How am I doing with my anxiety? I answered honestly, by telling her I don't know. I don't feel any better than before, but I don't feel any worse, either. She asked a few more questions. Then she asked me something I never thought anyone would ever ask me. "Are you an introvert?" I think I laughed as I said "No, I don't think so. I enjoy public speaking, I enjoy people, crowds, etc. Just not all the time. I also require a lot of peaceful time. And yes, alone time." We talked some more and I told her by the definition of introvert she had just provided, I was an introvert.
My doctor is such a great fit for me. I think I admit things to her I feel like I can't go around just saying to people. Like how I feel irritated a lot. And how I know it's not really the issue of the people around me who do things which irritate me. I realize the issue is firmly, solely mine. I own it. And although I mostly do not fill anyone in on the irritations I feel because they are being normal humans, I feel guilty about them anyway. And then there is the guilt I feel because I don't do enough. Because I have this beautiful new home which is never clean enough. She asked if it bothered everyone else in the house. No. Not really. Just me. And the thing is she gets it. She shares some of the feelings. The feelings of overstimulated and overwhelmed. We talked about coping with it in small ways to help ourselves feel better and feel happy, and also sort of escape it. It can be as simple as drowning out what is going on with our favorite music & our trusty headphones.
Then she told me I need to quit apologizing for who I am. I, of course, countered by telling her I don't really go around apologizing to people about this. Because I try to hide my 'issues'. She told me I needed to quit apologizing to myself for who I am. I think I get it. But it's a lot easier to accept other people for who they are than think it's okay to feel this irritated by a dog who wont stop scratching or people having the nerve to chew their food in my presence. At the actual table. Right?
I don't have the patience problems normal people have. I can stand in line a long time and be alright with it. Because there are new people to meet and babies to watch and smile at and songs to hear. I do not care if my doctor runs an hour behind because I know she is great and it just means someone really needed her. I respect it because it means she took the time to be there for them. I don't mind listening to my husband tell the story I have heard a hundred times because there is something so intimate about having the privilege of being the one who gets to hear it so much. But please don't make me listen to you brush your teeth.
The doctor said I should watch this TED video:
So I watched it. I enjoyed it. I hope you do too.
I'm not sure why I shared this today. There's no real point to telling the whole world about it. Except to say if you feel like some or all of this, you are not alone. And some times that is enough; that comfort of knowing you aren't the only one.