classes at length about completely random things.
I’m able to actually be myself without worrying.
And, god, it feels great when I have those days. The reason I’m able to not give up is because I keep having those days. As I said, I still have a lot of progress to make, I think, but, really, if you told me a year ago that I would be enjoying happy hour with people or running a choir or having actual conversations with people in my classes, I would have said, “You’re fucking nuts.”
But, yo, here I am.
Part of it is that I do little mental check-ups on myself whenever I put myself in situations that I know will be stress-inducing. I take a moment to acknowledge, “Yupp. This is terrifying.” But then I remind myself, “Calm. You’re okay. Things are great.”
A major part of it is I’m getting happier with who I am. That’s a big step, being content with who you are. I mentioned before that I’m constantly trying to improve myself, but that’s mostly in regards to health or my social anxiety or school work. As a whole, I think I’m a pretty okay person. I’ve embraced my nerd. I’ve embraced that I like to study and understand people. I’ve embraced that I’m always just going to be different that the majority of the population because I see animals as beings who don’t deserve to be tortured for my food.
I’ve embraced myself.
And, honestly, if the therapists had just told me that, this process would have gone so much more smoothly. But I got to where I am, this past year, with the help of friends, more than anything, because they let me be myself. And it feels good to be where I am, man.