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This Is Why I'm Paranoid

"Oh, come on! Not again."

Paranoid Personality Disorder is when a person has excessive distrust and suspicion. The person will rarely confide in others and tends to misinterpret harmless and innocuous comments as malicious. Diagnosis requires routine behavior that causes dysfunction, or disorder in the person’s life.

Paranoia, on the other hand, is characterized by delusions of persecution, exaggerated self-importance, and is typically put into a well-organized system. Like documenting all the crazy things that keep happening to you in a book and then publishing the book because people need to read how the entire world is against you. 

I was a really small kid growing up. I had issues. However, it wasn’t that stupid “Napoleon syndrome” people like to think all short guys have. First of all, Napoleon was of average height for the men in his time. Second of all, maybe short people are unhappy with being short because society invented a mental illness related to feeling inadequate with being short.

Being short isn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was people telling me that my being short wasn’t really an issue. “Look at this guy,” people would say, “he’s short and look how successful he is!” “Tons of movie stars are short and they don’t complain about it.” Yeah, whatever.

Providing examples to point out why a physical existence is not a problem only reassures people that said physical existence is a problem. Nobody reassures attractive people that they’re attractive. Nobody points out strong male characters because male characters are consistently designed well. So, telling me that me being short is not an issue only confirms to me that being short is an issue.

However, that all changed when I started this revolutionary new workout routine when I was 12. I highly recommend it, even though the maker is not sponsoring my endorsement in any way. It’s called “Genetics” and the specific program I used was the Male Puberty Version 2. With the right genetics program, puberty worked very well for me. I grew to be average height and was able to build muscle without paying attention to what I ate. It was great, until the puberty regimen wore off and my growth stopped around age 14.

One day, I put on a pair of jeans and noticed they didn’t fit well. I wore them to school anyways since I only had one pair of jeans, and when I got home I told my mom I needed a new pair of jeans. We went out to the mall the next day and got two new pairs that fit more comfortably.

Two months later, I put on one of the new pairs of jeans and they didn’t fit well. Thinking nothing of it, I tried to put the other pair on only to discover they also didn’t fit anymore. I put on the tight pair of jeans and went to school anyways, and when I got home I told my mom I needed a new pair of jeans. We went to the mall the next day and got two pairs of jeans that fit more comfortably. This time, we bought one pair that fit well and one pair that was a size bigger.

About a year later, I put on one of my pairs of jeans and they didn’t fit well. I thought it was a little strange since they had fit last week, but took them off and went to put on the extra pair we bought that was a size bigger. But those were an even tighter fit than the first pair! I couldn’t believe it. How did this keep happening? I had stopped growing over a year ago, but my pants and shorts kept getting tighter.

I decided to run a test and pulled out all of my old pairs of jeans to compare sizes. The waist sizes were: 28, 29, 29, 30, 31. Out of the five pairs of jeans, all of them were the same pant length, which confirmed that I was not growing in height, and four of them were the exact same size when put next to each other.

“Maybe they’re shrinking in the wash or the dryer,” I thought. That must be the case because the shorts and pants I have in different materials haven’t changed sizes on me this rapidly. So, my mom and I went back to the mall and got some newer, and larger, jeans. While we were out, my mom decided it was time for me to get some new shoes as well.

I picked out a style I wanted and looked at the tab of my current shoe to see what size I needed. The worker brought back the same size, but it was far too small. I tried on a size larger and it fit nicely. However, after the jean debacle I was feeling suspicious. I pulled out my old pairs of tennis shoes and compared the sizes. I had a size eight that was larger than a size nine. I randomly had a size 11 even though my newest pair was size nine and a half. I even had two size 10s that weren’t the same size. I thought I was losing my mind!

From that day on I kept sketches of different parts of my body and different articles of clothing so I could accurately check to see what was changing in size; me or the clothes. I gave that up around age 17 when I discovered that neither was changing in size. I wasn’t getting any bigger and my clothes weren’t getting any smaller, yet they continued to become too “small” to fit me.

It was around that time that I noticed another interesting quirk dealing with my physical size. I was working out and eating healthy to try and bulk up. Being strong is pretty fun; you should try it sometime. I had been steadily gaining weight for the last couple of years and was around 185 pounds when I decided enough was enough. I stopped eating more calories than I was burning. By my 18th birthday I weighed 197 pounds.

Eating less obviously wasn’t enough to counteract the weight gain, so I also began focusing more on aerobic exercise and cardio workouts to help burn more calories without building muscle mass. Two years later and I now weigh 218 pounds. To reiterate, I regulate the amount of food I eat and I work out regularly. Plus, I can confirm that I have not grown in volume despite the increase in mass.

For whatever reason, the universe has decided that I don’t get to have a body that makes any sense. Regardless of my behavior, I increase in density without increasing my volume, yet my clothing continues to get smaller relative to my body, even though neither me nor the clothing is changing in size.

This summer, my newest pairs of shorts had decided to not fit anymore so I went out and bought several pairs of shorts that were far too large for me. I put on a pair last week and they fit perfectly. I put on the same pair yesterday and it didn’t even get past my thighs. “Oh come on! Not again,” I said.

As final proof that the universe is screwing with me and I’m not just a crazy person; when I bought the new pair of shorts at the beginning of summer I actually bought two pairs of the exact same pair of shorts. I wore one pair and kept the other one hanging in my closet. When I realized that the pair I had been wearing didn’t fit anymore I compared the two to each other and saw that they were the same dimensions when placed on top of one another. But here’s the kicker.

I tried to put on the control pair of shorts, the pair that had been hanging up the whole time, and they were too loose.