Diary Page 46
August 8, 2003 - Sometimes when people give me advice I feel mentally paralyzed. I have to be in the right frame of mind to receive advice. Otherwise, I will file it away somewhere in my brain but I feel inferior. Some people just love giving advice. I am not one of those people and I wouldn't know how to be one of those people. Other people have good timing and give advice at the right moment. I am not one of those people either, although I wish I could be.

Hmm, I think I am a simple person. I prefer things to be straightforward and specific. I like instructions. But I only like to be given instructions once. If I don't ask for the instructions again, I would rather not have them repeated. Because I don't really like redundancy. In fact, I really can't stand redundancy. I don't like having to have things repeated and I really don't like repeating myself. I can't help but feel like you weren't listening the first time.

Here is something else that annoys me. I bring this up only because I have encountered it recently, and not because I am in a complaining mood. I don't like too much emotional expression. I wish that people could try keeping some of their emotional reactions to themselves. For example, annoyance. That is just the kind of emotional reaction that I try very hard to keep to myself (thankfully I have a diary). But other people do not try as hard. Now positive emotional reactions don't bother me. Like excitement, or giddiness or glee. But anything that is critical or negative, I wish people could try harder to keep it to themselves. Here is an example (not something that has happened to me): Suppose I'm at a store and I am trying to choose something to buy. I am trying to make a decision. If you are with me and you are impatient, then I suggest you walk around and occupy yourself. Because nobody likes to feel pressured. This is a lesson I have had to learn for myself, because I hate shopping and can become annoyed when shopping with my mother. But I don't like it when people become annoyed with me. So I have to follow the golden rule and try harder with her. She doesn't become as anxious or upset under pressure as I do. But still.

Lately it has taken a lot of effort to write in this diary and I don't like that. I don't really understand why. I just feel very strongly that I have nothing to say. Right now I am in the mood for absorbing information, and not in the mood for disseminating it. Is it truly possible to have nothing to say? Like at this very moment, I have absolutely nothing on my mind. Other than the fact that I have nothing on my mind. Well, I guess that's saying something.   

August 24, 2003 - I am feeling pretty good today. I am happy because I wrote my first two songs! I don't think of myself as a songwriter and I'm not claiming that they are particularly good songs, but they are MY songs. I am just a writer and I can not resist the urge to write, whether it be a poem, or song lyrics, or a journal entry, or a short story, or a play or an article. I love writing. To be honest, I've tried to write songs before, many times. When I worked for the IRS I used to do it all the time when I was bored. I would write rather feverishly. But never entire songs, including verses, chorus and bridge. All of my life I've had songs in my head and I can often be caught singing them to myself, in the shower, in the car, in my bedroom. But I've never really tried to just write one before. I've written down a few lyrics here and there that I couldn't get out of my head, but I never had the patience to finish writing.

But the other day, I was in a musical mood because I have been dancing a lot lately. And it was the right time for me to write a song. I've never been in love, or had my heart broken or anything like that. I've had intense emotions and experiences before, and strange ideas, but I usually put them into poems if I write about them at all. But I wanted to write a song, and I remembered that for months I was very lonely. It was as intense for me as being in love or being in mourning. It was a pervasive feeling that defined my existence. So, I wrote a song about it! I don't know if it is a gloomy song, especially since I am not lonely now. The song is about the way I felt when I was lonely and also my wish at the time to find escape. It's a slow song. I wrote all the lyrics and then I used my mother's cell phone to record myself singing it so I would not forget the melody. Okay, maybe I have not written a song, because I am not at all sure about the music. But I have written the lyrics, although they are subject to change.

So last night I was very giddy over this accomplishment. When I turned off the light to go to bed, some lyrics popped into my head, for a new song. I tried to make them go away so I could go to sleep, but I just had to get up and write them down. After I wrote them down I knew I couldn't stop until I had written lyrics for the entire song. This one is a fast song and it isn't about loneliness at all. It's the song version of a movie idea I have had for a long time, a movie I often act out when no one is around. Anyway, I've been singing this song to myself all day, and tweaking it. I love it. IT'S MINE!

September 9, 2003 - Lately my mother has been sharing some scriptures with me trying to get me to go back to the meetings. Well today I guess I finally lost it. I can't explain this anymore. Not to my mother, or my father or my grandmother or my brother or my aunt or my friends or anyone. That's IT. I'm frustrated. How many times have I explained this illness and explained in detail what I go through and how it effects me? I've shared not only my experience but those of others who have social anxiety disorder. I don't try to hide it, I WANT my loved ones to try to understand what this is all about. But my mother and my aunt keep telling me that I need to pray, and "really want it". And here's the classic one: "If you can do <insert activity I engage in very rarely>, then you should be able to <insert activity they think I should be able to do>". My grandmother says that if I really wanted to go to the meetings I would, so I must not want to. Even my father, who generally says very little, has told me "You have to just try". OH REALLY? It's not a matter of trying anymore. I CANNOT DO IT. My mother has fibromyalgia and she is constantly sending me emails and giving me literature so I can understand it. So today I asked my mother if she could jump rope for one minute. Of course not. We have a jump rope right here in the house, and most people on the planet can jump rope, even if it's "only" 30 seconds. But it doesn't matter. She can't do it even if she "tried" really really hard and really wanted to.

It isn't a simple matter of "trying". I am so far away from being able to go to even ONE meeting, which I realized after I tried going to the convention. As far away as Christopher Reeve is from being able to walk. As far away as a 4'2" 500 lb person who needs to be at a healthy weight. THAT far. When I think about going to the meetings, it is as if there is a huge gulf separating me. I would like to be able to go to my meetings. I cannot do it right now. I have had no therapy or medication for social anxiety disorder (not yet), so even to expect me to be able to sit in a room with a hundred other people for an hour is crazy right now. Yesterday I went to a new doctor to see about getting into a new program, and while I sat in the waiting room I wished for a hole to open up and swallow me. People kept walking around me, and I just wished they would go away. I couldn't wait to get out of that room. A woman came in and sat next to me and smiled at me and I couldn't get the muscles to work in order to smile back. And I always used to be able to smile back. I CAN'T EVEN SMILE AT PEOPLE.

Everyone has a notion of "personal space". That area surrounding us that we like to keep free of other people and when they get too close, we are uncomfortable. Only good friends and family are allowed to breach it, to hug us or kiss us or something like that. Well my personal space takes up about 500 miles!
A lot to think about..Diary Page 47