Friday, October 15, 2010

the accidental hermit

Apologies for my bad blogging behavior! For the past couple of weeks I've been distracted because a) I quit my job helping people accessorize and b) began training to help people organize (The Container Store!), as well as c) started rehearsals for a musical in which I have a few lines AND get paid to perform! All of it is making me a little nervous, because it will be the busiest I have been in quite some time. I haven't had a schedule where school wasn't included since I was about 3 years old. I have to say, as much as I miss my friends and my full-time support system, I am relieved every day by the fact that there is no school work that needs to get done. Sometimes I forget and start scanning my brain for homework assignments, and then I suddenly realize: I. Don't. Have. Any. Except for one assignment, handed out by Professor Me: Find my motivation.

It's harder than it sounds. When you are the only one holding yourself accountable, becoming overwhelmed seems almost inevitable. At even the slightest inkling of becoming overwhelmed, I will begin my retreat into habits and behaviors that drive me, and I'm sure everyone around me, crazy. Sleeping excessively. Avoiding social outings. Letting messes pile up. Eating only fast food. Feeling sick when nothing is actually wrong. Putting off practice, or laundry, or grocery shopping, or even calling to check up on my friends.

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with high anxiety and depression. It was a relief to find an explanation for behaviors within myself that I hadn't understood for years. There were many things that lead up to this diagnosis, but after trying to overcome it on my own for x amount of years, the dam for the deep familiar sadness and panic was starting to give way. All of my energy went into making it seem like nothing was wrong. It was exhausting. The breaking point was my 18th birthday; the dam finally cracked, causing me to have the worst birthday in my recorded history, to break up with my then-boyfriend in a horrible and abrupt manner, and to make the decision to start seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist.

There is a societal stigma, even now, associated with seeing a therapist and / or a psychiatrist. For the record, it's a decision I have never regretted. At the very beginning of the process, I let myself feel ashamed and embarrassed. I thought I was weak for admitting that I had a serious problem. I wondered what these strangers could possibly tell me that I didn't already know myself. I came to realize that even if I "knew" what I "should" be doing or feeling to help myself, asking for and seeking out help was something to be proud of. I couldn't do it on my own, and THAT WAS OKAY. The two women I began to see saved my life in many ways, because they made me realize I was not alone and that I wasn't weak, or stupid, or silly for seeking their help. It's terrifying to ask for help. It is true surrender and an ongoing process. I expect that I will have to relearn how to ask for help many times in my life. And I've learned to be okay with that.

One part of this process is finding ways to become less overwhelmed socially. Even with friends I have had almost my entire life, I still retreat and become terrified that I am letting or will let them down at some point. On the flipside, I also reason that I am saving myself from being let down by pulling away. I put off talking to or catching up with people. I miss important events or moments because the urge to hide or pull away becomes greater than the need to be with them. I hate it. I don't understand why I do it. I know it's happening, but it's like I'm watching myself from across a room. I see the signs, but cannot always find a way around them yet. There are a lot of friends I miss and I am afraid I have lost because of this behavior. Through this post, I'm sending a message out into the universe that I want this to change. I work on it every day. I know I have a long way to go. As an introvert, I know that I need my alone time to recharge, refresh, and reflect. But I also know that sometimes I need to force myself out of my little cocoon. It is a cozy cocoon filled with books, tv shows and pillows, but I know it can't turn into my whole world all the time.

I DO love my tv shows though! I FINALLY AM CAUGHT UP TO BONES IN REAL TIME! Now I can watch and be surprised with the rest of the world! Which actually kind of sucks, because it means I have wait just like the rest of the world. So, maybe NOT a good move?

Shows I am currently watching which means you should be too: Modern Family, The Middle, Bones, Community, Glee, No Ordinary Family, The Event, Running Wilde, 30 Rock, The Office. What in God's name did I ever do before Hulu?! No, seriously. What did I do?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kates :)

    I know you know this...but I love you. And I've always loved you for just being you. You've helped me through some of the hardest things in my life and I hope that someday, somehow, I can return that.

    Lots of hugs,