A few weeks ago I read a blog post by a friend. The post was called ’10 Things I’m Afraid To Tell You’ . I loved the blog post and it made me think about what I would put in such a blog post. I know it sounds odd because I am quite open in my blog post about myself but there are somethings I do keep to myself. So here is my post about the 10 Things I’m Afraid To Tell You.

1) Social Awkwardness.

I do think I am socially awkward. It is OK if it a group of people I know very well but other than that I struggle. I never know what to say. I particularly feel this way with people who I feel are better educated than myself. I know I went university and I work in a library and deal with academics on a daily basis but I sometimes feel that I don’t belong in those circles. As part of my job I do have to network and although I love meeting people it is still a bit awkward. I am getting better with networking with other library professionals but I need to improve more. I am even awkward with extended family. I’m not sure if this is because I think we have no real common ground or it is due to family politics.

2) Envy friends: relationship, lifestyle etc.

I suppose we all have a bit of grass is always greener syndrome but it is something I am ashamed to have. I should be thankful for all the good things in my life and I am honestly. However I see some friends and think wow you are amazing and you have achieved so much. I know I should stop comparing myself to those around me but we all do it. I think social media doesn’t help with this as you see people having amazing times, in happy relationships etc and although you don’t grudge them this I do wish I had some of that going on.

3) I let people down

Whenever I am asked what is important to me I always say family and friends. It’s cliché but true I value all the people in my life greatly. Sometimes though I am too wrapped up in my own issues/thoughts to notice these special people struggling and often find out too late and feel guilty for letting them suffer. Then they drift away from my life and I blame myself for that. They don’t necessarily disappear from my life but that closeness/intimacy is gone. You both know it and it makes it awkward when you do try to talk to each other. Some people I have been lucky enough to have the chance say sorry to. I think it is important we do this even if we have drifted. We need that sense of closure sometimes even though that scares the hell out of me.  Friendships and relationships I have now are not the same as they were 5/10 years ago and I feel this is partly due to me letting people down.

4) Debt

In my twenties I did let myself get into a little bit of debt and I struggled with this and let it become a big deal with me. Now I am much more in control with my finances but regret not making more of this period of my life and saving more. I may have moved out years ago if I had.

5) I had bad first year at university.

I have mentioned briefly that I struggled in my first year at university but it goes deeper than that. I wasn’t prepared for how I would cope at university and thought it would be a breeze. The work was OK but it was a struggle on a personal level. In an attempt to impress people who I lived with I actually did the opposite and excluded myself from them. It was the loneliest year of my life. So much so that anything from the period October 1999 – October 2000 was a painful reminder and I wouldn’t have anything to do with it. I avoided listening to music from this time or watching films, looking at photos as it was all connected to this unhappy time of my life. The thing is the people I lived with were great and I look back on my behaviour and think I tried too hard and should have just been myself. I wouldn’t have been able to live with ‘me’ back then. It was a major learning curve but still hurts although time has helped heal some of it.

6)Body image.

I suppose a lot of us have some sort of issue with our bodies and I am no exception. I have felt better about it in the past 12 months since I tried to lose weight but still have issues. The one feature I hate the most is my teeth and if I had the money that is what I would get fixed.

7)I go to things on my own

As an only child spending time on my own is nothing new and I have always done I suppose. As I am getting older I find I do more and more things on my own. This could be the cinema, theatre, night out, concert , holiday etc. It doesn’t usually bother me as I do like my own company but when someone asks what I have done at the weekend for example I feel ashamed and embarrassed and either lie and say someone was with me or try not to draw attention to the fact I went on my own. I think this is a mixture o not wanting to be judged and not bothering other people.

8) I have never had a long term relationship.

It isn’t really a secret that me and dating don’t really get on. IT is well over a year since I last went on date and a few years since I could even say I was seeing someone. This is partly down to me putting off dealing with my sexuality and secondly because I am socially awkward and find it hard to meet people. Because I haven’t been in a long-term relationship with anyone I have never had to do the whole bringing someone back to meet the parents thing or meet someone else parents. My mam always says she wants to see me settled so if anything happened to her she knows I would be OK. I worry I won’t be able to do this.

9) I’m a bit OCD

I suppose I always have been worried about things happening. I always worried I had swallowed something or had whatever illness was on Casualty that week. As I have got older I realise I have some OCD tendencies. When I was doing hospital radio I was worried about catching a super bug or other illness so would  use the hand gel and also turn light switches off with my elbow or not touch door handles. Some of this I started doing at home particularly the turning light switches on and off with my elbow. A few years ago I was a at a comedy gig watching Sarah Millican and she asked the audience about this sort of stuff and I said I was a bit OCD and told her why. She said “that’s more than just a bit OCD pet”. I suppose it is really and it doesn’t impact on my life too much.

10) I don’t ask for help when I need it.

I am reluctant to ask for help. Sometimes I just want to sit and chat with someone and let all my problems just flow out. The thing is I struggle to do this. I feel like I would be burdening others who probably have enough going on in their own lives. Instead of directly asking for help I often drop hints or bring other topics connected with my problem up. When I wanted to talk about my sexuality I did this a lot. Partly to test the water and also because I wanted the other person to ask. This way I didn’t feel like I was burning them.

So there you have it. My 10 things that I am ashamed to tell you. Except I have now told you and actually it feels quite good to have done. Please read Helen’s blog post with the same name (link is at the top of this blog post).