I got on the train quickly just thankful to get a seat. First my bus to the station was 10 minutes late meaning I had missed my train by about 1 minute. Then after 1 hour of loitering around the station with heavy luggage looking for working toilets my next train was 15 minutes late increasing my anxiety and annoyance even further. Why on earth are UK trains so unpunctual, expensive and generally crappy? You would never believe they the railways were invented here!
I sat at a table seat as it was the first one I found unreserved and had to take the aisle as someone was sitting on the opposite side against the window. I was facing the wrong way as all the seats in front were facing me so I had to avoid eye contact for the hour journey home. Even worse four of them were young women; probably students form some local university. Of course that makes me even more uncomfortable as I feel like a dirty perv if I so much as even look in their general direction.
However on the next table there was another man similar age to me. Unlike me he was very talkative and immediately started chatting to a young woman opposite him like she was a friend. He even asked her to help him with some computer problem and got his laptop out to show her. Rather than be uncomfortable herself the girl was polite, friendly and keen to help him or that was the way it seemed. Oh to have the confidence of someone like him. To just be able to talk to complete strangers and put them at ease. Although I know its negative I just know that if I tried talking to a stranger like that as some CBT therapy wants you to do I would get a stroppy, aggressive and nasty girl who would probably tell me to F**k off. It’s easy to be this negative when so little positive has happened in the past. In fact it’s not just easy, it’s normal and natural.
I survived the holiday which I mentioned in my previous post and I’ll probably post more about that later. However my biggest disappointment was that when I often forced myself to try and make chat it was harder than expected. It was not because of the other people who were good and nice or even not knowing what to talk about. It was my voice. It brought back the memories of my youth and the problems that I had. My voice became weak, I struggled to be heard. It’s more than that though, it’s as if my jaw aches and I physically struggle to make conversation for long and it really knocks my confidence which makes me more avoidant. Even my head hurts. It must be because of anxiety as it is not a problem with people I know although I have always struggled to be heard when there is any other background noise. I would sometimes love to have the deep voice of a famous actor. Carson from Downton Abbey has just come on the TV. He has a great voice. Little things like this all add up.