I had my first panic attack when I was seven years old.
My mum was dragging me into Sunday School on one of the few occasions my parents had deemed it necessary to have our souls saved from eternal damnation and whatnot. When we got close to the door to class, I had a sudden impulse, like my body telling me I wasn't safe. If eyes were on me, if a group paid any mind to my existence, that was it for me. Remember that time you were caught masturbating by your parents? It's like that feeling, except that you know in your head that nothing is going to be okay, and that everyone is judging you for anything, however trivial it is. Okay, it's a lot like that. Your parents saw you touching yourself. Gross.
Social anxiety is Joseph Heller's wet dream - you want help for your problem, but it's too hard to talk to people about anything, let alone a problem that would have ended you up in a loony bin a hundred years ago. It's not just about having panic attacks, it's this general feeling of unease when you have to be in any remotely social environment. I'm twenty-one years old and I missed my first class last semester because I was late and would be noticed by the whole class. People rightfully get frustrated with me whenever I can't speak up or introduce myself to anyone. I don't blame them, it's fucking annoying. I'm paranoid as hell and I'm sure that my oversteeped tea in the morning doesn't help me get over it. But I need it; I can barely get up each morning as it is. Kurt Vonnegut saw a faulty brain like mine as faulty wiring. Maybe he was onto something.
So I live in this city. It's near another that's named after Napoleon's last stand. It looks like this:
My one and only friend here moved a month ago to some nowhere town to get a co-op, and my girlfriend lives two hours away. I'm not complaining, I don't mind solitude as much as most would. I'm kinda used to it at this point. It just gives me time to think over everything, then think it over some more. A life of nothing will do that to you. It might be a trap that I'm unaware of, but I'll keep you posted if it is. I sure as hell don't know it yet. So we're here, paragraph three, and this still begs the question: "Why the fuck is this on Destructoid?"
I joined this site in 2009 at the ripe old age of fourteen. My best friend at the time told me all about it, how it's totally way better than whatever the hell I was on at the time. Screwattack? Probably. He'd always talk about Jim Sterling and his knack for pissing people off, about the dick jokes and Brad Nicholson's muscles... I was sold immediately. It was a site that felt smart while remaining completely aware of its immaturity. I had been going from site to site like my whore of an ex-girlfriend in an attempt to find the one that would fit me just right. I guess a site that had a fat man singing in a bathtub was the one that did it for me. Christ.
So seven years have passed and I'm still here. I get attached to things I suppose. So what was the preface about? Just venting? I guess that's okay if you want. Who am I talking to??
I'm in this city. Remember it? It looks like this:
I'm here by myself. Even when I'm at the university, it's just me 99% of the time. But I have a community. I'm not going to be some emotional sap here, but it's true. What kept me here this whole time wasn't the writers, they come and go. It's not just the content, I can read similar articles all across the internet. It's you fellas. The folks that I come to every day to see what you think about some trivial thing more than likely involving some character's butt. People I genuinely care for, despite never speaking a word to any of you in real life. I'm not alone here, despite everyone telling me otherwise. I've got a lot I need to do, a lot of people I need to meet and a lot of catching up to do with whatever friends I still have. But through all of that, I'll have a community that has validated my passions and touched me in all the places I wanted. There's the dick joke.
I wanted to make my first blog something personal, as a way to start things off ri - Jesus Christ, it's five in the morning. Goddammit.
You guys are the best, is what I'm trying to say. Thanks. I do honestly mean it. There's no place I'd rather be.