I have a physical issue, but it’s my shyness that is a bigger problem
I am a thin 24-year-old guy who is struggling with insecurity and physical disability. A guy who had never had the privilege of dating a girl. Yes, it’s a privilege. Let me tell you what happens when a guy like me falls in love.
Disabilities have ailed me ever since I was a kid, still in my nappies. Almost 50% of my right leg is paralysed. Not only did it curtail my physical movement, but also brought sympathy, helplessness, and agony. As a disabled guy, I had a lot of negative chatter surrounding me. The people I met said I couldn’t do anything in life. It was my mother who kept me going. She believed in me and in my abilities. It was she who kept on reiterating to me that it is not a physical disability but ‘self-doubt’ that is the biggest disability. It reinforced my belief that if you have a few loving and caring people beside you, it helps you foster a positive outlook towards things and situations.
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I tried poetry, I tried cooking for her
For the most part of my life, I was an introvert, still am. When love finally happened, I tried all that I could to live up to the expectation. I met a girl while I was pursuing a course in mass media. I wanted to date her but couldn’t because just like me, she suffered from social anxiety. Half the time, she was busy writing blog posts and poetry. She hated talking to people and avoided eye contact.
She hated talking to people and avoided eye contact.
We tried reading the same poetry book, as both of us were students of English literature and loved reading poetry. But that didn’t go as per plan, as she was mostly busy on Instagram and WhatsApp, book tossed aside in a corner. I tried cooking for her once. I made an omelette. She didn’t like it at all. I stopped cooking for her after that. We had been friends now for almost a couple of years. I fell in love with her along the way. It was her introverted nature that made me fall in love with her. Her fragility and softness added to her charm.
One day she visited my home in West Delhi. I was over the moon and tried playing the typical Indian romantic hero. I ordered lunch, helped her with assignments… Despite doing all that I was supposed to, perhaps a bit more than I had expected, I was scared. I feared that my physical disability would make me unlovable. I was anxious, worried that she was tolerating me out of obligation. It was just a gut feeling. It couldn’t be explained, but I knew it was there.
So we drifted apart
So, I started hiding behind work and online shows. We drifted apart. Both of us were introverts. We felt that our privacy was being infringed because of discussing problems with each other. The ties we shared weren’t romantic (on her end). They had more to do with mutual understanding and friendship. I guess both of us stopped talking to each other because we were a bit too busy in our own lives.
Shortly after parting ways, I realised our excessive involvement in each other’s lives and careers had led to emotional attachment. Most of the times both of us were busy poking our nose into each other’s affairs. We were discussing just everything, like our common fear of eating in front of too many people. All this talk meant that both of us could hardly concentrate on our respective careers. She wanted to make it big in the world of mass media, whereas I wanted to make a career in academics.
That’s as close to a love story that I got.
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Some day I’d like to have a real date
I have a dream. I would love to go out on an adventure with a lovely girl if ever I get a chance. I’d love to go out on a dinner date, and would love to eat sitting right in front of a lovely young woman if ever I get an opportunity.
But somewhere at the back of my mind, I know that I am a lonely, boring, and an emotionally fragile guy. Every single day, I have to deal with an enormous amount of regret and guilt for not being able to deal with people. Many of my friends might think I am pessimistic. I feel that I am a bumper package full of sadness and boredom.
I have been in love and I know it is not tailor-made for a loner like me. To be honest, I think I have reached a stage where I wholeheartedly accepted my disability. I know that it’s there and I’d have to live with it (I cannot escape). I know I’d be consumed by my disability one day, but till that happens, I’d happily live with it.