the blues

sometimes i get the blues, those times when i get depressed and extremely down on myself. i doubt my abilities, my personality, the way i have led my life. i doubt it all. most of the time when i’m feeling down, i throw my pity party complete with food and netflix in bed. and running in the background is my own interior monologue telling me that i’ve done something wrong, that i should be different, that i should act a different way.

as much as i try to live my life as a responsible adult, doing what i want, being friends with who i want, i am influenced by societal pressures and images of what my life should be like in my twenties. all the friends i should be hanging out with, all the dinner parties i should be attending, all the brunches i should be hosting. frankly it all sounds exhausting. to be that outgoing all the time, to be spending that much money all the time, to be constantly happy and peppy and outgoing, it is all overwhelming.

i am not by nature an outgoing person. i am probably very close to the traditional identity of an introvert. spending time with people, especially larger groups of people, drains me of energy, i quickly tire and withdraw. i recharge at home by myself, from watching my favorite shows, to cooking and baking, to reading a book. i have no problem being alone. i don’t like meeting new people, and i find it hard to figure out how to translate meeting someone new into making them a friend.

i struggle with social anxiety (as i know a lot of people do). i am not at all convinced that people will like me, will want to talk to me, will want to be friends with me. in situations where there are large amounts of people, i probably come across as aloof and snobbish as i don’t make a lot of conversation and i don’t approach people i don’t know. usually when i do make conversation with new faces, i can find a multitude of things to nitpick about them from their personality to the way they’re dressed, being overly peppy and too happy. this all sounds very self-centered, but in reality this is all a defense mechanism for myself, because it’s a way for me to rationalize not feeling comfortable around new people. i can simply write it off as “i don’t want to continue to get to know this person, because they smile too much and are an overly optimistic and cheerful person which doesn’t fit with my personality.”

i am a ball of anxiety a lot of the time. sometimes i am able to handle it, deal with it, realize that my personality and life experiences are unique and do not have to fit with what you see on websites or facebook. i am able to see that photos only snap a moment in time, they don’t show the whole situation, they don’t show the in between moments. other times, though, the anxiety in my head brings me down.

i tell myself i should be more outgoing, i should be more motivated, i should make an effort to hang out with my friends more often, i should exercise more, i should be a better twenty-something. the tricky thing about anxiety and feeling down, though, is that instead of just berating me for not being a better version of myself, anxiety also rationalizes why i can’t or shouldn’t change these things about myself. “you can’t be more outgoing because you hate other people and people find you aloof and unfriendly.” “it doesn’t matter how much you exercise because you’ll never be able to make a permanent and lasting change.” “making more of an effort to hang out with friends is a one sided effort because they don’t really like you that much anyway. they hardly reciprocate the effort.” anxiety is a back and forth conversation where both sides bring their rationalization a game.

this bickering is most of what puts me into a funk, and bluesy, down on myself funk. and it sends me straight to bed for a netflix binge with food, without food, it’s kind of all the same. sometimes it leads to tears, but often not. i am a resilient person, and i do bounce back, but i don’t want it to sound like i come back stronger or more motivated or more confident. i come back to where i was before and keep going about my life and my business.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “the blues

  1. Hey Lacey, thanks for sharing this about yourself. I struggle a lot with the same things you mentioned, but I was never as thoughtful about it as you, and just internalized most of it. It wasn’t until I’ve been in grad school that I’ve had to really confront these things about myself, and I have definitely spent time doubting and questioning all the decisions I’ve made to this point as you have, as I face new ones moving forward. I used to think a person with self doubt and social anxiety was rare, but I’m learning that it’s frighteningly common and no one talks about it that much. So yeah, thanks for opening up that dialogue. What do you find helps you the most? I do find the “recharging” is helpful but I’m trying to find ways to act differently in the situations that stress me out, so far failing miserably and I think just annoying those around me. Any advice?

    Like

    1. Hey Siobhan, thanks for commenting! My first comment ever! A lot of times when I get into a funk, I usually just hunker down and ride it out. It mostly happens on evenings when I’m by myself, but messaging with Brandon about what I’m feeling helps. I’m trying to find activities to go to that will push me outside my comfort zone, but it is hard to motivate myself to actually get up and go. I think I would do really well in a more structured situation, which is why I’m interested in going a group like Junior League. I’m trying to do two things simultaneously: motivate myself to be more social and accept that I’m not going to be a social butterfly. It’s hard, because it’s hard for me to accept myself without judgement. Spending time with Brandon and exercising together actually do help bring up my mood. But I’m still in that stage where I am really working to figure it out.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s