Given Up

A gaunt face with sallow checks devoid of colour
Eyes that once were effervescent now appear listless and haunted
A body haunched over emitting negative energy
No eye contact no ebullient smile as she meets strangers or lifelong friends

She has given up on life
Give up on the glorious possibility of love
Given up on ever conquering or vanquishing her demons
She has succumbed to a wretched lonely life of pain

Depression follows her like a pungent noxious odour
She longs to be liberated from her deep seated psychological conditions
She aches to be happy to be normal to not be besieged with a pernicious anxiety disorder
In her forlorn mind she has given up the ghost

As she ventures outside rudimentary conversations and mundane social setting are filled with anxiety
A simple task like going shopping is pure hell
A 8 hour workday is involves a tortuous anxiety that never abates
She aches for the ecstasy of solitude where the distress alleviates somewhat

Getting home for the serenity of her grotty one bed flat
There are transient moments of inner peace
Soon though her neurotic mind is permeated with loneliness with the perennial alienation of her wretched adulthood
She lays down on her couch feeling numb feeling nothing wanting to die wanting to feel the elation of love wanting to connect with another lost soul

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The House Of Mirrors

Its fast approaching midnight my body is weary my eyes are drowsy. I am wearing my silky crimson jimjams which i typically wear when the British climate becomes more clement and not so stiflingly humid. My anxiety has dissipated as i sense the serene effects of the cannabis i inhaled minutes ago. With my body relaxed i can safety fall asleep into a deep subconscious sleep. Hopefully during my protracted sleep no more nightmares that I have been experiencing for the past 2 weeks. Night after night after a few hours of sleep I awoken with sweaty anxiety riddled body suffering from a horrendous nightmare. The consequences of a bad dream is it exacerbates my anxiety precludes from sleeping and leaves me a quivering nervous wreck unable to sleep or safely vacate my room.

I lay my stoned head that’s swimming with a thousand million thoughts on my soft black pillow. Gazing at my ceiling as my neurotic mind pulsates with thoughts of anxiety of death of love. I close my heavy eyes and for a few minutes hallucinate a psychedelic array of colours as i drift into a sanguine mediative state. For once in my wretched life I experience the nirvana of serenity with the aid of a psychoactive elicit narcotic. My languid body gravitates from a conscious state into a subconscious dream world.

Lost in a vivid dream that seems so real i open my eyes. There is black everywhere no light no colour in this marooned land. I walk with trepidation i walk lethargically barely able to lift my legs that feel like blocks of concrete. Then suddenly this nebulous locale dramatically changes suddenly i am engulfed in a vast infinite sea of mirrors. Some of these mirrors are cracked some are perfect immaculate designed mirrors that gleam. As far as my eyes can fathom there’s a vast sprawl of mirrors a house of mirrors. My anxiety intensifies then there’s a beam of blinding light shone onto my scrawny body. It appeared abruptly like a fluorescent stage light my body is now encumbered with panic with disquietude. I don’t know where i am am I awake am I being tortured my a assailant am I a prisoner in a unknown location. Then I look at the mirrors which change every few seconds writing appears on the mirror. Words such as freak ugly loser deformed worthless unlovable are imprinted on the vast array of mirrors in this house of horror in the unescapable house of mirrors.

Then by ghastly deformed face is magnified on the mirrors again the mirror reflection keeps on changing rapidly. First it my blood shot green eyes that are displayed on a million cracked incandescent mirrors that besiege my body. The mirrors are coming closer to me the claustrophobia has set in as the walls of this dreaded house of mirrors. Then the image changes once again this time its my horrid gnarled smile with my crocked teeth magnified on a infinite mirrors that surrounds me. Tears flow down my face i am no longer standing I collapse to the floor holding my head in my hands shacking back and forth wanting the psychological torture to end. I cant look away from the car crash of my ravaged face my tombstone teeth that appear more unsightly as they are exhibited on the gleaming screens.

