Being a Nerd is Hard. (Anxiety Sucks Ass)

 

When I say being a nerd is hard, I’m not talking about watching Star Wars for the seventeenth time… this month. Or reading comics books, or playing video games consuming your life and you can’t remember what the sun looks like because you’ve been too busy beating Ocarina of Time again. No, I’m talking about the other side of the word “nerd”. The introvert. The socially awkward. The Sheldon/Howard/Raj side of it. (Leonard seems pretty well-adapted to me).

I just went outside to wash a cup in the lounge kitchen area. People down the hall started to talk. Two girls and a guy. Just talking. I couldn’t see them. And suddenly a heaviness descended on my chest, like a fat raccoon with little beady judgmental eyes was sitting on me. I couldn’t breathe. My stomach felt like a tense fist. I just wanted to get out of there. Abandon the cup, save yourself!

(Thank God Harry didn’t say that in the Lestrange Vault)

Anxiety…. Anxiety is hard. My first year in college, I lived in the dorms. There was a community kitchen in the lounge area. I had frozen burritos and pizza rolls in the freezer down there. It was down the hall, not thirty feet away. It would literally take three minutes to go out, microwave a burrito, and get back into my room. I wouldn’t do it. I would go sometimes all weekend long with barely eating anything.

I don’t know exactly why I couldn’t go down the hall, I would just get too… I don’t know how to describe it. I couldn’t. I would sit on my bed and try to talk myself into getting a burrito for ten minutes, I would finally scrape up enough courage to go get food, and before I could open my door more than a crack I would hear voices of girls in the lounge laughing, and I would slam the door shut. The pit of my stomach would clamp up; my body would suddenly feel cold and clammy, like refrigerated meat; and a black, slick fear would replace my hunger.

Anxiety is not rational. No matter how much rationality and logic I poured down my own throat, I couldn’t break the unforgivable curse Anxiety had cast on me.

Just the other day, in fact, I had a little emotional breakdown (can breakdowns even be little?) at the prospect of walking the five minutes to one of the nicer eateries (which is totally a word. I Googled it) on campus because the closest one to me closes on Fridays. My friend offered the solution of asking one of the many girls who live on my floor if they wanted to go with me. That was even worse than going alone. In fact, that idea was at least five times worse. Don’t get me wrong, all of the girls on my floor seem super nice, and nothing bad or traumatizing has ever happened to me at said eatery. But I couldn’t stop crying while just thinking about going.

Now, you may think that this post is me fishing for comfort, or support, or sympathy, but that’s not what I want at all. I am ripping my chest open and revealing my red, beating heart to the faceless, nameless sea of people sailing the frothy, cold internet… and it’s terrifying. But it’ll be worth it if one person, somewhere, somehow stumbles upon this entry, reads it, and thinks: “That’s me”. My deepest wish is that someone out there will realize that they’re not alone, that they’re not the only one who has these sorts of fears and doubts. Because for a long, long time, I thought I was alone. In fact, for a while, I couldn’t even name these feelings. 

And I know anxiety isn’t an exclusive “nerd” problem, nor do all nerds have anxiety. But I know at the very least some do. I’m one of them. And if you’re one too… I know not who you are, nor how you came to find me, but may I just say…. Hi. How ya doing?  

I don’t have any sort of answers, but I still hope this helps. The best I can do is say I understand.

Best Wishes,

thenerdfightingfeminist

 

  

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