Out of the shelter of my home I walk at a languid pace. I am traversing on a short journey to the local quaint Italian restaurant where i will meet my date Kyle in the flesh for the first time. Over many months we have incessantly conversed through the medium of twitter tinder and instagram. Now after being entranced by this wondrous vision of a man I’m going to meet him in a quiet Italian restaurant in close proximity to my home. The nerves are shooting round my body i feel that at any moment i might suffer another panic attack. I’m walking at a lethargic pace due to the level of stress that’s circulating round my body. Every footstep as approach the restaurant i can perceive my heart thumping it beating faster and faster. I am diligently trying to control my breathe talking deep breaths trying any methods to assuage the anxiety the fear of a intimate unfamiliar social setting gives me.
I walk at a slow pace i am careful to not arrive at the restaurant before the preplanned time. I want to arrive second but maybe 5 minutes late. The thought of arriving early having the torture of waiting for my date being all alone in m revealing black dress having all these judging prying eyes on me. That terrifies me I’d probably just leave then face the psychological ordeal of being all alone in a intimate restaurant waiting for my date to emerge into my life.
I can make out the agreed upon meeting place its at the end of the street the time says 8 o’clock on my phone. I hope and pray Kyle is there waiting patiently for me to arrive. The dread is building in me like a uncontrollable raging firestorm i have these anxious thoughts of Kyle seeing by emaciated pallid body and viewing my hideous face and walking out in horror. This idea has been ruminating in my damaged consciousness all day since I’ve been meticulously preparing for our date. I walk alone feeling unsafe needing to calm my fears somehow. Every incremental footstep intensifies the fear my legs are filed with concrete i am numb below my waist. Please god let me be fine i repeat in my head as a calming mantra . Then i arrive at my destination i am sweating my hands are shacking profusely stay calm try to maintain a semblance of normality i repeat silently. I enter the terrifying gates of the restaurant i am petrified rendered almost paralysed with the fear the adrenaline the nausea. I am inside the chamber i saunter to the hostess who directs me to my table where my lusciously attired date is awaiting my punctual arrival.
I walk with utter fear in my bones the paranoia the body dysmorphia has become pernicious as am trying to maintain a stoic normal exterior. I cant expose the tumult of anxiety lurking in my anxiety laden psyche. I arrive at my table with my date Kyle adorned in a sky blue long sleeved shirt and he is emitting a seductive aftershave aroma that overpowers my senses. I greet him with my shimmering red lips with a kiss on the cheek. We set down the nerves haven’t subsided its the fear the terminal fear i endure that never relents when I’m out of my safe space.
I sit down feeling incredibly self conscious more than usually in my revealing dress. The conversation is initially awkward as staid despite the incalculable online exchanges we’ve had over the preceding months. I’m trying assiduously to appear as a normal functioning adult not a quivering tightly wind neurotic mess. Kyle conducts the majority of the conversations in his loquacious effusive manner i remain laconic as the anxiety have frozen me up. Kyle is talking about his hopes for the future his dreams his hopes to be a mental health counsellor for the poor and maligned individuals. I’m impressed by his compassion by the kindness that radiates from his body. He isn’t here to flaunt his obvious good looks or to have sex with another women in a meaningless one night stand. Kyle actually cares for somehow beyond all logic finds me physically attractive. He repeatedly compliments my appearance tells me how attractive i am that what a stunning dress I’m wearing.
Despite this the anxiety never relents I’m perpetual in a state of terror attempting to avert a panic attack. The conversion is pleasant with me appearing ebullient in order to mask the pain of my social disorder. Inside is torture on the outside is a calm demeanour i am careful to smile to laugh at Kyle’s jokes. We consume a copious volume of white wine throughout the evening as i drink voraciously to mitigate the anxiety. The ameliorating socially uninhibiting effects of alcohol loosened me up to speak to feel the gushing of emotions from my body. Still the black cloud of anxiety hovered over me the self loathing the horror of being me stained the evening.
I ran making up a variety of excuses to the bathroom when i feared another harrowing panic attack. Escaping to the bathroom breathing heavily finding a modicum of privacy having my nerves satiated with a moment of privacy before I recommenced our date. I enjoyed the date the conversation the exquisite Italian cushiness the delectable wine we devoured but the torturous anxiety negated any pleasure from finally meeting up with Kyle. We ended the date we split the bill according to what we ordered I insisted despite Kyle’s protestations that we pay the bill. In my intoxicated state i was assertive enough to demand i pay my fair share of the bill.
We concluded our time at the restaurant i wanted desperately to be home to be alone despite me wanting to connect physically with Kyle. Kyle asked me vehemently if I wanted to go to a bar to continue the nights festivities i declined even though I was screaming on the inside to get closer to Kyle to carry on socialising with him. He even politely requested if he could walk me home again i declined. I worried that i came across as impolite or aloof or that i was turning down the sexually advances of him. In truth a mere several hours of prolonged social interaction had left me shattered wanting to be alone to be away from people. The fantasy of falling in love of having ecstatic sex with a perfect edifice of masculinity wouldn’t be actualised tonight. The weight the prevalence of my anxiety had precluded me from pursuing a night of pure carnal bliss.
After i politely declined there was a awkward moment of silence before we said our goodbyes. Kyle though in a act of spontaneity held my quivering arms caressed my soft porcelain face with his left hand. He then leaned in and kissed me tenderly on my crimson lips. I felt alive with pleasure the nerves briefly dissipated in that 30 second passionate embrace. We communicated our love for each other then after the kiss Kyle we hugged and said our goodbyes.
I walked home at a frenetic pace wanting the serenity of my room to feel safe. The anxiety now escalated as I walked home as i was alone in the cobbled streets. Walking home almost running the panic the dread the hell of the outside the unfamiliar setting with peopled castigating eyes looking down on me. I want to be in my room listening to soothing mediative music in my red jimjams. After several minutes of sweating i arrive at my private kingdom i enter the doorway run upstairs without saying anything to my housemates. Then i open my room lock the door start crying after the anxiety i then collapse on my bed and curl up in a fetal position. Its hell its torture i we’ll never escape my anxiety disorder. I can never accept another date from Kyle even despite his many charms his warm effusive gregarious personality. The dream of love of happiness of anything that resembles a normal life will remain a fantasy that only exists in my overreactive imagination