The Care and Feeding of your Introvert (now with bonus social anxiety)
People who know me a bit socially or professionally are often surprised to find out that I consider myself to be introverted and that I occasionally suffer from nearly debilitating social anxiety. (My Myers-Briggs results also consider me to be an introvert – I’m consistently INTJ – that’s right, I’m judging you RIGHT NOW!)
Last week was a shite week. Absolute shite. I was social (in that I left my house and talked to strangers two nights in a row).
Then I spent the rest of the week recovering.
All that talking to people plus this job transition I’ve got going on plus my special lady time meant that by the end of the week I was an absolute mess.
My good friends may know that when I get too anxious about leaving the house, I will randomly fake sick (having a kid is priceless for this, by the way – they are well known germ factories).
(I am giving away all of my secrets here, but I promise that I am telling the truth about random illnesses at least 85% of the time.) (Hmmm…maybe I should just start saying, “sorry I’m flaking out on you, but I’m too anxious to hang out tonight.”)
I spent the week in physical pain (special lady time!) and fending off anxiety attacks (while locked in my office at work) and googling all the weird symptoms that led me to articles like “Is it Anxiety or Heart Disease?” and speculating about DIY hysterectomies.
Friday afternoon, my good friend Lemissa (as Alvie calls her and he wouldn’t stop talking about her all weekend and maybe Lemissa should keep an eye out for kids in baskets on her front porch) came over to drink wine with me. That was perfect because it (a) involved wine and (b) involved me not having to leave the house – two of my favorite things.
The weekend was properly unbusy and I woke up this morning energized, optimistic, and ready to have a really good week.
And so I made plans to go out and interact with strangers (and people I work with) because I am a slow learner. Hopefully I will continue to fool people into believing I am socially competent (or continue to fool myself into believing that other people actually believe that).
And then I will spend the rest of the week hiding in my bedroom before taking my family to the woods to hide from people even more effectively.
And to get through the rest of June? I’ll be employing that time-honored anxiety cure: a positive attitude and some mindful meditation.
HA HA HA HA.