Wednesday, 20 November 2013

My own personal jungle

I'm a celebrity get me out of here has begun again on TV here in the UK.  This is the only reality show I like and make a point of watching.  I enjoy seeing others enduring hardships that most of us would never have the nerve to experience, and I can sit in the comfort of my own living room and watch celebs being covered in bugs and eating ostrich anus, and I can enjoy it without having to actually experience it.  It's compulsive viewing, and if the celebs are nice people, or good looking, or both, then so much the better.

It's interesting seeing celebs being real. We usually only get to see their public persona, and it's nice to see that they can be nasty, boring and emotional just like the rest of us.  The jungle brings the contestants into direct contact with their fears, usually the bugs, and I'm happy to admit that I would never have the courage to enter that show.  I have a phobia of spiders and the ones in the jungle are huge.  I'd be fine with the rats, cockroaches, snakes and anything else, but the spiders?  No thank you.

This show coming back has made me think about fears, phobias and courage.  Everyone is scared of something, and anyone who says they're not, is a liar.  I'm autistic, and my greatest phobia is social interaction.  Not only does it terrify me, but I'm hopeless at it, and my terrible attempts at it only serve to increase the fear for the next time.  I think back to previous attempts, and the awful consequences, and think, "not doing that again, thank you."  Usually, you would think that simply avoiding your fears would help ensure your life is stress free and happy, but no.  You see, apart from being bad at social interaction, at the same time, I yearn for it.  I long for friends, nights out, laughs and fun, but knowing how bad I am at doing it, makes me too afraid to try it again.

It's the same when it comes to finding a significant other.  I'm awful at doing that, and previous attempts have ended in disaster, so I no longer try to find anyone.  In fact, if I'm completely truthful, I actively try to keep away from finding anyone.  Not because I don't want anyone, because I do, very much.  I avoid them because the thought of dating and the whole, 'meeting a man' thing terrifies me.  Add into this mix, the fact that I'm 51, overweight and ugly, means I have very little incentive to try.

The thing with fears is that yes, if you can face them, you have a good chance of beating them.  Sometimes though, you have to realise and admit that some things can't be beaten.  Those things you know are beyond you, remain unattainable and you have to learn to live with it.  I've learned over the years to be able to deal with spiders when I find them in my home.  Living alone means that if I don't deal with them, no one else will, so circumstances have forced me into a confrontation with this fear.  I long ago conquered a childhood fear of the dark, another necessity when living alone.  When it comes to social interaction and finding a man however, those things will forever remain beyond my grasp.

That is my jungle.  I'm not a celebrity but get me out of here please.

Sincerely, Invisible Woman

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