Went to a concert tonight that I was 100% peer pressured into going to. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I did, but the idea of it was so unappealing to me.

My former department head, whom I once truly loved, organized the trip with his “favorites”. So i had to go because the thought of missing it made my jealousy monster rear its ugly head.

DH decided to get us front row center seats.

Normal people’s first thought: OMG awesome!

My first thought: shit.

Because front row means you can’t hide in the crowd. You are seen by the performers and by everyone behind you.

I was afraid he’d notice I was faking it, or he’d mistake my anxiety as displeasure.

The whole time I was sitting there next to DH, I was torn between being awed by the the sheer skill of the performer, and by having to constantly reassure myself that it would be over soon.

And then it was over and I managed to get through it, only to have the group want to meet the performer after the show, which is very, very harrowing to me. I do not know what to say to a performer other than “you were great.” I have no need to tell them what they mean to me or to try to endear myself to them. My fear of humiliation outweighs any pleasure that might be derived from the act.

I am a wallflower through and through.

But I waited in line and pretended to be normal, pretended not to feel sick at the prospect of directly interacting with the famous person. But I got through that too. He recognized us from the front row.

And then we were saying goodbye and I thought, yes, finally I can let go of this breath i’ve been holding and then I can be myself.

Except I was in a carpool and everyone wanted to go to a bar, so I had to go too. Thus, I continued to pretend, kept the smile plastered to my face like an actress facing the press.

I didn’t drink, though. I never drink when I am uncomfortable in social situations because the thought of losing control of this tightly wound machine makes my anxiety skyrocket.

That and while everyone else has a day off tomorrow, I do not. I can’t be having a hangover or any alcohol related pain.

And finally after six hours of being “on” and pretending, I can let go and put it all behind me.

I hate my brain, sometimes.