I Just Prefer To Be AloneI rarely feel lonely
I have the telephone to speak to my closest friends: a small circle of women that I have known a very, very long time and who I know don't judge me or put prefer on me to leave my flat
I also speak to my Mum and Oldest Sister on the phone but these conversations can be a bit trickier! They worry about me. They keep thinking up new ways to get me to meet them "outside". They want me to "get better" without actually really understanding what is actually wrong with me. I try to explain but they find it difficult to hear. They always have. My younger sister has cut me off completely. I am no longer any "use" to her now that I am so focused on myself. Charming! Once I had stopped being "useful" to her as my former role as a Rescuer I was "dumped." It hurt like hell to begin with. A bit of a British Understatement that! It still hurts but now I also feel something else: Freedom! I am Free to just concentrate on ME! An unusual feeling. But rather pleasant.
So what exactly is "wrong" with me?
It's like asking, So What do you think is Wrong with the World?
Alot. But there's also alot Right.
I suffer from mental illhealth. I always have. But when I was younger I was able to mask my ill health rather well. Also my ill health was never as bad as my Older Sister's so no one in my Family really noticed my own pain, ill health and constant daily struggle to appear to be "normal." I was the over achiever in the Family. Academically. At Work. In Play. I always gave everything 100%. In an Obsessive sort of way. Until, that is, I had a near fatal accident
in 1997. I never really recovered from this. It changed my life FOREVER. My old patterns of coping and masking my pain simply stopped working. I then began to enter free fall. I never completely lost my mind but I have come close. Years of Medication (been on Prozac for many year but now I am having some doubts about SSRI medication!), Talking Therapy and periods of unemployment due to ill health followed. I am now 48 years old and have been off work 5 years. The longest period of not working. I used to feel worried about this. But now I realise something quite simple: it's just not my fault that I cannot work. I actually want to work. Sometimes. When I can actually get out of bed. And when my brain is actually working so I can actually concentrate and remain focused. Like now. Today is a Good Day. I look forward to my Good Days. But I also accept The Bad Days. I accept now that I fall within a category called "The Unemployable." It's more Society's Fault than anything that I have done. I just can't do a 9-5 job 5 days a week. I never know when, or if, I will be feeling "Well." It varies from day to day, hour to hour. Sometimes even from minute to minute.
I have Mood Swings. I am also going through early menopause. I suffer from SAD. I am Bi-Polar. I am also learning to articulate My Anger. Years of swallowing down all angry feelings left me feeling powerless, clinically depressed and wanting to sleep all the time. Now, when I am Angry about something, I let it out. Only sometimes it comes out as RAGE! Pretty scary.
I feel alot of RAGE when I am around people. RAGE as well as Fear. All wrapped up in a blanket of Anxiety. Not a nice feeling! So that is why I prefer to stay in. To Shut myself away in my Flat.
I was always a bit of a loner anyway. An introvert. Only I bent myself out of shape to become an extrovert. Because Society prefers Extroverts. Now I have returned to my Default Position and it feels RIGHT!
I prefer my own company. I like to read, think, work on my patchwork, think some more, listen to music, daydream, sing, look after my indoor plants and windowboxes, write, laugh at Silly Things and chat with my Friends.
It helps when I I meet people, strangers really, who DO understand me and don't put pressure on me to change. I have met some people like this in a Reading Group on FB. Now I have found this Group.
Acceptance is so important
Self Acceptance even more
There was a time when I would rather be out, amongst people I hardly knew, because I believed that this was what I was "supposed" to be doing.
Now I ask myself a simple question every day: Do You Want to Go Out?
If the answer in "No, Thank You," I listen
Sometimes I do go outside. Usually with my mum or a Friend. And, if the sun is actually shinning, I have been known to go outside on my own.
Only I just don't want to today
And that's OK
Maybe I would feel differently if there was no such thing as The Internet or such Groups as this.
But it DOES exist and for that reason I never feel completely alone
I am having a Relationship with Myself.
And it's going rather well!