Hi all, I'm a 23-year old socially awkward guy. Started reading about AvPD this week, and it pierced my heart and blew my mind. So many truths that I would love to pin onto my walls!
My apologies for the truckload of text. Skip the part between "====="s to get the summary, heheh.
At a very early age, I was diagnosed as being intellectually gifted (sorry, that's the best English translation I could find), so we usually appointed that as the reason for my "difference". Fear of failure, over-analyzing everything, that sort of stuff.
In primary school, I was too young to be bothered my by lack of social skills. In high school, I became an easy target for mean remarks, and I've been repeatedly abandoned by peers I considered to be my friends. Things were okay as long as I joked around or studied with them (that is, I did their work), but apparently they grew tired of me when my job was done. As such, I ended up hiding behind two stereotypes (the top-tier student and the joker) and simply blocking everything else altogether, up until this very day.
In a regular conversation, I'm afraid to state how I feel, what my hobbies are, or even what I'd like to have for dinner--- all in fear of being criticized or rejected. I rehearse every conversation in some kind of fantasy universe where I'm an awesome superstar, but it never comes true. I am convinced that everyone thinks I'm weird or boring or autistic, unless I play one of my safe roles.
So last year I had a severe breakdown. Took a year off after I'd finished my MSc thesis. Started taking theatre classes and I met a completely new type of people, who showed me amazing glimpses of what normal people call fun. But I keep hitting the same wall once I need to drop the masks. While I'm jealously watching everybody outperform me, I'm still as miserably inept as before, and it makes me so
Just two weeks ago, I started sharing this problem with a new friend (through e-mails). She's amazingly helpful and understanding, and my current #1 fear is to lose her. She is encouraging me to look for answers, but pure coincidence made me discover AvPD.
My initial euphoria ("thank heavens, it's got a name") has made place for the idea that something is seriously wrong with me. And I'm already noticing effects in the smallest conversations. It's like the situation's been getting worse ever since I found out about this disorder.
Any ideas on what to do next? I fear that an official diagnosis will only make things worse. I would do absolutely anything
to function normally, to be loved, and to feel genuinely happy. But now that I've found a clue to think about day and night, I'm afraid I can't pull that off anymore.
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading
I hope to find some comfort here.