Its 5 o’clock on a Sunday evening I’m locked inside my gothically decorated fortress of solitude. I have made the momentous anxiety inducing decision to start talking about myself through the medium of YouTube. For months I have been ruminating about posting videos in which i elucidate my long term battle with untreated undiagnosed mental illness. I see YouTube as a perfect way of sharing my struggle my crippling social anxiety my suicidal thoughts.
Before I commence my first foray into the exciting world on online video i have to prepare myself have to wear the appropriate outfit for the filming of this video in which i delineate the struggle of being a young women suffering from a variety of psychological disorders. I survey my surroundings of my intimate sleeping quarters. There’s a array of posters that adorn the walls with posters of eminent works oaf art. I have a Kandinsky a van gouth print of starry night hanging over my single bed. In the 4 walls there is a my favourite band joy division poster of there seminal album closer. There is portraits of my literary idols Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. Over my black door is a poster of the last of us video game. A game which I have played endlessly a game which was a rollercoaster tear inducing immersive gaming experience. I have a antique set of chester draws which contains my lingerie my collection of unpublished poetry and my artwork.
On the top of these antique chester draws which were bequeathed by my eccentric grandmother is a shrine dedicated to my mother. My mum who almost 5 years ago killed herself in the most harrowing way. She committed suicide by hanging herself at the tender age of 39 me and my father discovered her body as he picked me up from my after school cello practise. This shrine is a daily remembrance of my mum of her warmth her beauty her fragile tortured soul. On the top of the chester draws is a collage of photographs of my mum taken before i was born and during my life. There is a collection of the artwork my mum painted that illustrated her beauty for nature for the universe. There is the succinct suicide note she wrote dedicating her love for me. I will spend at least 10 minutes before i go to sleep intensely looking at my mums art photographs of her. I get down on my knees recite a prayer to god and I perform this daily ritual in order to preserve my mums memory. I don’t want her to fade away to become forgotten. When I’m down when I’m trapped in a vicious spiral of suicidal thoughts i read my mums suicide note. It gives me solace it gives me a reason to carry on existing her forlorn despairing elegy brings me to tears and imbues in a feeling of purpose that I’m not alone in the darkness.
This is the surrounding of my small one bed boudoir with the walls plastered with art with gothic art with my artistic idols that inspire me as women. The walls are porcelain white no colour the doors to my closet that contains my art my collection of melancholic clothing is jet black. There no mirrors no device that can reflect a image of my hideous deformed face. There is a key I keep on top of the antique bespoke chester draw that keeps any strangers from entering my private sanctuary. I never allow or tolerate another soul to enter the private enclave of my bedroom. It where I feel safe where i shut out the world. My bedroom as i survey the 4 walls and art that has been emblazoned on the walls is a representation of my damaged psyche. To enter my room is to enter my subconsciousness with the memories of my mother with the poetry my love of music of art illustrated in the adornments on the walls.
I get the iPad ready as I prepare myself for the filming of my first YouTube video. I will be filming on my iPad as i cant afford living as a middle class student to squander money on a state of the art camera. The iPad camera will be of requisite quality to film a short 10 minute video in which i will be delineating whats its like being afflicted with body dysmorphic disorder with untreated clinical depression and a social inhabiting social anxiety disorder. I decide the clothing my emotional armoury i will be wearing for my first endeavour in online vlogging. I have concluded to cloth my scrawny body in black gothic attire. With a long black dress and back skirt and knee length black boots. My social attire and body dysmorphia is so acute i need to wear a mask to obscure my hideous freak like face. The thought of people viewing this video and commenting on my homely appearance with vicious acerbic remarks is too much. I recently purchased a Venice mask that covers my entire face. Its a ornately designed mask with gold and white colours that emblazon the mask. I have tried speaking whilst wearing this mask I can lucidly articulate my thoughts whilst obscuring my pallid unappealing face from YouTube. Hiding my face also enables me to be anonymous i will hide my name as i adopt pseudonym a alias. Performing this video in anonymity will enable me to be more candid and forthright with my struggles. I see this as a weekly video as a form of therapy where I divulge i transmit my secrets my worries my psychological trauma of me to a wide world. I intend to make at least 1 video per week maybe dependent upon the response of how much i enjoy the process of elucidating my previously repressed feelings to the human race.
