I’m an antsy person. I’m the man who can’t sit still, the guy shifting often in his seat. I pace. I chew my nails.
There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s a condition, and it will not affect our friendship. This is my vulnerability.
As a teenager, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder coupled with depression. I didn’t have a complete grasp on the diagnosis, as I tended to sleep as often as I could, even in class. I was able to stay focused, so it wasn’t a deficit of attentiveness. But I was—and am—a nervous person.
Crowds bother me. I enjoy the company of people, especially that of friends, but being in the middle of mash-up of people almost makes me paranoid. If I’m walking in a crowded mall, however, it doesn’t bother me as much. Maybe it’s not the crowds, but the disorderliness of crowds.
If I’m in a long line, I almost forget everyone behind me, and everyone in front of me is an anonymous mess of bed-heads and neck pimples. If I’m working a job behind a counter, and there is a huge line of customers, it doesn’t bother me. Maybe it’s because I know my place … my role.
Idle time is nerve-racking time. I was grounded a lot as a teen, but I’d keep myself busy organizing my baseball cards, sorting my comics, arranging my cassettes, amidst breaks to shoot pool. Even now, if I have long tasks, I need my breaks. I need my walk around the block. I need time away from time doing time-consuming things. If I don’t, you’ll see me drumming on table-tops with my fingers.
Can’t you just sit still? my dad would condescend.
And he knew my diagnosis. Heck, he’s the one that took me to the counselor, to get treatment and medication. And if my own dad would have impatience in dealing with me, you could imagine how I feel about every other person that might catch wind of this unconscious behavior. I know I’m nervous, but I try not to show it. But sometimes it shows without me realizing it’s visible.
So, I’m being vulnerable … which makes me a little nervous. If it looks like I have a full bladder and could barely contain myself, please realize that I might just be a little anxious.
I’m coping with it. Just know that I was born that way and we’ll play along just fine.
– Originally published at: http://goodmenproject.com