Yes it’s the middle of the night, yes I’m awake and analysing myself. Some things never change.
It’s a year since I had my first panic attack. I saw a photo of myself taken at the event before the attack happened. I’m smiling and look normal but on closer inspection my hands are clenched and I don’t look at all relaxed. It just proves to me that quite often I’m hiding behind a smile.
Something similar happened the other day. I went to something that I love doing but when I asked a question previously I felt stupid. Now I’m sure it wasn’t done on purpose but I felt like a child in front of a room full of people. It wasn’t by the answer I received but by the way it was said. I was in two minds whether to go back or not but it’s something I enjoy and I didn’t want to cut my nose off to spite my face – which I would have normally done. So there I was behind my invisible wall, there but not there if you know what I mean. The rest of the group were all laughing, talking and having a great time. I was there and I enjoyed what I did but I didn’t speak to anyone. Not one word the whole time. Does that make me weird? Don’t answer that, I know the answer.
I’ve realised this is not the first time the invisible wall has been there and it’s certainly one of the reasons why people think I’m rude it stuck-up. At the moment I can’t help it, it’s certainly easier then having a panic attack. I feel self-contained instead of vulnerable. It’s like I can choose what emotions I let in rather than the overwhelming feeling of panic where faces almost seem to loom over me and everything is amplified.
I’m not sure if any of this makes sense but it’s the way I am at the moment and in a way it’s a nice place to be, just me behind my invisible wall. There but not really there.