I start thinking sometimes, especially on the weekends when I’m feeling listless & unconnected, that I need to reach out more, get involved in more groups, meet people who have interests in common with me, make new friends.  I feel dissatisfied with my social life, with my current relationships.  But then I start thinking about actually going places, hanging out with people, and it stops seeming so appealing.  I am such a homebody, and seem to be even more so as the days go by.  Going out, spending time with others, it’s all so draining.  I could be at home doing crossword puzzles, curled up with a purring kitty.

It’s something of a dilemma, because we really are social animals and my cravings to connect with others are natural and instinctive.  And it’s much more difficult to connect, to find good friends, when you’re an introvert like I am.  When talking, socializing, being engaged (and trying to be engaging) is so damn exhausting.  No wonder I always talk myself out of it.

It’s a problem with no simple solution.  It just occurred to me that I could start a group geared toward introverts, something lower-key than your typical social gathering.  But the fact is that a room full of introverts probably isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.  So that idea’s out.  I don’t have much in the way of hobbies, and I don’t have enough dedication to the interests I do have to pursue any group on a regular basis.  I’m even disenchanted somewhat with the atheist group; even there (I don’t know why I always think it will be different) people are loud, talking over each other, inattentive, self-absorbed.

Maybe I’m just leading myself back to the mindfulness meditation group.  But I don’t want to be a Buddhist.  I don’t want to revere Thich Nhat Han.  I don’t want to discuss the eight fold path or whatever it’s called.  I want thoughtful, kind, interesting company, people with a sense of humor, people who value intelligence, people who are compassionate, nonconformists, or if they conform they at least think about it beforehand.  I want to be around people I can be myself around.

To some degree that’s my fault.  I’ve taught myself, over the years, to yield to the other.  To be an attentive listener, to basically mask my personality, withhold any true engagement out of some warped belief that I was serving the interest of the other person.  Somehow I taught myself to believe that simply nodding and sympathizing was what everybody wanted.  Maybe just because it was easier, easier than putting myself out there, easier than getting hurt, easier than risking sounding stupid, or being laughed at or rejected.

This is one of the things I discussed with my therapist this past week.  How bad I hurt when I feel rejected.  I mean, unbelievably, ridiculously bad.  And it’s been like that for my whole life, so I can’t even imagine what it would feel like if I were somehow able to value myself regardless of how others treat me.  Regardless of what others think, or what I think others might think.

 

Ahahahaa, battle music from Shinseiki Evangelion started playing.  If ever there was a theme that really brought to mind my fucked-upness!  How I used to relate to Shinji.  I had to distance myself from that whole experience because I related so bad.  Can I just say right now how lucky I feel to be not that depressed anymore?  Sure, I have my days, my moments, but back then was something else.  I called myself an “emotional masochist” because I kept watching that stuff over and over again, and it hurt me so bad, made me feel so shitty, and I loved it in a way.  It was like a huge “fuck you” to myself.  Sometimes I can’t believe how much I hated myself then.

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