You know that feeling before you go on the stage. Your heart is beating a million miles an hour. Your palms are sweaty. All your lines are getting jumbled up in your head and you feel as though you can’t go on?

That’s stage fright.

Don’t worry, it’s a perfectly normal thing to have. All the best performers get it.

But what if that stage fright follows you off the stage, it stalks you when you leave the dressing room and melts away from the fiction and merges with your reality?

That’s my anxiety. Every day I feel the world is against me. My heart beats faster than my mind can think. My breathing gets heavier and heavier with each and every paranoid thought that passes through my brain. My palms sweat a river of panic and all this built up adrenaline causes my words to come out in a heap of sounds.

It’s something I’ve learnt to live with.

To me, my anxiety is just a part of me that comes with its own ups and downs.

To others, however, my anxiety is seen as a nuisance. The constant beggings for me to “speak louder” or “talk slower”. People frequently reminding me “it’s just a phone stop being a pain and talk” and “just go down to the shop I don’t know what the big deal is”.

I can’t blame these people, they don’t know what it’s like to feel constantly pressured to do the best that not just you can do, but the best out of everyone in that room.

But I beg of you, please, be patient with me. With the mix of Aspergers and anxiety, I know I can be a pain and that you probably don’t want to be bothered with me. But please, give me a chance.

If you can deal with my fear before a show and can put up with my racing heart and sweaty palms before the curtain goes up. Then you can deal with my frivolous fidgeting and mumbled words during class, on the phone, during conversations.

Because in the end, I am only human, I have my imperfections, I have my own little quirks that others will find irritating. And if I can learn to live with them then so can you. Because in the end, you are human too.

Sincerely,

Benji

 

 

 

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