I cry then I scream with a bellow of anguish crying out to be emancipated form this purgatory. Every few seconds the grotesque image alters occasionally focusing on my flat featureless body. Then to my horror i am naked my clothing has been removed by some malevolent malicious demon that keeping me prisoner in this location. I cant escape this nightmare i close my eyes I’m still here being forced to catch a sight of my pale emaciated body unobscured by clothing. I see all the cracks all the scars that are rendered on my arms. I glimpse my flat petite breasts that are mere molehills looking like a pair of painkiller pills on a ironing board. The horror the horror of it all no escape no assuagement from this hell. I’m on the floor crying profusely shacking shivering breathing hysterically make it stop end the pain end the nightmare i forlornly scream into the abyss.

The scene of this room changes once again now the hall of infinite mirrors that engulf me is altered with a thousands cold faces swarm my body. They are laughing at my naked body pointing at laughing derisively some faces are looking on with castigating expressions. Other faces are repulsed by my body with horror stricken faces. The entire cluster of individuals starts to chant freak freak freak freak. The chant grows louder and louder as the chant becomes more viscous. The cruelty the inhumanity to me is apparent on their faces I’m not a human to them I’m a subhuman freak. They circulate my shivering body getting closer they scream out freak freak some as laughing others are pointing at chastising the horror show of my naked porcelain body.

The environment once more transmogrifies I’m in a different setting a familiar location its my bedroom. No mirrors here just my bed my tv my pink teddy bear for comfort. I am fully conscious after witnessing a harrowing nightmares in which my repressed fears were brought to the surface in a evocative nightmare. I’m terrified to fall back to sleep not wanting to experience another ordeal. This nightmare effected me profoundly leaving me paralysed with anxiety. My body is shacking i hold by pink teddy bear that’s a vestige of my childhood. I turn on the big light I want some comfort something to mitigate the fear that’s pulsating in my blood stream. The recurring nightmare of the house of mirrors occurs in my dreamworld at least once a month. This recurring dream usually occurs after i have a panic attack or another injurious anxiety attack in pubic. For the nest few days i be unable to sleep its another bout of insomnia which is awaiting me. Its only 3:00 am its the apex of the night the streets are hauntingly silent i turn on my speakers needing to hear a mollifying sound that will calm me down. For hours i play music from my favourite video from YouTube the last of us as i rock back and forth on the edge of my bed. At least I’m free from the nightmare of the house of mirrors but i have to endure to abide the nightmare of being me of being afflicted with a social anxiety disorder and body dysmorphia

Get Me Home

Get me home get me home
Is the anxiety mantra I repeat to myself when I’m not at home
When the anxiety the panic is giving me disquiet
I repeat this mantra to assuage my anxiety

Its what i desire to be alone away from the terror of other people
When i perceive the onset of a panic attack I want the serenity of my private kingdom
The fear the sweating the paranoia the sadness the heavy breathing the claustrophobia
I need to get home to be safe away from the harm of the crowd of the cacophony of human interaction

Get me home i plead to a higher power to get me into a place of safety
The fear the terror of my social phobia gets so arduous that i need to be separated to exist in isolation
A simple rudimentary conversation is fraught with danger
I sense the people looking at me i feel the berate me with their cold callous eyes

Get me home the frantic anxious mantra repeats in my fractured mind
I want the warmth the calming ambience of my home
No danger when i lock the door
The mantra reverberates in my mind to alleviate my anxiety it helps its like a hug of assurance from an old friend

The Fear

I’m afraid I’m petrified it the fear the anxiety that I have to endure
The fear of the outside of being trapped in uncomfortable unfamiliar social situations
The fear of being vulnerable of feeling this nakedness
The fear of a dreadful injurious panic attack that every time feels like death

The fear begins with heavy uncontrolled hysterical breathing
I can’t breathe i cant breathe i cant catch a breathe
I falling down a dark tunnel a million anxiety laden thoughts pulsate in my fractured psyche
I drop to my knees my arms clasp my head still I’m falling at a precipitous pace down into the abyss

I’m dying i feel like death the fear is horrifying
Is this hell is this death is this another harrowing panic attack
Or am I suffering an actual heart attack
Theres shooting pains in my arms i cant breathe i cant walk

