Just as before, I have taken a little slice of inspiration from something I read recently.
Now, normally I go to Buzzfeed exclusively to find ‘Recipes that will make you fall in love with kale’ or to look at pictures of Labradors or to test their claim that they can guess how many people I’ve slept with based on my taste in food (just how do they do it? uncanny).
Verrrry occasionally, however, Buzzfeed does produce an article that leaves me not only a little awestruck, but a little more confident, and a little less afraid. A while back, I read for the first time an article entitled 11 Things No One Tells You About Suffering From Depression In Your Twenties. Although I wouldn’t necessarily class myself as ‘having depression’ at this point in time, some of these 11 things really struck a chord and reminded me of recurring instances in my own life, particularly what the author calls the ‘fishbowl’:
‘Sometimes, I imagine depression to take the shape of a fishbowl surrounding you, especially when it’s mixed with the anxiety of social situations. Let’s say you’re having dinner with friends in a restaurant: You want to be present, but your head feels heavy and suddenly it’s like you’re looking at everyone else through a fishbowl. The social anxiety has caused a disconnection between you and everyone else.’
So, as I’m not really in the mood to write long accounts of how I’ve found myself wanting to cry at May Balls or Christmas parties, here is a little series of drawings based on the theme of the ‘fishbowl’ and the social anxiety that can be both its cause and its consequence.
This is not meant to be a guide (many people would certainly advise less booze-heavy remedies), but a story to show how the fishbowl can shut out rational thoughts and self confidence, but also to suggest that, no matter how bad the party, you are probably not alone.
Inevitably someone suggests playing a game. You just love organised fun.
You must be doing it wrong. Parties are supposed to be fun.
If you just hold on a little longer, a better voice might come along.