Struggling with negativity and low self-confidence

Maybe I’m just feeling a little down after spending a week with my son, but now that he isn’t here I’m back to focusing on the negative. I do that a lot.

When I was a child, I was afraid, afraid that when I grew older, girls wouldn’t like me. I was so afraid, when I got older, I was afraid of making bad first impressions, so I did nothing and that way I made no first impressions.

But when I think back, it was so stupid – I was so stupid. Despite my fears, whenever I tried anything, I always succeeded. I breezed through school, which I found, for the most part, incredibly easy. I won the 100 meter sprint until I lost interest and stopped training, and there were always girls who liked me… I mean a lot of them, but somehow I remained afraid to approach them.

In high school, I didn’t go out or have friends. Instead, I liked to read or lie on my bed listening to Depeche Mode with my earphones on. Then I moved on to The Cure (and actually my son’s second name is Robert, named after Robert Smith), then The Mission and The Sisters of Mercy, and somehow, as if by accident I became a goth for a few years.

Through my inertia and lethargy, somehow I have never learned to socialize or be really normal. I never really fit in anywhere (and maybe it’s no wonder I became a drug addict for a while), and yet despite this, have always been well liked, always successful in everything I do, in spite of my lack of confidence. Most things are easy; always have been, except for those personal connections, intimate friendships with other people.

Even now, I find myself dwelling on the negative. Recently I wrote about living in a world of idiots, even though I know deep down it’s a matter of perspective. It has become popular to be interested in the geeky things that interest me. VSauce is one of the most popular channels on YouTube, which just goes to show that being a science nerd nowadays is cool. And yet, I can’t be like Michael, the host of that channel. I can’t be enthusiastic and energetic. If I had to pick a cartoon character that people would associate me with, it would have to be Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

So, if you’re one of those perpetually morbid, sad but not quite depressed (yet maybe depressing) people like me who winces every time some stupid fucker tells you to “snap out of it”, you’re not as alone as you think you are…

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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