My chest is so oppressively constricted please let this nightmare be over
I cry from the panic from the misery of this purgatory this panic attack
The tears flow i am hysterical i want to be home
I fervently desire the serenity of my bed i want the tears to stop

Still i am breathing heavily and frantically
People are watching judging castigating my abnormal behaviour
I cant help it i am afflicted with a pathological anxiety disorder
The tears still cascading i return to a semblance of normality as the panic attack abates now I have to lumber on home with the paranoia the agony of another pernicious traumatising panic attack

Goodbye Part 1

It is a cool July evening as i survey outside my bedroom window a breathtakingly beautiful psychedelic sunset. The cool breeze hits my weary face with a sadness as this is the last time i will witness a awe inspiring sunset. The last time i will be witness to a glorious illustration of the unblemished beauty of nature through the skyline in the heat of summer. The once sweltering July heat has cooled off to a tranquil pleasant temperature as the light breezes hits my ravaged face. I stare outside my window for hours just observing the change for day into night. I hear an array of the sounds of nature birds are tweeting with the seductive bird song. I hear the distant echoes of humans enjoying each other’s company. I complement the melancholic but serene ambience with the sad piano music of Chopin. Sporadic tears stream down my face as i complement the destructive actions i have been planing for weeks. Right now I’m realising that this is the last night on earth that if I successfully terminate my life ill never see a sunset or hear all the transcendental sound of nature that emanate out of my secluded bedroom window.

I intensively stare at the iridescent sunset its like my short life that will soon end. As the evening transforms into the darkness of night i close the windows and retreat into the desolation of my room. My empty room a visual metaphor of my damaged empty soul with the void of colour no light no life in here. I have prepared my room for my final YouTube video that will be broadcasted life on my channel where i expound on my battle with mental illness. I have set up the camera prepared the clothing the music the dolorous atmosphere I have engendered for this my swan song. My last act as a human being unable to carry living in a cold inhospitable land where humans beings are so indifferent to each other.

I sit restlessly on the edge of my bed wearing a nirvana T-shirt and haggard denim jeans. There is no question i will kill myself tonight i my failing YouTube channel that nobody watches. I hope that in a desperate act my life will gain some relevance some meaning.

I am 23 living as a copy writer and editor for a moderately successful publishing house in the town of Cambridge. I graduated successfully from Cambridge university with a degree in English literature was able despite my social anxiety to navigate the vexing world of higher education. However as I progressed my social anxiety grew more severe. The panic attacks became more frequent and increasingly harrowing. I struggled to survive in the outside world found socialising almost impossible did though maintain a select tribe of friends. Romantic relationships become impossible due to the severity of my anxiety my untreated depression and my propensity to remain inside my house. As my university education progressed the depression also exacerbated as I refused to seek professional help or confide with a confidant about my melancholic state of mind.

Throughout my 3 year education at Cambridge I kept my mental afflictions a secret never speaking to anybody putting on a veneer of sanity to mask the pain of being me. My only avenue of self expression was my poorly received YouTube channel. A channel where I disguised my homely appearance with a venetian mask as i delineated in 20 minute to an hour videos my weekly ordeal of being afflicted with anxiety with severe suicidal depression and suffering from a acute body dysmorphia.

I hoped these videos would alleviate my pain that they would act as virtual group therapy sessions. Where the camera the audience would be my fellow patients who reciprocated my pain. These videos as they progressed didn’t go viral as I envisioned they mostly received less than a 1,000 views gaining no traction on YouTube. My mental conditions i was elucidating on didn’t improve it gave me a brief moment of emotional catharsis but the suicidal predilections remained. I continued to suffer from habitual panic attacks the anxiety I experienced intensified as going out with my friends or on a date became intolerable with this torturous anxiety.

