What do you do when a situation is the most positive of experiences, but your not equipped to deal with spot light or praise?
I’ve mentally beat myself up for so many years now that I don’t know any different.
I recently attended an awards ceremony where I was one of three nominees for an award that evening.
When I got the call I was happy, but not overly joyed, some friends and family said I should have been ‘overjoyed’ ‘ecstatic’ ‘over the moon’ etc.. but really, itwas just ‘OK’.
I put the phone down , told my fiancée who was very pleased and carried on with what I was doing. That was normal for me, don’t get to happy, don’t get too down… Try to stay level. If I get excited, I’ll panic if I get sad, I’ll think and panic. So my place has been in the middle which kind of makes me wonder: Am I boring? Am I really living? Or just getting by? Does my fiancée think these things bout me?! She has recently mentioned that I seem very grumpy and quiet .. Ohh Fuck!!! Not what you really want to hear, but accepted and I’m working on it. It really isn’t meant.
Anyway, I took my best mate to the awards evening as my fiancée was stuck at work. To explain a little, my mate is a positive person, he’s like a real life Peter Pan, he will never ever go a day without laughter! And will do his best to brighten up the darkest of situations, a good man and a dear friend.
So, a black tie event. I’ve never been to one of them ever, so my mate and I rocked up in navy and grey suits respectively ……… As we got to the entrance I could see a very large amount of eyeballs looking directly at us! Ohh shit! That’s when my mate said to me. ‘don’t worry pal, people do not like different. I’ve been to a few of these events and at the end of the day, if you were wearing a tracksuit, they’d still applaud, because they have not done what you have done, wise up and come on!’ That’s where the old ‘Sheep’ theory came into play. I smiled and headed straight to the bar.
I am not a big drinker, but needed something to take the edge off this feeling I still had, the clothes didn’t bother me. It was the thought of winning!! I was sweating, nervous, couldn’t think straight.I needed a bit of tranquillity.
So I downed about three pints of Guinness and a couple of shots in about half hour. That was crazy for me!! But still the anxiety was crippling me. By this time we were sat at our designated table and my mate could see straight through me. I really didn’t want to be there and as the awards gradually came to mine the intention of running out of the hotel became bigger!
My category. Videos were shown of each nominee before hand and the host spoke of what we had done etc… So I knew I had fifteen minutes and ordered another drink, that was gone in seconds. Still , not calm!! Ohh shit!! I have never felt an anxiety like this before. I wasn’t dying, a little palpitations but for obvious reasons so I was not bothered . It was an unknown anxiety, maybe unconfident, just didn’t feel I deserved to be there. I kept my head down and hoped I’d lose. Very odd ey???!!!
I won! What the f……!!!
My mate jumped up, grabbed hold of me kisses my head and said ‘now get up there, because you deserve it!’
I walked up to the stage and was shaking from head to toe! All I kept saying to myself was ‘don’t crack, don’t crack!!!’. I got up there, shook hands with everyone etc and raced back to my seat where people came over and congratulated me. It was only then that the alcohol had hit me…. And quietly got on with our evening, also calm knowing that I would be up for no more awards
Then the realisation of what was achieved made me stop and accept praise we are all the same, no matter what we do in life, or the clothes we wear !!!