The Return of My Social Anxiety Derrick Broze January 5, 2018 2116 Derrick Broze’ Stream of Consciousness #6 (Steemit Exclusive) I want to remind the viewer that this series (originating on Steemit) are not meant to be extremely well edited or refined. Rather, I am trying to take some of the millions of thoughts from my brain and put them down on paper in hopes that they will be of value to me at a later date, or simply interesting/entertaining to voyeurs. With that in mind, please enjoy these thoughts. When I was a teenager I became aware that I had anxiety when around large groups of people, or, in small groups where I didn’t feel comfortable. It was not the sort of thing I complained to my parents about or went to a doctor for a solution. I figured it was another one of my quirks and something that I would learn to navigate. As an adult I have talked fairly publicly about my anxiety, my self-worth issues, my suicide attempts, my self harm issues, and dealing with depression since I was a young child. I typically speak of these experiences as someone who has overcome them or at the least, has been able to function. However, recent events are leading me to believe that I still have work to do on these issues and that I also have an often overwhelming need to be in solitude. I have felt this recent desire to push people away for a few months now. I figured it was related to my abundant use of social media (specifically facebook) to help plan my first national speaking/community building tour. It required a lot of hours online and on facebook talking to people, promoting, scheduling, etc. I was feeling stretched thin after completing the tour (and doing my usual writing, videos, essays, and interviews) so I decided to cut out facebook for a while. This has definitely been a valuable experience for me. I typically do this every couple months, but 2017 was extremely busy with me constantly having something new to promote or share. Now that I have been able to spend a couple months off facebook I feel better in many ways. I haven’t been stressed or impatient or bitter with people online. However…. I might not be stressed out online so much at the moment, but recently I was definitely feeling the stress of having a full house and being in busy, crowded situations. First, I went to this big music and art festival called Day For Night. It’s pretty interesting the way they mix digital art and electronics with various genres of music. I was enjoying myself until I ended up outside in a huge crowd of people dancing to one of the producers. I started to notice the glow sticks being thrown around and my mind immediately went to thinking about how wasteful and likely toxic those things are. I started to notice all the beer cans all over the ground. My anxiety and stress was rising. Surely, someone would be paid to pick this up later, but for me it was about the fact that’s the type of people I was surrounded by. I work hard not to judge others and rather take note and work harder to represent what I want to be about and the behaviors I want to exhibit. Still, I do get overwhelmed in large crowds and situations where there is a lot of waste and trash. For example, airports are huge centers filled with mainstream food that is typically not organic and is also very expensive. Everything is wrapped in plastic or in styrofoam and usually there is not much recycling. All of this leads to a massively wasteful, unhealthy, overpriced mall. And being there makes me want to run. I recognize that the probability of changing the habits of the entire world is not high and so I must accept the world. And this is what I learned from Buddhism and Taoism when i first started exploring my spirit. To stop making value judgements and see things as they are in their true nature. Which is pretty difficult to balance with wanting to help the world and help yourself. But I see my efforts as in line with the Bodhisattvas of the past. Even so, I find myself pessimistic and anti-social, wanting to run and try to build a paradise. But I know, no matter where I go, these problems and realities exist. I want to help create solutions. In fact, I have dedicated my life to it. But I still find myself overwhelmed with the reality that most of the people in our world are consumed with their own lives and not thinking of the big picture or the 7th generation. It makes me sad. Truly. To some degree I have to accept that. I also have to accept that I want to help. And even though I am turned off by much of the habits of the people I share this planet with, I have to work with them, and learn from them. I love meeting new people and encouraging them to grow, but I also have to acknowledge I need my own time and space. I am not separate. I am one with those I don’t agree with. I am one with those who destroy and hurt the planet. I am one with those who waste and consume mindlessly. So I know I cannot give up my path or give up on my brothers and sisters. But it feels good to acknowledge and release these feelings. Thanks for listening.