After I graduated somehow with a degree in English literature i was able with my prestigious education to get a job firstly as a copy writer and as a editor at a local publishing house. I relocated from my student shared accommodation to a 1 bedroomed modest flat in the centre of Cambridge. Forgoing moving to a new town or in London not wanting the stress that would entail from moving. I stayed in this quaint middle class town that let me live a sad empty withdrawn life. The months years after i left my university maintaining my collection of friendships I cultivated at Cambridge. Occasionally going on weekend getaways to luxurious Europeans cities or to musical festivals. My anxiety would abate around the comforting warm company of my friend i was able to function in spite of the severity of my social anxiety.

My post university life was that of a recluse who sporadically venture outside the safe enclave of my flat to meet up with friends or brave the nightmare of a romantic date. In that time I carried grandiose dreams of becoming a lauded writer of prose and verse. These dreams to this day remain unfulfilled in reality i am a poor writer who lacks the courage the imagination the discipline to succeed in the literary realm. My side project of weekly online videos was as equally as unsuccessfully and poorly received. I never became a online creator who’s eloquent illustration of being young alienated with mental health attracted millions of views millions of adoring subscribers.

Every weekly in a video diary i would pour out my soul allow myself for once in the venue of YouTube to be vulnerable to reveal the turmoil of my depression. I have talked about my anxiety painful attacks self harm contemplating suicide in these selection of videos on my channel. Virtual nobody has seen these videos i am screaming into the abyss having nobody share or care about my pain. I am a lost soul preparing my body and soul for a final desperate deleterious act where hopefully i will gain a modicum of prominence in death.

Panic Attack At The Salon

Today is a Saturday I have booked a appointment at my local salon i am terrified from the ordeal of going to a hair salon for a protracted period of time. The fear of gazing into the hair seeing my gnarled disfigured face for up to an hour. The fear of having to make basic small talk with a confident gregarious women trying assiduously to conceal my social anxiety. I have been dreading this visit to the local salon for weeks now slowly the anxiety has been rising in me like a volcano waiting to erupt. It was a month ago when I suffered a psychologically scaring panic attack on my short journey to the dentist when i was hit with a panic attack that was the consequence of the enormous anxiety of attending the dentist. That left me for days afterwards in a state of disquietude not knowing even another attack would befall me. Having nobody to confide in to talk about my social anxiety my fear of another traumatic attack.

Today though i will face the storms of the outside i will venture into unknown waters and face a prolonged visit to the salon. I need a haircut my hair has become unkempt and far too long. I have requested a short pixie cut no hair colouring just maintaining my dark brown hair aesthetic. The worst aspect that gives me trepidation is looking into the mirror that is directly adjacent to my eye line. I intend to look past my hideous visage and to attempt to not gaze directly into my eyes. If I’m successful i wait avert a panic attack and mitigate the anxiety of the trip to the salon. Theres only two social functions that are more anxiety laden its a night out with my student friends and attending a dental appointment. The salon though is a close third with the staring at yourself the staid incredibly uncomfortable small talk with a virtual stranger who’s full of spunk who’s the antithesis of my introverted self conscious personality.

I get myself prepared for the travail of a hour long stay in the salon. For the majority of humans a routine social outing such as going to the hairdressers or the local convenience store is a stress free mundane occurrence. For me its fear it’s heavy erratic breathing its hands shacking it’s unrelenting paranoia its a toil a exhausting endeavour. Hence i am now prepared i have the requisite attire and makeup to assuage my anxiety. I am clad in back looking like a goth without the black lipstick. With my long black coat and black knee length boots and black shirt i am set to visit the salon. I refrain from gazing at myself in any mirror i am ready for the ordeal of a simple appointment at my local salon.

I leave my safe space leave my home and brace my fragile mind for the outside world. My anxiety has in the past months increased in the severity the panic attacks have been occurring with alarming regularity. Now its at least once a month i hit with the nightmare of a panic attack. Last time it was a trip to the dentist on over occasions its been nights out with friends or simple rudimentary everyday tasks like going shopping cause me to suffer a psychological deleterious panic attack. Now i am outside walking with trepidation having soothing classical music that’s blaring into my ears to negate the anxiety of the uncertain outside world.

