The trials of the high-strung person are so vividly captured in another one of Lev Yilmaz’s super-relatable Tales of Mere Existence.

It’s worse if you were raised to keep it quiet. Then when you can’t, and because you’ve been taught to keep it quiet you also have no idea how to express it all in a way that makes sense to anyone, your friends and family have no idea why you’re suddenly freaking out and all fronts of being a calm, cool, collected person go out the door.

Coping mechanisms?

You mean pretending everything is okay and attempt to convince yourself that your problems are so small they basically don’t exist? You mean suddenly panicking about things that are only tangentially relevant to what’s currently happening because your mind decides to only make great leaps to things that are not good ideas and do not help you in the slightest? You mean immediately slamming into “think about nice things until you’re ready to handle this” while people are staring at you because you haven’t responded and then trying to respond and really just failing as a human being?

Have you ever sat in your room, trying to convince yourself to go out with a group of friends because you know, rationally, that you’ll have fun and you’ll feel better if you go for a straight twenty minutes because you’re not sure you know how to be yourself that night? Have you ever sat in your car about to head to your boyfriend’s house because you know, rationally, that he’ll greet you with open arms and a warm smile and you’ll have fun and you’ll feel better if you go because you hope to god he’s not asleep or busy or something when you get there (which he never has without saying something; unlike some people, who have fucked with my ability to trust anyone I’m meeting up with anywhere, really) and you’ll have to wait for him awkwardly in your car and the discomfort is almost too much to bear?

How about while you’re at that first bar or club you guys hit?

How about while you’re on the freeway?

When you’re listening to your favorite song and you catch the eye of the one person who doesn’t seem into it so you get really uncomfortable dancing, which is something you otherwise absolutely love to do?

When you’ve arrived in his town and it’s difficult to cross one street and you blast your music as loud as possible to keep from thinking you should just go home and be alone where you don’t have to deal with this one street and that stupid car that’s going both too fast and too slow and the random people looking at you in your car waiting to go through?

Helps filter out the weak-hearted at least, and it makes it easier to find out who gets you and who can fuck the hell off unless they’re important to a non-personal aspect of your life. My heart’s gotten plenty of exercise.

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