Another Solo Adventure

Recently, after my last trip to London where I did the Writers Walk, I have rather taken to doing stuff alone. Anything from gigs, walks, theatre or museums. I have suffered worsening social anxiety since a very young age, I didn’t know it was anxiety until about age 23. But it’s clear to me because I have often avoided other humans like the plague, I hate speaking in front of people, eating in front of people, sitting near people. I like my space and I can often only fully enjoy the company of good friends.

But I have always been proactive in bettering my mental health and I have even paid for therapy out of my own very shallow pocket in a bid to improve my social skills and reduce my fears. I have had some success and I have become better at questioning my anxiety and other feelings when in social situations as well as forcing myself into those kinds of situations. This can be anything from making myself use a cashier rather than a self-checkout, go to an event alone or stopping myself from running a mile in a surprise situation.

I have had some great solo experiences over this summer, including going to watch Deceleration at my local theatre space, visiting the People’s History Museum in Manchester, The Writers Walk in London, Tate Liverpool and Blink 182 at the Echo Arena and last night I went to The Grovner Open Air Theatre to see Julius Ceasar which was a particularly magical experience and whilst it was pretty nerve wrecking in the run up to the event itself, I found it enjoyable and it was a successful evening out on my own.

Social Anxiety is a hugely torturous condition to deal with. Not knowing about it earlier in my life meant that I thought I was just broken, feeling the intense panic and fear come over me when delivering presentations and working in groups with people I didn’t know well. It without a doubt has held me back in so many ways and I don’t doubt it will continue too. But I’m doing everything in my power to make things easier for myself and my whole ‘solo adventurer’ idea is playing a key role in that.

It’s actually nice to do things alone, there seems to be this pressure in society, an expectation that everything needs to be a social affair. But there are many benefits to going it alone from just doing what you want to do to just learning to enjoy your own company. I would highly recommend it. But maybe it’s just an aspect of my personality. The human mind is a complex organ and society is a complex system. Anyway, complete five-star evening at Grovner Park Open Air Theater watching Julius Ceaser, if you are local or visiting Chester this summer I highly recommend attending a production. I’ll be back for sure.

© 2017 James Woods