When I was six I ran out screaming from kindergarten because the cubbies were red. They weren’t supposed to be red damnit they were supposed to be blue and orange not red. I had asked my mom about the colors of the cubbies before going and she had told me they’d be blue and orange.
My mom thought I had social anxiety and was scared of kindergarten. Really I was freaked out about the colors of cubbies. SHE HAD LIED TO ME
Several years ago I was in New York with family and they wanted to stop for something to eat. They wanted to stop at a random place to eat. I hated the idea, because I had never been to that restaurant before. What if was noisy? What sort of wallpaper did the place have? What temp was the AC set at? I protested and protested until they gave up on the idea. My excuses were full of lies, I claimed to not be hungry (I was starving), I claimed to be ready to return home, I claimed that the place would be too costly and we should just go to Mcdonalds (some place I was familiar with)
That night I cried. It was silly, but I felt like a shitty person for ruining everyone’s experience. I was 18, I should have been capable of handling a new restaurant but the idea of it sent me into a huge panic wave of anxiety.
My life has been defined by my inability to overcome to my anxieties. I worry constantly. I worry about the future, I worry about messing up, I worry about a thousand things going wrong.
My worry becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I worry about things, which leads to stress, which leads to me messing up my life.
I’d give anything to just be able to exist. To live in the moment, to just be me. But my brain worries on a constant basis. My brain is terrified by every new experience and every little change.
I’m a human forever dreaming of having adventures but trapped by inability to desire or even cope with the simplest of changes. I love a lot of my autistic traits; my ability to focus, my insane drive, my special interests, my obsession with details; but the one trait at the top of the list I could do without; my constant desire for routine.
A part of me hates travel. The new experiences they are all terrible to a part of my brain. It takes plunging in to for me to go.
I waited until the last minute to decide to go to Valiocon because a part of me was terrified of going. Not over the normal things that make people anxious. Not over the social aspects, the meeting people, or getting an uber to the hotel. These are normal stressors for people with anxiety issues. Not me, I worried about the layout of the hotel and whether the badges would have a decent font. If the layout of the hotel had been "wrong", I wouldn’t have slept the first night.
This sounds a lot like OCD, it is definitely similar in nature, but different. I lack the compulsive element that defines OCD people. Once a change happens I’m quiet accepting of it, often immediately. I have no neuorological tick that forces me to do something in a specific way, I just prefer doing it the same way. I can adjust but i comes with resistence. It took me a day to adjust to the red cubbies. It took me about a day to adjust to problems in the design of the hotel.
Some people have advised me before that I should be more accepting of my traits. They say that there is nothing wrong with being routine oriented. Plenty of people live their lives in the same routines, for forever.
I don’t want to die an 80 year old that has lived in same apartment for 40 year, goes to the same place to eat and eats the same thing 3 meals a day, has never married, never traveled. I don’t want to become that person. That isn’t who I feel I am meant to be, but it seems like it is a destiny constantly creeping up on me with every passing year.
I hate the prospect of a life lived in routine more than anything else. People think they are comforting me when they say how I lived my life is fine, but they aren’t. I fucking hate the part of myself that has lead me to stay at home for 25 years. I don’t accept it as okay. It is not okay. I have ruined and wasted a good decade of my life letting routine kill me. I must become more. I will not become defined by my neurology. I will move beyond it, I will evolve beyond, I will become more.
I couldn’t get over my anxiety today and make a passport appointment. I couldn’t get over how much I hated the idea of travel. I don’t want to go someplace new, but I desperately want to be a person that explores places and goes on new adventures. I avoided making the appointment because if I have the passport in hand then I will feel the obligation to go. Right now anytime part of me gets the urge to go on an adventure I can say "but I don’t have my passport", and I don’t have to fight the "routine monster".
I want so bad to have adventures, to live a fuller life, but I also want to stay in my zone of comfort so bad. I have all this anxiety that if I had the passport I wouldn’t use it and would disappoint myself.
I spent most of today spiraling into this self-hating anxiety filled cycle. I spent a few hours just curled into a ball on my bed hoping for everything to go away. I got so little done. Nothing done for the most part.
All because I was worried about getting a damn passport. Just get the damn passport K. Get the damn passport.
I’m terrified so much of new experiences, so much I wont even let myself get the opportunity to have adventures.
Also I was worried about the layout of the passport acceptance facility. What if it has weird angles. Weird angles are the worst.