I look up at the sky its a bleak overcast melancholic english spring day. No possibility of sun appearing from the dolorous English skyline. The dark forlorn weather is in perfect congruity with my anxiety laden depressed mood. I walk at a lethargic pace with my lumbering feet unable to walk any faster from the anxiety that’s pulsating round my body. I am diligently attempting to control my breathing i alone not in close contact with strangers so i feel free to take long deep breaths. Breathe in and out trying to maintain my balance to avert the numbness in my legs and feet that occurs when a pernicious attack hits me. I am so profoundly self conscious walking wearing my makeup my mask. I can perceive the contemptuous gazes of other humans looking at me at this inhuman freak. I try to appear as a normal trying to hide my anxiety i stop the deep breathing techniques i stop all these idiosyncratic quirks that are a symptom of my anxiety. I stop shacking my leg so profusely stop the shacking of my fingers all in a attempt to present myself as a normal not a social leper living with a anxiety disorder.

Keep moving now at a more frenetic pace as i can make out the salon I’m nearly on time for my appointment. Sweat appears on my brow I have trouble breathing i remove my Bluetooth headphones from my ears I have to be fully prepared for the hell of the next hour of the hairdresser appointment. With my unkempt long hair and gothic outfit i saunter into the salon with my body overwhelmed with nervousness. I hide this with my emotional repressed english manner appearing stoic calm and aloof. I enter the daunting entrance of the salon i am greeted by a smiling effervescent extroverted young hairdresser who exudes confidence and warmth the complete anthesis of my introverted self loathing personality. I nervously responded to her exultant hello by saying thank you as the hairdresser Susan kisses me on my cheek and invades my personal space. I say nothing never expressing my discomfort in being kissed. I sit down in the vacant chair and get ready for the commencement of my haircut. Susan asks me politely if I want my hair washed as getting a pixie cut will be considerably easier with wet newly washed hair. I acquiesce to her requests not wanting to come across as odd. My demeanour is controlled and stoic i hide all the anxiety the neurosis the thoughts of dread ruminating in my consciousness.

She washes my unkempt dry damaged hair in the sink i catch glimpses of my pallid repulsive face I shudder in horror. Despite the ample makeup I’ve applied i am still a homely unappealing freak. As Susan is ebulliently washing my hair words reverberate in my damaged mind ugly ugly you freak you freak i want to die i want to die. The horror has only begun the washing of my adult hair is the appetiser the main course is when will have my hair fastidiously cut by adept hairdresser. Then i will have to stare at myself i will have to gaze into the abyss of my ravaged soul.

Susan has completed washing my hair it takes her to minutes to apply and rinse the shampoo and conditioner. Now the hell begins i am face to face with my grim visage. The haircut begins i look at myself i cant avert my gaze. I try to look past my face to squint my eyes but it’s their this ghostly apparition in the mirror. Susan is so kind and gentle she never tells me how ugly i am. She is a professional and is cutting my hair making small talk for which I respond despite the increase anxiety. We talk on a myriad of mundane topics such as the bleak weather how i doing at university and i enquire how is the local business in a attempt to move the conversation from me. All the while I can feel the anxiety surging in me i feel the onset of a panic attack. I look in the mirror the words of ugly freak are ever present in my mind. I try to numb the anxiety the disquietude but its like a sad disgusting feeling that wont abate.

I have trouble breathing my fingers are twitching my left leg is tapping repeatedly. I cant hide the signs of my anxiety my panic attack is Susan or the other people inside the salon establishment fully cognisant of my peculiar behaviour. I cant breathe i cant breathe i cant breathe a million thoughts hit me at once my chest feels so tight. I am trapped in a paralysed state there’s no feeling in my legs is this an actual heart attack or another panic attack so my acute untreated anxiety disorder. Still i cant breathe as my hair looks short and presentable. In the midst of this attack I’m careful to hide my attack even within close proximity to other people i suppress my condition. Never do i bury my head in my hands or show myself struggling to catch a breathe. I have become proficient in masking my illness never disclosing this social debilitating disorder. As i am in hell sinker into deeper levels of torture Susan is completely ignorant of my panic attack.

