It’s really late. I’ve been sleepy since about midnight but, of course, I randomly have found energy here at 3 am.

Today was good. I woke up late, rushed and barely made it to my 1pm work shift. So, it started off rough, I guess, but work went well. I got a lot done, and enjoyed working with my coworkers.

The main reason today was pretty good, however, is because I felt comfortable. I didn’t feel awkward. And, I usually do. Especially when doing something I don’t want, like forcing small talk with Starbucks customers. But today, it flowed out. Everything I said was smooth, how I wanted to be, I felt socially adept, not socially inept.

For the most part, I beat social anxiety in my senior year of high school. Or so I thought. Even though I was miles better than I was when I was 15, I still had days of being rigid. Days of saying stuff that just causes rift and makes people subsequently frustrated with my incoherent conversation.

But, as it stands, I’ve returned to my awkward ways the past few months. It’s not all my fault this time around. I’m prescribed vyvanse, to concentrate and stay alert. I’m on 70 milligrams. The maximum recommended daily dose. I started on 30, and when that stopped working for me and I was napping 2 hours after taking it, I titrated up to 50 mg. Then, that lost effect, and now 70 is what I take.

I really don’t wanna be on the stuff. I don’t wanna take anything. I need it, however.I must sound like a drug addict. No, I’m serious. I don’t think I have ADD.But, I am way too sleepy to function without the stimulant- yes, I can stay awake- but I’d just become this mental mush of fogged brain and constant yawning. I’d be no good. Getting out of bed is a hassle already, but vyvanse helps kickstart me to get going. I full believe I need it, that’s how I rationalize taking it.

Anyways- stimulants make me nervous. They make anyone nervous, you can’t help it. It’s in the description of the medication. It raises heart rate, which in turn makes you sweat, makes you race thoughts, stumble across words, you get the point.

I gave a speech earlier this year on vyvanse. I wasn’t nervous to speak in front of the class, I’ve conquered that fear. I’ve made the strides mentally. But, sure enough, I got up there, with 70 milligrams of vyvanse just coursing through my system, and my voice trembled. I think you get the point. Since being on this stimulant, I’ve unfortunately become awkward again.I still cope with it well, but it’s gotten rougher.

I’m back on lexapro, an antidepressant I was on for a while when my doctor thought I had depression. It didn’t cure depression because I didn’t have it, but it did help me relax socially, and truly be who I wanted. So, I think being back on it is helping me smooth out my rocky socializing edges.

It’s a bit sucky that I have to be on something that makes me racy and unable to smoothly correlate a conversation. But, it helps me stay awake and motivated. So, it evens out.

But days like today, when I feel comfortable in myself again, remind me of just how awkward I have been before. I mean, in 11th grade, I could barely hope to be who I wanted in a public setting. I’d nervously curb my every word just to make sure I didn’t seem weird.  And, that really blows. Being awkward, having social anxiety, whatever you wanna call it- it’s debilitating. I’m not even being dramatic here. It’s no fun.

It can be helped, though. I don’t even let myself think about all the times I came across as someone so bland and boring just to save myself the potential embarrassment of being me. The raw form, don’t-worry-about-how-they-will-react, me. An awkward person isn’t being themself. A person with social anxiety isn’t the person they intend on being. That idea of a “shell” is essentially not a “shell” at all, it’s a barrier.

It’s not even that I’m more talkative when I’m socially comfortable; in fact I’m the opposite. When I’m awkward I find myself forcing conversation more, because I feel I need to. I’m more self conscious when I’m anxious, so I try and compensate the matter by drowning my thoughts in talk. Yet, when I’m comfortable, I’m doing what I want, not doing what I perceive to be necessary. I’m actually quieter, because I don’t feel the need to talk. I’m fine with being my introverted self.

I have had days where I just am killing it. I’m in a state of flow. I’m doing exactly what I want, saying precisely what I want to say and how I want to say it, and I’m in unison with my mind. Those days have been rare the past few months. And, to get one of them today, is refreshing. Because, that’s who I am.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 3:50 AM

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