#43 Social – ‘Dancing In The DMZ’

The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) sits between The Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea and South Korea, like a large wedge of irony. Mainly because both countries have been heavily militarising the demilitarised zone for decades. So much so that there are manned positions on both sides, equipped with; machine guns, anti-aircraft weaponry, tanks, secret tunnels, snipers and endless land mines. Although it remains stunningly beautiful.

The humble social engagement for the life of an anxiety sufferer is a daunting one. Yes, with enough practice you can avoid them, rather like Jim Carrey would avoid bullets if he was wearing a green mask. Inevitably however, you will get hit. Sometimes, if you are lucky, the bullet hits you before you’ve even noticed it. Then it is only with hindsight that anxiety can try to retrospectively join in the party. Other times though, the events are planned in advance.

A planned engagement gives anxiety time to prepare. Relaying the future event over, and over, and over again. Trying to plot the most effective way to ruin your evening.

Today was a social engagement of the advanced planning variety. My girlfriend’s best friends are visiting us in Vienna for a few days, and until today, I’d never met them. The standard plot line for a social engagement with new people runs something like; ‘I’m worried they won’t like me, what if they think this or what if they think that’. Standard. The game changes however when it is not only meeting the best friends, but the best life-long friends, who I have never met. It changes because they know everything.

And in they walked holding a big bag of triggers.

Maybe it comes in the form of a vague reference to an old party, an anecdote about an ex, a secret ‘in’ joke, or even an old photo. They not only have all the triggers, but they don’t know they have all the triggers. Of course there is no intention of causing me any harm, but landmines have no will either.

Tonight though – you should have seen me* – there I was, wistfully waltzing around the woods of the DMZ. Surrounded by its lush and picturesque landscape, beautifully avoiding the potential horrors that lay below. Not a single hit. I basically got the highest score on real life minesweeper.

I stayed mentally strong and thoroughly enjoyed the company and the evening. There were times when I was tempted by the secret underground tunnels and headed straight for the exit, but I would have missed the beauty, the dancing and the fun. The easy way is not always the best (or most beautiful) way.

Mindfump.

*Anonymously, obviously.

 

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21 Comments

  1. S. Hansen

    For a minute I felt so betrayed, but then you clarified ‘best life-long friends’. I’m just best friend full stop, no further clarification needed…
    On a serious note though, I’m really proud of you. Handled like a pro. That minefield is no joke of a metaphor, you were in dangerously explosive anxiety territory and you took the top time stop and smell the roses. That’s ballsy.
    You’re my new hero. You need to add a little cape the your little brain guy.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. S. Hansen

            Oh well if your sick, take your time and don’t rush. If you were perfectly healthy I was going to force you to do it all in an hour but now I know your sick… 😛
            Take it easy and get better soon 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Mindfump

            Easier said than done in Austria. Medication is so expensive here. Ibuprofen at home 59p, Ibuprofen here 12.99. That is just for the basic stuff, you want flu medication which tackles all your ailments.. thats going to cost. So I will just complain to anyone who listens instead.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. S. Hansen

            Holy Excrement!
            Well what I like to do when I’m ill is cocoon myself in blankets, put on murder, she wrote and enjoy the simple joys of warmth and the dream that Angela Lansbury would be an amazing grandmother…

            Like

  2. Phil Ryan

    Oh well played, Mindfump, both on an excellent post and the mine avoidance skills. I’ve treated social situations with suspicion but accepted I’m going to be anxious, shaky, tongue tied etc and if anyone wants to laugh at me or take the Mick then it’ll be an interesting experience all round. So far I’ve been lucky and only met respect and decency. One day I may not so it’ll be intriguing to find out how far I’ve progressed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      Thanks very much Phil. I agree, I generally find that people are actually genuine and decent people – as usual the anxious brain is found out once more. I am sure your progress is great; write about it when it happens.

      Liked by 1 person

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