I have meticulously practiced and rehearsed what I will be conveying in this video for weeks. However I intend to speak extemporaneously without a script. In this video i will be introducing myself than speaking about me as if i was conversing with a therapist. The camera will act as a virtual therapist a warm dispassionate therapist that allows me to loquaciously talk about my flawed personality and life. I place the mask on my face i am now prepared for the momentous task of filming a video that i will share with the world. I am emotionally ready for the anxiety inducing moment as I prepare my body which is clothed in black attire to bare my soul to be vulnerable to humanity.
I press the record sign on the iPad which is the correct position as you can see my body the Venice masquerade mask that disguises my face. Then tentatively and nervously I began to talk as I introduce myself to the world to my YouTube channel.
“ Hello welcome to my YouTube channel newdawnfades i am a student studying at Cambridge who is starting a YouTube channel as a means of articulating my psychological disorders and afflictions that have blighted my adolescence and early adult life. I am a 18 year old women who suffers from depression who has contemplates suicide. I also suffer from a body dysmorphic disorder which means I have a distorted perception of myself its why i am wearing a mask to hide my appearance. Let’s call it BDD has caused me to see myself as ugly as almost deformed. There are no mirrors in my bedroom i can barely look at my hideous face for longer than a minute. The only time I glimpse my face is when i apply my makeup my war paint before i vacate my rented accommodation to attend my university lectures. On top of being afflicted with a untreated depression and BDD i also suffer with a paralysing social anxiety disorder. I want this video to mainly focus on whats its like to be tortured with a social anxiety. BDD in tandem with a pernicious social anxiety has made my life a living hell. I rarely venture outside apart to attend my classes and to my part time employment as a cashier at a local bookstore. Going out is incredibly stressful i often decline requests form my friends for nights out. A night out in which I have to spend a extensive concentrated period of time surrounded by strangers who judge who mock my flaws. It makes me paranoid often i consume a exorbitant amount of alcohol to mitigate the pain the anxiety of interacting with strangers. I never spend time alone in public other than getting food or going to a medical appointment. Even in theses rare occasions i suffer from torturous anxiety. The last time several months ago i suffered a panic attack after a protracted dental appointment. I left the dental practise i felt my heart racing i was sweeting profusely I fell to the floor hyperventilating I felt like i was dying or that I was descending into a dark tunnel. I was sitting on the floor outside my local dentist for nearly 10 minutes with my head in my frantically shacking hands. After i was able to walk after the anxiety had dissipated to a bearable level I walk home at a frenetic pace. Wanting to be alone to be safe to be in the sanctuary of my locked bedroom. I continued to sweat remained paranoid i was almost running. Then I reached my shared student home and ran frantically to my bedroom locked the doors and fell into a fetal position for several hours. I laid on the colds hard floor almost catatonic in complete silence crying whilst holding my childhood pink teddy bear in my arms. I arose from this spot to fall asleep crying in my single bed. This was a panic attack a typical attack that occurs once a month a least. It happens when I’m alone on the outside its a harrowing emotional scarring experience. I lose all control i think I’m drying its hell so consequently I eschew the majority of habitual social functions. I hardly ever go out with my friends i never dine at a restaurant. The anxiety is that acute and pervasive i have missed lectures my university education has suffered. I see men who I am enamoured with these men beyond all logical reason see as desirable ask me out on a date. My heart is screaming out to take a bold chance and go on a date at a local restaurant but I decline. The disquietude of a date getting ready felling judged having to form conversations having to be interesting is too much for my fragile personality. The social anxiety disorder has impaired my social life. It’s meant that I have neglected my close friends because of the severity of the anxiety i have to endure. I am desperate to find a boyfriend to fall in love to have something resembling a normal sex life. Not only do i refrain from dating but men cannot or would never find me attractive. The anxiety is untreated just like my depression i cant even bare the ordeal of seeing a doctor having my acute social phobia diagnosed so that I can undergo a diet of anti anxiety medication which might rectify my condition. I think me talking extensively about being afflicted with social anxiety has been of help to any viewers. I see these videos as the YouTube equivalent of group therapy where i garrulously talk about the myriad of untreated self diagnosed psychological conditions and you find a modicum of solace in knowing you’re not alone in the pain of being human. If you like this video like or subscribe to my channel and please comment below and you can contact me on my twitter account listed in the description box of the video”
I was shacking crying after concluding the video. I was relatively satisfied with what I said maybe i spoke for longer than expected. I rewatched the video even with my body dysphoria i was elated at my output. I felt this euphoria at finally breaking the dam of emotional repression and divulging to the world my social anxiety and suicidal depression. The video needed no editing i was happy with my bizarre appearance in which my deformed visage was obscured with a venetian mask. I titled the video living with social anxiety disorder I waited to see how many people viewed by video what the reaction was from the world.