Popping Pills and Making Friends

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Hi! I’m Paul and welcome to my world!

Another week has come and gone. I woke up this morning with a small amount of anxiety. I felt as if I didn’t get much accomplished and I am not making progress in my goals. I popped my daily Prozac, waited for it to kick in (which is likely a mental placebo due to its longer metabolism than other SSRIs), helped get my daughter ready for Pre-K and sat down to write.

I like to force myself to get words to paper in the morning before I start my day. If I get hit with a burst of inspiration later in the day, great, but at least I am getting my thoughts out. It helps clear the mental clutter and more importantly it allows me to feel connected to other humans than just my immediate family.

When depression rears its ugly head I tend to isolate myself and push everyone with the exception of my daughter away. Unfortunately in doing so I either ruin relationships or send out an unfriendly vibe. When meeting someone new or interacting with an acquaintance it tends to give off an undesired impression.

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To top it off, I have predominately introverted tendencies which makes it even harder to establish real connections. Large groups make me uncomfortable. Small talk seems fake and a waste of time. Low self esteem tells me it is less painful to be content by myself than unappreciated by others.

Everything is so connected and difficult to untangle. Years, even decades of creating a skewed reality is difficult to fix overnight.

Then I look at the calendar where I track my exercise. I have met my goals every day this month. I look at the Weight Watchers app on my iPhone and see I have stayed within my point allowance every day since I have re-started. I see I am losing weight, I can visually see muscle definition returning, and my clothes are feeling a bit less tight. I’m making progress there.

I look on Facebook and see the people that have sent me personal messages and have commented on or “liked” on the links to these posts. My words are impacting their lives in some way, at least enough where they are compelled to interact.

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What keeps holding me back from feeling a sense of accomplishment is the belief I am defined by what I do and not who I am. It is a common question in society when you meet someone. “So, what do you do?” “I’m a doctor.” “I’m an investment banker.” Those are “good” people. “I’m a cashier at the grocery store.” “I’m a hotel maid.” Those are “bad” people. “Good” and “bad” aren’t necessarily the correct words to use, but serve the point my skewed belief system is trying to make.

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I want it to be okay that I seem a bit awkward at first in person but am awesome when I can trust you enough to open up. I wish that I could be as open in person as I can be when writing. Perhaps one day I can.

For now I take each day as it comes, doing the little things which will eventually lead to the big changes I so desperately want.

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5 comments

  1. I hope that more people in your life will work to peel back your many layers to at least get a glimpse of what an amazing person you are. Our lives have changed so very much from the crazy days long ago but I do know that I am lucky to have been able to see a different side of you than most people get to see. You are genuinely “good”, no matter what job title you attach to yourself. You got this and you have an awful lot of people in your corner even if you don’t have regular interactions with us/them!

  2. Yay! I’ve found someone like me! I’m pretty hopeless at big crowds and groups and simply can’t be bothered with small talk, probably if I’m honest because I’m not very good at it. As a child we were expected to be seen (occasionally) but not heard, so I never learned to chatter naturally, share views, give opinions etc etc. I loathe conflict and even listening to it on the radio on the news sends shivers down my arms … maybe I’m actually I bit loopy, but anyway, suffice to say things are really and truly on the mend. What I’ve found, for what it’s worth, is that the more little challenges I set myself and then achieve, the more my confidence and self esteem grows. And I mean really grows. So now I simply don’t worry a hoot about meeting new people because instead of feeling unworthy and unwelcome, I feel confident and happy and have much to contribute. Goodness it’s been quite a journey, but I wanted to say that I completely and utterly understand where you’re coming from and it’s so darn hard. You have a lovely face so I’m guessing that people will in fact be very drawn to you. My mother used to say that I looked “disgruntled in repose” which I believe is another way of saying that I had a “resting bitch face”! I’m still working on that …. Best wishes Katie

    1. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Many days I see the good life has to offer but as you probably know, decades of old patterns and habits are brutal to break.

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