The sour taste of life

The world around sometimes looks perfect. People become the change they want to see. They can influence their lives. They find their calling. They have good relationships with each other and with themselves. They feel fear but their life is not guided by fear. You can see growth in their lives and you can observe fruiting seasons. They can somehow connect with the life-giving source of strength. Hope, love, and faith are present in their lives. They enjoy what life offers to them. They do not defend themselves against chances for a little pleasure. What is bad does not overwhelm them. Life is not beyond them. After a dark night, a new day always rises in their lives.

You observe such a world around you and you see one drawback. One small puzzle does not fit the whole beautiful jigsaw puzzle. Only it alone does not fit the rest. Yes. Unfortunately. This unmatched puzzle is you. And you start asking question what’s wrong with you? But you do not get unambiguous answers.

I defended myself for a long time before admitting this. And it was not that I wanted to play the role of victim here. I did not want to do that. But something that existed in my life has affected that I often did not fit beautiful jigsaw puzzles.

This year, I decided to arrange a meeting with a psychologist. There were many pulses. Meetings made me realize that I struggle with social anxiety for the greater part of my life.

I have always diminished this fear. It seemed to me that I should deal with this fear myself. I have often confused social anxiety with other emotions. I was irritated. I felt anger. Sometimes I froze for a while — staying dormant. And all the time I was blaming others or outside situations. The role of the victim suited me because realizing the truth is more painful than blaming the others.

With the help of realizing where social fear has led me to, fate has come.

I sing in the choir. I have belonged to this group for three years. In the beginning, we created a group of enthusiasts. Everyone wanted to sing. The first concerts were fantastic. No one had to take any qualifying exam before the concerts. We were adults and responsible. After a year, the ambitions were overcome with enthusiasm. It was mainly seen in the conductor, her daughter as an assistant and part of the band. The conductor did not say that something was going well. She focused on what went wrong. There were frequent comments on the lack of emissions in the voices. The criticism and lack of motivation influenced the team.

During this year, I moved away from my team a bit. I was depressed by the trials. I lacked encouragement. I felt intuitive, that the division began in the group. People began to blame themselves that the other is not as perfect as it should. It came to the fact that people began to criticize each other. They accused each other that one is not singing clean enough or has trouble with the emission of the voice. Of course, they did not say it directly, just behind their backs.

Returning to the topic. Twice recently, I felt in this group not matching the puzzle.

The first situation concerned the trip to Stockholm. When the proposal came, I immediately said that I could not go. I could not really imagine the flight by plane, leaving my daughter and all those thoughts that I could die. Paralyzing anxiety. I could not predict that all the others would agree to the trip. I thought that a few at least people will not fly for various other reasons and then I will be able to hide among them. Well, I could not.

I was the only person who could not take part in this trip. I understood clearly that I am different and it requires change. Anxiety can happen but I avoided effectively certain activities and it was hard to hide it now.

I tried to fight with myself. I did not go to rehearsals but I kept thinking that I would come back to the next one. The next rehersals was coming and I was not able to take part in it. I did not explain the whole my situation to the group. I did not want to do that.

The second situation happened a few days ago. One my friend from choir wrote a statement in our closed group. She wrote that she is leaving the choir because she is not able to achieve the executive level that is expected of her.

And do you know what was the majority of comments? We are sorry but good luck on the new road. I got annoyed. My friend was with us from the beginning. She graduated music school. She is 50 years old. She had major surgery to cut an aneurysm in the brain a few years ago. And the conductor and the group knew all about it. We also never agreed to be a professional choir. It seemed to me that the majority of them treated it as a hobby. Not everyone.

And what? Well, of course, my sense of justice has been touched. I wrote a comment that this is not good for the team when we allow our members to leave without trying to stop them. And then it happened. I heard that I should not have the right to speak because I did not treat the band properly. I replied that although they are right regarding my behavior but I have still right to defend our friend.

And I did one more thing. I also write a statement. For the first time in my life, I confessed to the group to which I belong that I am in the middle of therapy and try to heal myself from social anxiety. I stated that I did not want to admit it earlier, I delayed because I did not know how to say it to the whole group.

It was my coming out. Depressive personalities need it too. I felt lighter. Although I know that this confession will have consequences because some people do not like people with such problems.

I want to write, but this social anxiety also affects it. But pretending to be someone other than myself is not causing me to grow.

So there is some force in this statement that the truth will set you free. I understand this recommendation as an incentive to live in truth with myself. We must be honest with ourselves before we can be able, to be honest with others.

I hope that it will start my process of healing and I will be able to replace more often the sour taste of life with a sweet or spicy taste.