Let me be weak, let me sleep
And dream of sheep
Kate Bush – And Dream Of Sheep
Fight or flight. I read that much of our anxiety fear comes from this primitive instinct deep within our ancestry. We fear things that are sometimes not important and this trigger is then set off due to circumstances and becomes out of control. Realising that there is no danger decreases fear and ends anxiety. Except it doesn’t.
I went out taking photos on Friday afternoon as it was sunny. It was a place I had been many times before. However there were lots of young students lying around sunbathing as it was the university gardens. Of course in England the sun only has to come out for about 5 minutes and the temperature exceed 20 C and people dress like they were in Barbados. I immediately became edgy and paranoid again. I heard laughing and see them looking at me. again, yet again. I imagine them mocking me. I weird lonely man taking pictures. Taking photos seems like such an innocent pastime and yet I always feel like I am being judged.
They say you get used to continued exposure because its not going to kill you. Bollocks! of course young girls are not going to beat me up or kill me. Just them taking the piss out of me makes me feel bad and avoidant. Yes, I know you think I am just paranoid and imagining it. But i did not imagine girls at work calling me a zombie,mental and treating me with disdain for 20 years did I? Telling their friends to avoid me as I was weird. ITS NOT ALL PARANOIA! if you act strange the majority of people treat you like a freak! When you sometimes then do try to talk and be friendly like all this advice advocates these people already have a negative opinion of you and treat you like a F**KING C**T! They ignore you and look at you like a C**T! ITS TOO LATE! That’s why so many people dont get better as they are stuck with the same people at work or school who hate them and wont let them socialise. Thats why your confidence does not improve. And of course you cant leave school and its hard enough to get a job at all if you are shy so you are stuck in a place full of people who hate you.
On Saturday I went to the riverside festival. Again I have been many times. I took a picture of the band on stage. Immediately some man who was with a crowd of people said “Oh, a fan!” and started posing in front of me like a twat. So I walked off. I think he had been drinking. Taking pictures isn’t simple. You immediately draw attention to yourself. Perhaps being a photographer is actually bad for anxiety.There were crowds of people, lots of stalls selling food and stuff. I hated it and went home to the TV again.
The point is I have been doing stuff like this for years and often using photography as an excuse to get out and its gotten far worse. Exposure has not helped. I hate crowds of people, being in crowds of people, being near people. Feel the fear and do it anyway has been of no help whatsoever but to increase my anxiety and avoidance. Just because I am in no real physical danger does not retrain my flight or fight response to feel calm. I barely ever have a good time or a good experience when out alone. I have never made conversation with strangers or felt part of a crowd. I come home angry and stressed out and sad,again. Forget the saying no pain, no gain. So far its been lots of pain and still no gain.
Its finally time to stop doing things I don’t like and ignore the advice. I will from now on try to go to remote places in the countryside and in the week when there are less people. I will not do things that make me feel worse in the vague hope that some strange magical happening might occur and change my life. It wont, it never has. I think if you are paranoid and anxiety ridden and to enjoy going to events like these you have to be with people you know well, friends and family and I have neither. Being alone in a crowd is as bad as being alone anywhere else, in fact it’s probably worse.