Anxiety and Mental Health- Confessions of an Introvert

Fair warning, today’s post is a bit …much. Continuing with my focus on Mental Health, Anxiety and it’s many forms, I thought I’d reflect on how it feels sometimes to be introverted , in a world that demands confidence, and insists that you have to be loud, if you want to be heard.

I’m not really sure what form this is. Kind of poetry, kind of rambling prose, but above all its me trying to put into words one of the many ways that Mental Health and Anxiety can manifest itself in everyday interactions.

Confessions of an Introvert

There is a sense of shame attached with solitude. As if it’s a self indulgent practice and I’d say that in some ways it is.

It’s too easy to look out to a world of confident and outgoing people, who seem successful, content, on track, and then foolishly draw comparison. Equating this extroversion with that individuals success. I’m guilty of it and I’d have to say in many ways I envy those people. The ones who enjoy smalltalk across the aisle of a bus. The ones who can make friends for life, in a room full of strangers. I know that we shouldn’t compare but it’s hard when your lips seal themselves shut in the company of others. When anxiety holds your tongue for you.

I enjoy the quiet, though it often gets too dark for me. When the only voice you hear all day is your own, the one between your ears. Spinning lies and plotting failures, you have no choice but to listen.

But then again it’s good to listen, remind yourself of the rhythm of your own heart beat, take the moments of stillness and cherish them. At some point there’ll be no choice but to go outside, and you’ll need a reminder of what quiet sounds like.

But there’s guilt here, in the door being closed. In a silent room, that you’re perfectly fine with remaining that way. In someone asking you a question about yourself and you forgetting to return the favour. Pronouncing that conversation dead on arrival. A serial killer on a rampage, punctuating every charming and lovingly phrased sentence that is received, with a … ‘yeah…’.

The guilt crawls through the floor boards, it seeps in like rot. Now if I open my mouth, my voice may crack, the floor may crumble beneath me and I’ll be laid in a heap.

What an embarrassing act free falling is. Chewing on breeze-blocks and timber, my tongue is full of splinters. That’s probably why I spit when I speak…sometimes.

I don’t ever mean to be rude; talk to me as much as you can or as much as you wish to. I’m not a good talker- but I am an avid listener. Or at least I try to be.

Though my replies may be hesitant, stuttered or stunted, I am only searching for the perfect syllables…because you deserve them. If you’re patient enough to hang around.

I try and change everyday, try and keep my head above the water. I practice moving my mouth in the mirror. Try and ensure my words are clearer, less like groans or white noise.

Maybe then my chest won’t tighten every time someone asks me to repeat myself. My cheeks won’t burn red.

I’m most at home when not enthralled in conversation but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, it doesn’t mean I hate people. It’s just sometimes some language barrier, that only seems to exist inside the the confines of my skull, gets in the way.

Sometimes, for me at least, the space that I create between myself and other people, however unintentional it may be. It gives chance to breathe, it allows me to rebuild the jenga tower, that is mental health. Ready for the bricks to be chipped away again. One by one. Tomorrow.



If you’re struggling with Anxiety or any Mental Health issues, just know you’re not alone.


4 thoughts on “Anxiety and Mental Health- Confessions of an Introvert

  1. Your avid explainer with words. It truly enjoy this post and your metaphor of expresssions to anxiety and introverts.

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