She carries on with the conversation I responded laconically with monosyllabic responses to her questions. The attack is still happening i feel like I’m dying drowning in a ocean of despair unable to see any way out. I think to myself is this madness will I have recover from this. Then after a eternity of numbness of my nervous system shutting down and a foreboding feeling of death. The attack diminishes in the severity as my neurotic body reverts to a normal feeling of worthlessness and utter revulsion for my appearance. The haircut is nearly complete Susan is meticulously completing the final touches to my new hairstyle. I catch glimpses of my haunted listless eyes in the mirror there’s no life no beauty in me I’m a freak a monster doomed to wander aimlessly without love in the vast wilderness.

However the haircut looks amazing Susan has done an amazing job in revitalising my previously bedraggled adult hair. All the split ends are removed i look my face again i thank Susan for the amazing job shes done in my characteristic reserved style. Without smiling without any physical contact i show my pleasure i then pay the requisite money for the haircut and hair wash. I vacate the establishment still with the scaring remnants of the attack in my body the staff the customers I’m certain are utterly unaware that i suffered another harrowing panic attack. I kept my breathing difficulties and my heightened anxiety hidden even in the apex of a pernicious panic attack. I vacate the premises and walk frantically to the local lavatory. I get inside collapse on the seat of a filthy cubicle i start to cry uncontrollably the anxiety is killing me. I cant go out i cant socialise with my friends even attending my university lectures or simple humdrum tasks like shopping have become unbearable onerous experiences.

I still camped inside the cubicle for nearly an hour until i can cry no longer. In my exhausted state i get up leave this germ invested public building. I keep saying the same mantra in my head get me home get me home get me home. Then there are other words that circulate in my mind freak ugly worthless subhuman unlovable. The traversal home is a short journey only 10 minutes but in the aftermath of a terrifying panic attack it felt like journeying into a treacherous foreign land. The cold inhospitable streets i walked with trepidation averting my gaze. My head was glued to the floor I wanted to be alone sequestered away from human contact where’s there’s no risk of unrelenting torturous anxiety. I want the solace of my private alcove where I’m free to suffer in silence. With frenetic pace i walk aware that the illusion of normality is slipping away as the desire to be secluded from the prying eyes of people is greater. I walk with increasing fervency almost speed walking then i reach my destination. My heart is beating my arms are shacking erratically I’m struggling to stand upright as i reach for my house key. I enter my shared accommodation rush upstairs open my room assiduously lock the door then collapse on my floor whisky holding my pink childhood teddy bear.

The tears cascade down my face like a waterfall of unexpressed sadness. That simple task was torture i may never leave my room again. It getting worse the attacks are becoming habitual every month nearly every week. I cant go out anymore as i retreat from society as i eschew seeking the help of medication or therapy. The condition has rendered me a virtual recluse unable to partake in romantic relationship seeing my studies suffer and my beautiful friendships drift apart from the detrimental effects of this disorder. I lay paralysed on my hard cold bedroom floor calling myself a freak ugly freak ugly i cant stand myself any longer. The anxiety the depression is slowly killing me like a noxious gas slowly poisoning my body.

An Evening Of Fear And Loathing Part 2

Its 7 o’clock in the evening my body is pulsating with anxiety is i am mentally preparing for a date with Kyle. I have masked my glaring imperfections on my porcelain face by putting on my female war paint. I have only an hour before I rendezvous with my date with whom I’ve only corresponded with on instagram and tinder. Its been 6 months of daily interactions in which time we have formed a intimate connection. We became acquainted when he liked each other’s profile photo on tinder then slowly we flirted we shared information about each other. I was impressed with Kyle with the collection of images he displayed on tinder on his instagram. Theres no egoistical selfies in which he displays his immaculate muscular torso. There’s a absence of narcissistic photographs just a collage of demure images of his gorgeous face. Kyle enjoys taken photos of his art of his dog its what attracted me to him. His personality his view of himself appears to be the anthesis of the typical macho man on tinder or instagram looking for sex or a long term partner.

