I, on many occasions, don’t say very much.

I have always been shy, and I mean properly shy – are people looking at me, listening to me!? oh god I feel sick, mini panic attack and oh no here come the tears.

As an adult the shyness isn’t so severe, I think I can hold my own at times, even if it is a bit awkward, lots of fidgeting, my sentences are a bit muddled and there is always a fair amount of blushing.

I do have the occasional regression – the courses I have walked out of when role play is mentioned, oh who I am I kidding, I have quickly left the room pretending I needed the loo, as I panickly watched the gap close between me and the traditional questions of “tell us your name, what you do and an interesting fact about yourself” – they never saw me again.

I was 35 the last time that happened. I won’t put myself in that situation again.

Problem is around the people I know and love; I can still get shy, I can still panic. Alcohol helps. Until the next day. I know my friends have accepted the grinning, awkward, babbling, or silent idiot that is me, but I must be hardwork.

And I do love being around people. I get very lonely spending so much time at home with the kids, I haven’t been able to make many other mum friends nearby and so many of my old friends have drifted away but the ones I do still have are very special  and I wish I saw them more.

But sometimes I can’t shift this feeling when I am around people; whether it is at a toddler group with woman I don’t know, a dinner round some friends, or at a party with all my favourite people that I just don’t fit in, I am not clever, cool, funny enough, I lack something that everyone else has and I don’t know how to act, what to say, how to be one of them. So I smile and hope they don’t give up on me.

And I have found a word for it; Monachopsis – “a subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place” – that sounds about right. And if there is a word for it then there must be other people who feel the same, I think that makes me feel better…