The Unnoticed Events in the Life of a High School Introvert
Maybe you can guess what it's like to be an introvert, but if you aren't one, I can guarantee your interpretation hardly comes close to the realistic lifestyle of one.The regular routine for me when I go out in public is to be quiet, go unnoticed, make no mistakes, and not let anyone hear my voice.
The awkward vibe I give off is out of my control. The only time I feel comfortable is when I'm in my house, separated from society. It wasn't always this way. Certain situations in my past transformed me into the person I can't stand to look at in the mirror. I was always shy, but after being bullied by so many people, the tiny flaw inflated into a severe problem that affected me everyday.
At times, my anxiety and timidness got so extreme that my body shook uncontrollably. I tried different skills to stop it. Breathing techniques, distracting myself, forcefully trying to stop my shaking, but none of it worked. Just thinking about being around people can trigger the anxiety attacks.
But let's not lose the entire point of this article. Just because I'm an introvert, doesn't mean I want to be one. I wish I could go swimming with friends, walk with them at night, have sleepovers, talk on the phone for hours with them, but such a wish would be impossible to fulfil for someone like me.
When you solidify yourself from people, you begin to lose touch on what it feels like to have empathy. Something as small as sharing a connection with a person, becomes as hard as a kid riding a bike for the first time.
The very few friends I had left would make snide remarks on my anxiety and weirdness. I was never accepted for who I was. My peers decided if I was either at their level or below them. Unfortunately, I was always deemed unworthy.
To them everything I did was incorrect or ignorant. The bitter emotions grew inside me until one day I just exploded.
Back then, the only thing I thought about doing was plotting each of my bullies downfall. I did that through attempting to change who I was. Soon, I was spending hours studying body language until I was like an expert. I learned secrets through the way people walked, they way they acted, and etc. I finally knew how to approach someone and keep up a conversation.
It felt like nothing could stand in my way, but something did. Even though I was changing, everyone forced me back into the box of being an introvert. Negative thoughts rolled through out my head and not one pure idea was left untouched. I abandoned the idea of becoming a socialite and it drove me into a deep depression. By the time I was fourteen, people were becoming more annoying and tiring to be around. Soon I found myself in counseling, but even then I didn't feel safe to be vulnerable. I was terrified to show my true self in fear of being judged. It obliged to everyone, regardless of who they were to me.
That's what it felt like to be me. Stuck in an infinite loop of negativity, casting a dark cloud over me. I questioned life and what was my life's purpose if I was only typecasted into a role and made invisible. Eventually a light shined on me. I learned later on that I wasn't alone.
People I would never expect in my school experience the same problems as me. Some at a lesser magnitude and others at a greater magnitude than even I experienced.
There are millions of other kids and teens out there like me. We share a hatred inside of us, directed on the things that bind us down. Being an introvert isn't something we hold preciously or brag about. It's something we dare to change, but how can we when society has titled us as “anti-social teens or geeks”? There are many stereotypes that America holds dearly and refuses to let go. I want to express my sympathy to people out there that feel helpless and alone.
Life get better and I can't give you specific tips because everyone's life is so different, but I'll give you some advice. Be yourself and don't live for anyone else. Don't live for their approval or their support. Make decisions in life based off your own likings. The more you practice believing in yourself, the less you'll notice everyone else.
I'd love to hear some of your stories below and spread the word. There needs to be a fight against bullying and depression and if we all stand together, we can help countless of boys and girls out there waiting for a hero!