Anger & Anxiety
I’ve been arguing with myself for weeks about whether to write this entry or not. On one hand, I want to get it off my chest, but on the other hand, I don’t really feel like it. I guess I’ll write the damn thing and get it out of the way.
I lose my temper very easily. A lot of people have witnessed that. Some have found themselves the targets of my anger. Sometimes I get so mad that my vision blurs. I don’t know why I’m like this. I can make some guesses, but they are just guesses.
I’m a monster. I’m not above dragging people through the mud if they piss me off to a certain degree. I’ve really torn people down at times. I can be very vile, mean, hateful. But then, when the smoke clears, I’m angry with myself about the things I said while in a rage.
After losing my temper, I often feel a need to hide from people. The shame overwhelms me. Questions rotate in my head. Was my anger justified? Did I overreact? Did I take the issue more personally than I should have? More times than not, I decide that, no, my anger was not justified and, yes, I overreacted and took the issue too personally.
Which brings me to anxiety. Worse than my struggle with anger is my struggle with anxiety. I have a hard time looking people in the eye when I talk to them. My gaze automatically flicks from one corner of the room to another, to the ceiling, to the window, to the lamp on the table, and, of course, to the floor.
Some people take my difficulty to make eye contact as a sign of disrespect and get pissy with me. That usually results in me getting pissed at them, and then they’ll probably have eye contact with me.
I have other habits that people don’t seem to understand. When nervous or bored, I’m often touching my head or running my hands through my hair. I’ve been asked on a few occasions, “Do you have a headache?” No, as a matter of fact, I do not. I rarely ever have a headache, not even after a night of drinking.
At any gathering, I tend to pace back and forth from one end of the property to the other. Most of the time, I don’t realize I’m doing it until I’ve been doing it for a while. It’s pretty embarrassing, but I’m unable to stop myself for very long. I’m not sure why I do it, but I think it might be a combination of anxiety, Tourette’s and pure boredom.
When I go to a gathering, I go with the idea that I’m going to enjoy myself. But often I end up feeling like I’m not involved. This is largely due to the fact that I can’t hear a damn thing anyone is saying. Everyone is talking around me. I hear their voices clearly, but their words are gibberish.
I’ve been told that I need to start inserting myself. Into group conversations? Are you kidding me? Am I supposed to say, “Hey, what are you guys talking about?” and completely interrupt their brilliant exchange of words?
They might turn to me and try to explain, but they’ll likely have to repeat themselves several times and I still might not understand them. Then, after I’ve moved on, they might not be able to resume the conversation that they were apparently enjoying.
If everyone involved in a group conversation starts laughing, I might ask “What’s so funny?” Or if someone is passing around a cell phone, showing pictures, I might ask to see the pictures too. But I’m not going to insert myself into a conversation that’s being carried on by a number of people.
Although I’ve gotten better at being around people, sometimes I feel like I can’t deal with anyone. That I need to stay out of sight and be forgotten. This is usually when I find myself thinking about something I said or did that was stupid. It can take me a while to overcome that feeling and get to where I’m comfortable interacting with people again.
I wish I could be one of those dudes who is always mellow, confident, outgoing. But I’m not and I probably never will be.