Another horrible day. I pulled myself together by the afternoon, sat in my car, and drove up the hill for our soccer match with the boys. When I arrived there, an hour before the start, every single muscle in my body was in a cramp like concrete. I was trembling with fear. I was all alone on the field. I started walking up and down the pitch, thinking about my fears and if I could handle what would wait for me here.
I feel an enormous black hole in my head. Cosmic, ringing emptiness. I feel like I have nothing to do and no reason to get up. I don’t want to see or hear anybody. I am afraid of everything and everybody. My body is one big cramp from head to toe. I decided yesterday evening that I would ask for an extra appointment with my therapist because I felt I hit the deepest bottom. And unlike ever before, this time I can’t see the way out. I am just sinking deeper and deeper every day in my anxieties and fears. I don’t want to suffer through any more days helplessly.
Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder. I found the expression on Wikipedia accidentally yesterday evening while reading the mindfulness article. According to Wikipedia, social anxiety is an anxiety disorder characterized by a significant amount of fear in one or more social situations, causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. Reading about it was an epiphany to me. I realized that this is the very concept that describes my condition most accurately.
I am sitting in the office, and I am terrified. I had to play two 40-minute matches last evening. By the end, I was so exhausted that I could hardly move or say a word. After I got home, and I was having a long skype conversation with Alex, my heart started beating strangely. It made me dreadful. I could hardly fall asleep after that. I woke up depressed this morning. When I came to the office, my heart started giving strange beats again. It scared the shit out of me. It took me almost half an hour to calm down after the shock.
I am a textbook example of a perfectionist. And it sucks. Perfectionism is my obsession that grabs my throat every now and then.
I found some interesting contradictions about my behavior under pressure. I remember the times from my childhood when I played the accordion, and I had to play on every possible occasion and celebration in our village. Since there were not many children around who were playing on instruments, playing in an orchestra or a band were not possible. There was only me, playing in solo, sitting on a chair on the stage by myself, with my accordion in my hands. I often had to play in front of hundreds of people in the theater room of the town. I can still recall that anxious feeling that made my stomach turn, the heart palpitations, and the unbearable nervousness that accompanied me before the performances. I didn’t like it. I hated being on the stage all alone, and I was always terrified of it, sometimes more, sometimes less. I never admitted to myself for years how I felt about it, I just did it because I felt I had to. I considered it a challenge that I simply had to face over and over again.
I feel like I need a fresh start and a complete renewal from time to time, every few years, to feel a total freedom to start everything all over again. Just like what I have now. I experienced this after I came home from my university studies abroad, then a few years later when I quit my job and had a heart surgery because of my inborn heart arrhythmia. I could start everything all over, with a clean sheet. I had no goals, I had no plans, only wanted to solve the issue of my heart condition, then start a new life.