The Me I Don’t Like, As Much (Redux)

This post was originally shared on Brother Jon’s Page, nearly two years ago. It’s nice to go back every so often and reflect on how our lives have changed, even in just a span of two years. Things are getting better, everyday. I believe daily reflection is important for us all. In the past we can find many, many things for us to learn from. But, it is also important for us to not get stuck in the past. Author John Green once wrote* “Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia.” Nostalgia, by definition, is a longing for the past. This quote turns it around and helps show the importance of looking forward in our lives. Or, you can just ask what Dory would do. Just Keep Swimming.

For many years I’ve considered myself a sufferer of Social Anxiety Disorder. I’ve never went to the doctor to corroborate this, but I did Google and Web MD the crap out of myself a few years back. I talked to a few friends about it, who agreed that I had a problem but most told me to just “get over it”. Looking back they were actually more right than wrong, I just didn’t appreciate the way they went about it. I did/do have a problem. Some call it shyness, quietness or insecurity. There’s a little bit of each in there. I’ve developed some other poor qualities that stem from this, as well as some good ones.

Shy Mini

Shy Mini

Probably the worst thing that my “problem” brought about was alcoholism. I used it as a coping mechanism, a crutch and a way to forget. I started out thinking hey, if I have a couple of drinks I can act “normal”. I did act “normal”, according to some hypothetical standards I made up. I was hip, witty, fun, talkative, charming and at times even loud. I’ve come to realize that this wasn’t necessarily because of the alcohol. It came about because I was more comfortable – because I felt relaxed. There are several people I act this way around without any form of mind altering substance at all. So, those of you that know me, watch out if I ever get totally comfy around you. My actions and behavior could Blow. Your. Mind. I’m sure you already know this though. Bits and pieces surface from time to time.

See. I still kept my eyes on the road though.

See. I still kept my eyes on the road though.

I also got/get bullied a lot because of my social awkwardness. This has brought about a sort of “defense” within me. I like to look at trivia and pop culture type of stuff. If I get uncomfortable, or feel the need to put someone in their place, I will lay out some deep facts on their rear ends. I will correct someone if they are wrong. Most of the time I sound like a jerk when I’m doing it. I don’t mean to, but stuff happens. Also, I will pop out some mundane knowledge about killer beavers or something like that, to maybe take the focus off of me. If they’re thinking about that, they’re not thinking about me. Unless, of course, they’re thinking where in the heck did he find that info?

This is me looking very condescendingly to whoever was about to mess with mom and me.

This is me looking very condescendingly to whoever was about to mess with mom and me.

Sometimes if I’m in a room, large or small and things are going crazy (which for me means it’s a little bit louder than usual) I will shut down and not add anything to the situation, unless I’m asked a question. I turn into a people watcher. This isn’t too bad, but it does make me look kind of creepy from time to time. The good thing about this is I’ve turned into a good listener. I can listen the stuffing out of any person or situation. You have a story, my ears are open. Got a joke? I’m all hears. Want someone to talk to on the phone? Don’t call me, unless you need to unload a couple of hours worth of anecdotes. Just ask my grandparents. I don’t even know how to talk on the phone with them, like a normal human being.

Now I can do stuff like this.

Now I can do stuff like this.

Things are getting noticeably better though. Being a member of both the Jaycees and the LDS Church have really helped me. I’m more open, and a bit closer to that smart, fun, witty, charming young man I was while on a bender. Only now I can do it with a well cooked meal, and trust me, I have a lot of those these days.

What aspects of yourself can you see good and bad in? 

*I believe he took this quote from his now wife, on their first date, and used it in one of his books.

9 thoughts on “The Me I Don’t Like, As Much (Redux)

  1. This breaks my heart a little ’cause I’ve been there. (…am still there)
    You’d never guess it because I’ve learned to cloak it.
    I get really uncomfortable around almost everyone except friends. Yet I still manage to be friendly. & Forget asking me to make a phone call…
    It’s bad.

    I’m glad you are overcoming this. I’m really proud of you for staying sober and finding the right fit for you. You’re a positive role model & I’m sure many around you see or will see that growth & take notes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Daydreams! All is good. I’m actually much better now than what I was when I originally wrote this. For me, personal phone calls are so-so. Business phone calls don’t bother me for some reason, like something switches “on” when it counts. If I have to call someone I don’t know for the first time, and it’s not for business….might as well just lock myself in the bathroom.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can tell you’ve come a long way. I’m familiar with the “switching on” something in you. I’m able to do it sometimes & other time anxiety will take over.
        When I first became a mother this lessened dramatically because it simply had to. I have to be around strangers & make phone calls all the time now with school & doctor’s appointments, etc.

        I guess somehow it’s just a manner of channeling that anxiety somewhere. It may never go away 100% but we’re walking proof it can be done, right?


  2. Hi. After 35 years of anxiety, I finally went to a doctor. My drinking led to hospitalization. I quit and then started again. I told my doctor straight up that without something, my anxiety would probably kill me. I’m finally on a medicine regimen that seems to be helping. I no longer want to jump out of my skin and the urge to drink has become more rare. Like you, a crowd makes me nervous, and that is putting it mildly.

    I’m glad you have made strides with your anxiety. Living like that is no way to live.


    • Thank Jaded. I think the most important thing for me is to look back at the times that I was nervous and remember that I’m still here. Nothing bad happened, no one laughed at me (hopefully with me) and everything will be okay next time.

      As for help, I’ve started drinking different herbal teas to see if that makes a difference, and I’ve cut back on my soda/caffeine intake.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Matticus Kingdom and commented:

    Hop on over to Stories That Must Not Die to lend some support to (Don) BroJo this weekend.
    And, if you have a story that you’d like to share on STMND, please send it along to storiesthatmustnotdie at gmail dot com, or you can email me directly at djmatticus at yahoo dot com. We’d love to hear from you. We’d love to feature you in this wonderful community.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Once we get the help and encouragement we need, it’s amazing how much we can grow, isn’t it? Congratulations to you on coming so far on your journey, and on being there to help the other folks on the same road.


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