Kyle had been pleading with me for months to go on a casual no strings attached date with no pressure. Time and time again i had declined i was reticent to go out to meet this fantasy of a man in the flesh. The same neurotic thoughts circulated in my mind what if he thought i was ugly or worse boring. I also declined to partake in a evening of culinary delights and loquacious conversation with Kyle largely due to my crippling social anxiety which precludes from living a full rich social life. I made excuses saying i was working I used my university studies as a legitimate excuse as to why i was so hesitant to meet a man whom i was enamoured with. When i was repeatedly declining Kyle kind invitation i was desperate to overcome my fears my anxiety and go on a date with this photogenic chiselled creature. I wanted to finally go on a date to a fall in love to have euphoric sex with a perfect charming man.

The brutal reality of venturing outside going on a date is that there is a strong chance of me suffering another harrowing panic attack from the intense anxiety of the uncomfortable uncertain social setting. Even if I avoided a panic attack it would be a torturous experience with anxiety with a paranoia with the fear the disquietude of being on a date with Kyle. However the desire for love to end the alienation of being afflicted with a social anxiety body dysmorphia and long term depression is why I tentatively accepted this casual date in a quaint local Italian restaurant.

Before i departed from my room i laid on my bed smoked a cannabis joint and listened to calming classical piano music by Chopin. Inhaling this psychoactive mind altering substance and absorbing the melancholic music assuaged my fears and tranquillised briefly my nerves. I laid with my eyes fixed on the ivory ceiling in a mediative state. Then after 20 minutes of being stoned laying on my back i arose from my bed to clothe my scrawny body in the immodest black maxi dress which shows off my curves. Then i place my black ankle boots that perfectly complement my dress perfectly. I got out my large wall mirror which i had kept in my closet from the trauma of seeing my hideous deformed face. Then I applied another layer of seductive red lipstick and felt for once vaguely attractive. In my stoned spaced out mind I was careful to not spend too long scrutinising my appearance in the mirror. Its a momentary glance to check that everything was okay that my lipstick my makeup masked the blemishes the imperfections on my face. Even though it gave me a shudder of revulsion to look at myself i loved the ensemble of low cut black dress and black boots that showcased my curves.

The restaurant where had decided to meet up was in close proximity to my shared student home. Approximately a leisurely 10 minute walk according to google maps on my iPhone. Its 30 minutes still the agreed upon time for our first official date commences. I receive a text message from Kyle its says ❤️🍝🥂 see you in soon. After receiving this text i nervously and instantly respond with a succinct text of 👍. Then i peceive the anxiety surge in my body as am fully cognisant of the enormity of what i am undertaken tonight. This date might be the genesis of a beautiful enduring love story or i might be overcome with anxiety i stay hidden in my room feeling asphyxiated with anxiety attack. Once again i scroll through the collection of alluring image on Kyle instagram. It doesn’t dissipate my anxiety I realise how much more bewitching Kyle is with his perfect iridescent smile that radiates a joy a lust for love. I scroll through our communications i am struck by his charm by his nonthreatening messages.

I begin to breathe heavily and frantically as the time is ticking until our date commences. I’m on my knees with my head in my hands trying diligently to recapture my composure not know I’m saying repeatedly in my head as a mantra to avert another panic attack. It works after several minutes of rocking back and forth with my head in my sweating and unable to breathe freely I recover from a minor panic attack. I then get up fix myself try to remain calm stable stay to maintain a facade of normality i try to mask the interior universe of anxiety and self loathing that threatens to thwart my future happiness. I casually stroll outside my room say goodbye to my roommates and friends Sarah and Aisha. They both hug wishing me well on my excursion into the stormy waters of dating. I feel a brief moment of solace before i leave for my first real date as a adult women. Then i say my goodbyes with a tumult of unease rumbling in my empty stomach as i walk outside the sanctuary the safety of my house to the turbulence the disorder of the outside. Tonight i will have to face my social phobia to face my debilitating fear of the fear of the unknown of people of intimacy of extensive protracted conversation with a virtual stranger.