Being Alone in a Room Full of People

This is more than likely going to be all over the place, but this is me getting all my thoughts out. I think about this all the time and really wanted to talk about it, but since my thoughts are always a jumbled hot mess, this might be a hot mess as well.

Let’s get into it, I guess.

At the very beginning of this year, I got live cacti from Home Depot. It was only $6.98 (so if you want live cacti in a tiny pot, go to Home Depot), and I was so excited because it’s my first time taking care of something that’s actually alive and completely my own. Anyway, when we were walking out of Home Depot, my grandmother said, “Now you have someone to talk to.”

I know she was kidding, but it got me thinking: she was right. I can be in a room full of people, with or without my friends, and still find the company of a plant I named Pax easier than the company of actual human beings.

This kind of goes along with the post I put on Instagram:

I’ll be in a room full of people, some of whom I know, but I’ll be so scared to speak that I’ll watch everything around me and engulf myself in a feeling of loneliness. Does that make the slightest sense?

Like, I’ll get invited to a party. I’ll say the usual, “Hi, how are you?” Then I’ll walk into another room or something, and it quickly turns into a round of accidental people watching. Initially, it’s me staring at something on a wall or an interesting object, but with people constantly walking in my line of sight, it looks like I’m people watching.

Another example: I’m in an organization on campus with seventy-six other people, and though I have friends in that organization, I always feel alone in the meetings. It doesn’t help that I sit in the back corner because I get claustrophobic very easily (and the room is really tiny; tiny room + 76 people = no bueno). Being the only black person who consistently shows up to meetings (there’s another guy, but he hardly shows up) doesn’t help either. Also, everyone in the organization has similar, if the not the same, major as at least two other people; I’m the only interior architecture major, which they quickly associate with an art major (which is very incorrect). One day as I was leaving a meeting, I literally heard a girl say I was like a shadow; I don’t think I was meant to hear that, but I did. It kind of hurt my feelings.

For me, this is what it’s like feeling alone with multiple people around me, such as in the previous examples:

The urge to cry is very intense. Like, I’m always teary-eyed and constantly staring to prevent any tears from falling. I feel completely numb to my surroundings and space out. By space out, I mean I get stuck in my head at an insane depth, if that makes sense. Sometimes I get scared someone will approach me about my lack of conversing or constant staring or anything related to our surroundings, and I literally want to throw up. I get so sick to my stomach with nerves that the feeling of vomiting is overwhelming, which makes me want to cry even more because I hate being sick. My stomach twists and turns and churns, and soon, it starts to make whale-like noises, which sometimes draws attention my way; I absolutely hate attention, especially in those situations. I want to disappear so flipping bad. Not die, just disappear. Like, I want a giant hand to pick me up and take me out of the room and put in a place where I’m comfortable and less sorrowful.

I have intense social anxiety. It’s really bad, and I often wish it would just go away. You can’t see it, but I’m currently shaking my head at myself right now just thinking about all those times my social anxiety got the best of me.

Social anxiety isn’t something that can be cured overnight, but I am definitely working on keeping it under control (at least more controlled than it was towards the end of last year). Maybe it’ll help when I start to feel alone around others.

Julia Michaels just released her Inner Monologue Part 1 EP, which is so freaking amazing (you need to listen to it), and the first song is titled “Anxiety (with Selena Gomez)“. This song is absolute perfection and perfectly describes me; I intensely relate to this song (I don’t even know if that is a grammatically correct sentence, but let’s just go with it).

I hope any of this made sense and wasn’t complete gibberish. This is me writing out my thoughts to kind of help clear my mind temporarily.

Do you ever feel alone in a room full of people? If so, I would love to hear about it.

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