He was challenging me to get out of my comfort zone, to do something that involved communicating with people, asking them to participate in something I held dear.

    “You don’t understand,” I told him. “I’m not a likable person.”

    “It makes me not like you hearing you say that.”

    I kept my mouth shut, but in my head, I just figured, Well, I guess that proves my point. 

    I’m probably the most socially awkward person I know. People scare me. Social settings make me uncomfortable. And yet here I am. Living in the most populated country in the world. Oh, the irony.

    God has a strange sense of humor, I tell you.

    Oh and yeah… that thing I was being challenged to do? I did it. How’d it go? It was one of the most uncomfortable, hurtful experiences of my life. I don’t ever want to do it again, but God will probably ask me to at some point. I’m anxious just thinking about the possibility.


    I guess I’m really just in a broken place right now. There’s something wrong with the way my mind is processing situations and social interactions. So I retreat. I retreat, because I need to protect myself, and I need to protect others from me too.

    Because hurt people hurt other people.

    Something’s deeply wrong with me. Something’s broken.

    And I don’t know how to fix it.

    Earlier this year, He told me to “get comfortable being uncomfortable”. And I’ve stepped into more uncomfortable situations – at least for me – this year than I ever have any other year. And now, He’s trying to coax me out of my comfort zone again, and I can’t. I just can’t.

    I don’t know how to step on water and retain focus on Him, amidst the storm raging around me, so if I can’t do that, is it wise to leave the boat?

    With the hesitation comes a nagging fear.

    I know that eventually, my comfort zone will become uncomfortable. It will happen, because I asked Him to never allow me to settle for less than the fullness of His plan for me, so even if I want to stay within the bounds of what’s familiar, He will drive me into the wilderness, because there is a Promised Land that awaits.

    I prayed that He would unsettle me whenever I am not functioning as designed.

    And He has. He is addressing what’s broken, and I feel it. Through it all, all I can think of is: Be careful what you pray for.


    A lot of this is stemming from the realization that my writing dreams could come to an end just like that. I wrote my book with a vision that I can get it traditionally published. Because of my own impatience, I dared think that I could have it self-published.

    After taking a complete look at what it’s going to take for me to successfully self-publish, I realize that I can’t do this. There’s a reason why I never stepped into marketing or any other job that requires people to like you.

    It’s because I’m not a likable person. Never have been. Don’t know if I ever will be.

    The more I research, the more I realize that self-publishing is all about relationships. Being liked. Building rapport. Networking. I don’t know how to do that.

    The mere idea exhausts me.


    I’m waiting for a rejection to come one of these days, and when it comes, that’s the sign that this door has closed. I’m not going to self-publish, because I can’t do it. I won’t be able to handle it. I’ll probably still continue writing, but I was a fool to think that this was possible.

    Yet another humbling experience. Yet another dream turned to dust.

    I should be used to this by now.

    Get comfortable being uncomfortable, right?


    Yet even as I write this, there’s this fight within me. This rage. This warrior that refuses to go down without a fight. This voice that’s telling me that it doesn’t have to be this way.

    That He did not design me to be this fragile victim, who can’t get up after a loss. I wasn’t meant to be shackled by these crippling lies, distorting His words. I was meant to overcome. If I’m in the wilderness, then fine… I can hack it, because I’m sure that I will find the Tree of Life. I will find manna. I will find quail. I will have a cloud of glory guiding my every step.

    Maybe it’s true. Maybe I’m not likable to many people. So what? I know He likes me. He doesn’t just love me. He likes me. I may be the overlooked, the abandoned, the rejected. The eternal misfit. So what? I think that’s what He likes best about me. I’m so cracked and messed up, I could never possibly take credit for His glory shining through the brokenness.

    And maybe it’s true. I can’t do it. Maybe my dreams have turned into dust, and maybe… just maybe… that’s a good thing, because what intricate masterpieces He can make from dust!

    I don’t know. Hope is hard to kill, and though my heart is sick, I know that somewhere… somewhere in this wilderness, the Tree of Life awaits. All I can do until I find it is keep going, keep taking one uncomfortable step after another.

    Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

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    Joanna Alonzo

    Author/Founder at Almond Tree Publications
    Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.
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13 Comments on "Confessions of the Unlikable: I Can’t Do This"

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Your writing is beautiful and your words are true. I can relate to what you’ve written here. We have not met by chance. 🙂 God bless.


<3 <3 <3
i think you are all kinds of amazing miss Joanna 🙂


I related to this more than I can explain! You don’t have to know how, just leave the boat! Step out and keep your eyes on HIm! God has you and He will provide! Thank you for your sincerity and honesty! God bless you!!


I am so impressed by what I have just read. I like the you I see in your writing, and I admire your voice, too.

Wow. I’m a little stunned, because you captured some thoughts that have been circling in my own mind like vultures. I, too, am scared that my dreams are becoming dust despite my efforts (which probably haven’t been nearly good enough), but you are quite right that hope does not die easily. What’s more is that God’s children carry it like a banner even in the worst times.

Have you ever heard the song “Jesus Christ The Apple Tree”? I think you might really like it.

May God bless you! This was a powerful piece.

April Clevenger Boyer

wow. Just wow. God put me in an uncomfortable place just reading your heart-rending words. God will use you. Your words are gripping. You are certainly not an unlikable person. You are a person who makes people think. A lot. I pray for your success in marketing, and wow- boy- you are right it is very hard work, and requires a lot of socializing. It is so worth it though. God has the ability to tell us stop, turn left, turn right, and go at any time. He may take you through a season when you don’t publish(me) and don’t market well (me). He is God. Thanks.

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