Waiting for a king

I sat on a wall waiting. “The king is coming!” somebody said. It doesn’t matter that he died 530 years ago and the coffin just contains some very old bones. Being part of a major event is quite exciting if you don’t do much. I don’t mind being part of a huge crowd if I am not noticeable and can blend in. The camera is as usual used as a device to hide behind, a raison d’être in much the same way as someone using their mobile phone when in a café. It was a strange week starting with a parade on Sunday, the reinterment of the body on Thursday and then fireworks on the Friday evening. Normally the travel would put me off going to such things but only being a 10 minute walk meant that it was easy for once. The atmosphere was good at all times even in the afternoon. People from all over the world including many Americans were just milling around looking happy. This in my own city and in a place I was well used to. In fact as my elderly mother passed ever closer to eternity I had often took solace in the cathedral, unnoticed and unknown, often the only person in there in the days before it would be the final resting place to a long lost king.


I wanted to queue to see the coffin, well I have nothing better to do and it’s not much different form walking down the canal for 4 hours yet again to pass time. The reason I did not was my SA and being alone. Standing in a long queue for 2-4 hours next to the same people would be too awkward. They might try witty banter with me and I would feel exposed as a weird loner with no social skills and no life with nothing interesting to talk about. Most of them for instance were in groups with friends and family. I heard on the local radio how so many strangers had made new friends and chatted away together like best mates as they waited. Of course being eternally awkward I would not do this. A nice volunteer lady was chatting to people on the day of the reinterment and asked me about my camera. I tried to answer her but that oh so familiar awkwardness awakened and I almost sighed and walked off. It’s the reaction on others faces that hurts so much when they realise that you are not quite normal but they still try and be polite but try to move off. Having no control of my voice, facial expressions and body language is so frustrating. Once my madness comes alive it’s unstoppable and the paranoia starts to eat away at my soul in a relentless attack of self doubt. It might as well be one of those dreams where you imagine everyone pointing and laughing at you and you just want to run away. I could have for instance easily have talked to the women who led the search for the king as she was just talking to the crowd in front of me after a TV interview but after that event the day before my awkwardness was still on high alert so despite a deep love of history and actually wanting to say something to her, I left.

Friday night was different as there were fireworks and 8000 fire bowls decorating the city centre. I had relaxed in a what the hell type of way by this time so had little anxiety but being all alone when most people are in groups is still somewhat off-putting and I wished I had my one true friend with me. I look a lot at meetup UK now but always put myself off with memories of so many things that can and did go wrong in the past. The SA paradox resurfaces again. You are supposed to get better by meeting new people but meeting people makes you more SA and often makes you feel disliked so you never recover in the first place. It also totally ignores the effects of depression which makes any social activity much harder. I thought I saw a girl I used to know from work, bizarrely the one that once called me a zombie and hard work to talk to. She was in group of people and I later found her on a local meet up group that attended the event. She was right of course, mentally ill people often come across as zombies and hard work, now with added depression it’s the main reason I don’t go to any meet up groups. Despite chronic loneliness, in reality people demand cheerfulness from strangers at such meets when I have none left.

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Author: klodo

I am male,English and have had social anxiety since I started school at 5 years of age. I like photography, walking, wildlife, history and moaning.........CONSTANTLY! Oh you must stop being so negative! Shut up!

5 thoughts on “Waiting for a king”

  1. Hi,

    I’ve been following your blog on and off for the last two years, roughly. I’ve meant to write to you many times, but either never quite got around to it or mustered together the right thoughts through the fog in my mind.

    Basically, I just wanted to say I can relate and empathise with the majority of what you write about. I, at times, suffer from severe depression and extreme social anxiety. I also lost my Mother late last year (the day before New Year’s Eve) after a five and a half year illness as a result of a major stroke in May 2009.

    My Father and sister are very unsupportive; despite having reasonable intelligence I’ve worked rubbish minimum wage jobs where I’ve been treated abysmally; and, with the exception of one amazing friend, all others have deserted despite me being there for them in their time of need and making the majority of effort/contact in the relationships.

    So, I hope you get to feel some happiness/contentment at some point – even if it’s fleeting, but hopefully longer – because you deserve it after all the shit you’ve been through. I know it’s incredibly difficult when you are in the midst of depression and social anxiety though. Anyway, if you want to chat at any time, I can send you my email address in a private message.

    Kind regards,

    CC

    1. Thanks for your reply. My blog is a complete mess just like my mind at times now but i read it helps to write down your feelings in a cathartic way. I almost forget that other people can read it. I have stopped drinking as much and attempted to eat healthier but then the reality of my failed life and how to succeed just makes me more depressed again.

      I also have one friend who I see every few months as they live in another city but its not enough. I try to post on the UK social anxiety forum but its mostly for younger people and I never feel like I fit in any more. Most of my posts are ignored so it makes me feel even worse. I am sorry to hear about your mother. Losing a parent is never easy. Thanks for the offer. I may need to chat to someone sometime soon.

  2. Hi,

    Sorry about the delay in replying.

    That’s ok – if, and when you want, send me a pm and we can chat via email.

    What do you think about the cricket? England were very poor at the World Cup. I wanted NZ to win against Australia in the final. The test in Antigua against WI looks to be finely balanced atm. KP deserves another chance I reckon. I played in the first match of the season for a local village team on Sunday. I didn’t play well, but it was good to get out playing again. I couldn’t even contemplate playing last season.

    The cutting down on alcohol and eating healthier will come again. I’ve never posted on SA forum before, but I’ve been on dating sites, taken the time to read a woman’s profile and write an introductory message with questions pertaining to their ‘about me’ summary, only to be ignored time and again. Also, often in the past on social media, I’ve posted funny or insightful comments (or so I think) only to get no likes or comments while somebody else will post something vapid and get lots of likes and comments. It’s all very disheartening!

    Anyway, talk soon

    CC

  3. This may seem stupid but how do you sand a PM on here? I cant even find your profile.

    Its good that you play for a village team. Nice weather at the moment too. Are you a batsmen, bowler or all rounder? England had a pretty good day today so should win now. However there are so many problems with the team at the moment it could take years to sort out. I am not looking forward to the Ashes much at the moment. In fact New Zealand might be too good for us. They were my favourite side in the world cup and I was pissed off when they got beat so easily in the final. I still cant believe it was less than 2 years ago that we beat Australia 3-0!

    Yes, I can underrated the being ignored on the net thing. I have struggled for year on all sorts of forums although I never used a dating site. I dont know how some people seem to get on so well on them. Its almost like banging your head against a wall. It made me feel that almost everyone is pretty judgmental deep down even if they dont admit it.

    Bye for now
    Kevin

    1. I’m not sure about the pm thing actually – it did cross my mind that it could be a potential problem. I’ll give you my email in slightly cryptic form here: 3rd, 8th, 9th letter of the alphabet dot then replace first 2 letters of brown with ch @hotmail.co.uk.

      I’m sort of an all-rounder, though it varies whether I bat or bowl more in a particular season. Changed my bowling to left-arm orthodox for this season. Just saw a news clip with Trott and Cook having been dismissed early in 2nd innings…not so good.

      Everybody is judgemental – just human nature. Can be for good purposes, as well as bad. What is needed is more understanding and compassion.

      Hopefully speak soon via email,

      CC

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