I’m in college but I seemed to have skipped the party stage. I go out for the sole purpose of wanting to be included. It’s like I have FOMO over things I have no interest in participating in. I don’t drink because the thought of it makes me anxious. Party crowds also make me panic. Overall, it’s just not fun for me, but I want it to be fun. I want to have a normal college experience. When I’m alone in my dorm on a Saturday night, my anxiety tells me that I should go out and enjoy those things.
My anxiety causes me to wrestle between having a terrible time at a party and staying in and feeling terrible about myself.
So every once in a while, I end up going to a party but my anxiety is always my plus one. My anxiety causes me to shut down and my heart begins to race. All the people around me make me feel trapped and the loud noise makes my ears ring. My hands start to tremble and suddenly I’m holding back a panic attack.
From the outsider’s point of view, you’ll see me with my arms crossed standing very uncomfortably. I awkwardly cling to my group of friends and do not talk to new people. If you say something to me, you’re going to have to yell a little louder because the ringing in my ears is making more deaf than I already am (and I’m already half deaf). Suddenly, I’ll randomly slip away for a while.
I want you to know I want to go out, but my anxiety doesn’t let me enjoy it. Some nights are worse than others, and some nights I feel more comfortable than others. I want to have fun but my anxiety makes it very difficult for me.
To my friends: thanks for including me all that you could. I wish I could be with you for all of the memories because I hate being left out. I know you don’t always understand me, but you have always respected me. I am so grateful for that.