It’s 3am. Like the great Vampires of fiction, I have taken to sleeping during the day in spurts of rest. After midnight will find me walking the streets of this sleepy town listening to the radio. What is a busy and bustling small town during the day grows sleepy and quiet after the midnight hour. It is comforting to know most of the people that so scare me are asleep in their beds for another day and I am out of harm’s reach. I am given about ten hours of social respite every night. I am having a terrible rash of social anxiety lately. My father came over last night admonishing me for turning off my phone’s ringer and answering machine most of the time these days.
“What if we need to get you in an emergency?” He asked with a whining tone to his voice.
“It’s a two minute walk from your backdoor to mine,” I replied tersely and unremittingly.
“I just don’t understand this phobia with the phone. You exasperate me.”
My father talks almost constantly and excessively on his cell phone so he doesn’t understand my phone fears. He is such an overly social creature like some great actor on a stage and in his element. The endless chatter drives me crazy. I often have daydreams of throwing that cell phone upon the ground and stomping on it to create a welcomed silence. I find it a rude and an unruly little contraption.
I have been often asked to portray what I feel with social anxiety. It is this deep seated fear of all things social and human. A flourish of butterflies in your stomach is accompanied by a clammy feeling of the skin and this all pervasive feeling of fear and anxiety. The only cure is silence and solitude behind locked doors and within quiet rooms. Throw in the paranoia of schizophrenia and the constant perceived sounds of what sounds like car doors and backdoors shutting and you can see why my disease can drive me bat shiat crazy some days. The anxiety can sometimes well up to a boiling point for me and I will disappear into the woods for a hike or to go camping. Luckily, I haven’t done that much this year, but the option is always open and comforting.