It’s been a bad day. I have a handful of people I count as friends at work – largely my own doing: my boss says I need to show more of my “softer side”, my fun side – and one of them left last week for another company. We’re still in touch, but it’s different than being able to look across the conference table and know we’re both struggling not to roll our eyes at the same stuff. Another one is just kind of drifting away. These things happen, I’m learning: part of what I struggle with as a person with BPD is the idea that friendships “should” be permanent. But friendships often ebb and flow. People drift apart sometimes, and that’s still hard for me to deal with and not feel abandoned or betrayed.
So I’m struggling with all that. I feel left behind and lonely, and I get frustrated with work stuff, and I start feeling like maybe I need to leave. I realize that wouldn’t actually help. If anything it makes things worse – better some friends than none, and really this is the best place for my career right now no matter how hard it is for me to deal with the frustrations right now.
Next to the door of my therapist’s office there’s a white board. I’ve seen it and the sayings written on it every week – they don’t change – and there’s one I’m just now beginning to understand.
“Consider that what you’re feeling might not be true.”
I’m an introvert. I get called “antisocial” a lot but really it’s not that. I mean, I don’t hate being social – under the right circumstances, I enjoy it a lot – but I can’t seem to communicate well what those circumstances are to most of the people in my life. The short version is that the more is almost never the merrier – especially not if you just put me in a crowd of strangers and near-strangers with no one to feel safe talking to.
Most people think I just need to “loosen up” and blow off some steam. They think it’s just a question of will, of getting over myself and going with the flow. And to some extent that’s true. I can be social when I want to be, even in big crowds. But my baseline wiring is for small trusted groups and quiet interactions that feel meaningful and safe. And asking me to be an extrovert sometimes feels like asking me to be left-handed.
Hi there, Interwebs.
So I haven’t blogged in a while. Not a tremendous loss to the dozen or so of you that read this on anything like a regular basis, but a loss to me: I am a writer. My way of fighting that is to, well, not write.
I know it’s good for me. I love doing it. So why don’t I?
I keep having the same experience and keep resisting it every time. I do not want to believe it although it is palpable: the vast majority of my coworkers have a vast capacity for willful ignorance. (Apologies to Nietzsche for mangling a quote from “The Gay Science”.)
About two weeks ago I got an email from my former assistant (now working for one of my peers). One of his employees was questioning their numbers, and since I’m the guy who puts out the daily performance reports he wanted me to explain the calculations.
Here’s where it gets fun. Bullet-point-level fun, in fact. Continue reading