Monday, April 25, 2011

Self Diagnosis: Uncomfortable, But Necessary

I’ve always been able to communicate better with the written word. Paper, pencils, pens, typewriter keys and now computer keys have always been my friends. And music is my friend; especially songs with uplifting lyrics. And movies on DVD and Blu-ray are my friends. But when it comes to people, it’s like I want to socialize but the thought of socializing brings on anxiety. I’d like to make a new friend or two, but the thought of those unfamiliar to me coming into my space brings on discomfort. It’s like I’m thinkin’ come and stay away from me at the same time. Sounds weird, I know. But this is how I am, been that way for a long time and it’s what I do not like about myself.

This isolation mentality is not normal. A little while back I finally asked God, “What is wrong with me?” It may have been a few weeks after that I came across an article about Avoidant Personality Disorder. I read it and I said, “My goodness, that’s me. Some of the symptoms aren’t as extreme as they were when I was younger, but that’s me.” I grew up in a household where there was always confusion and chaos. I grew up being criticized quite a bit. I was bullied in grade school and in middle school, verbal abuse mostly. Some didn’t like my light skin, some made fun of the way I walked (I have my mom’s bowed legs and my dad’s slew feet), and some always had something to say about how skinny I was. Back then it was ‘stick and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you’. Yeah, right. That’s a lie from the pit of hell. WORDS CAN HURT and it took me a long time to get over some of the things that were said to me. No wonder I had low self-esteem. Not that I even knew it at the time, like I didn’t know that I suffered from clinical depression when I was around seventeen, eighteen. People didn’t talk about those things back then the way they do today. I heard the symptoms of clinical depression a good while back and that’s when I knew what had been happening with me all those years ago. If you have a child suffering from depression, please don’t think it’s something they can just get over. Take it seriously; find out what’s going on with them and seek help. I hear about young people taking their own lives and it breaks my heart.

I am still shy today, but not extremely shy. I am not a people person; I have trust issues. I’ve been trying to work at being comfortable around others. I participated in a couple of book events since I published Choices and it wasn’t easy for me, but I communicated with people, even waved them over to my table. When I’m out and about I always have promotional materials with me and I kindly ask people if they’d like a pen or if I could give them a bookmark. Before I published Choices, I was okay with a smile and a quick hello even if I didn’t know the person, but now I’m like ‘God’s just gonna make me talk’. I understand Him wanting to get me out of my comfort zone; not much growth comes from staying in a place where I keep to myself all of the time. We all have our gifts, though, and writing is the gift God has given me. I know I wouldn’t be very good as a public speaker, so Choices is my way of reaching out. I wrote a good story, if I say so myself. If you haven’t journeyed through the lives of Shauntice, Angel, LaKeeta, Bridgette and Hope, please consider buying a copy of Choices today. I do believe you will be entertained and enlightened and I’d truly appreciate the support.

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