Friday, April 19, 2013

Take Comfort

     I went to the doctor today for my yearly physical. A little late, but she didn't seem concerned. I start by telling her she might not be happy to hear what I was about to tell her and it may well get me put in the 'bad patient' column. I told her in Sept/Oct I stopped taking my medications. I had one for thyroid, one for migraines, and one for anxiety.  She told me, of course, I need to take my thyroid medication. And I do not disagree. As a matter of fact I would not have disagreed had she written prescriptions for everything again. She made sure I had migraine medication. Then she started asking the questions I did not know how to answer. 

     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. 


  1. I have know I am introvert for several years. But only recently have I understood what this means to how I parent, homeschool, and some other areas of my life. It's not that I am a bad mom because I get tired of being touched and sometimes fantasize about being stranded on a desert just means I need to ask Hubs to step up and go get some quiet time. And, I'm trying to be ok with that!

  2. I do feel comforted. My step mother-in-law discovered recently that she is an introvert disguised as an extrovert. She is very social and busy and always teaching classes, going on vacations, seeing friends and seeing clients. However deep in her heart, the pressure gets to her and she would LOVE to skip all of that. So recently she started skipping like.. a lot of things. She seems very relaxed.

    I don't know about me. Sometimes I think I'm an introvert disguised as an extrovert, and other times I'm an extrovert disguised as an introvert, just waiting for my moment. My husband calls me an enigma. I just think the tide changes sometimes. Anxiety is a big indicator of most everything in my life.

    1. I think the tide changes, too. I think we are, most of us, a mixture of "Hey, come and play with me" and "Get away from me." Maybe we all need to be color coded like stop lights. Then we could see who needs us and who needs space and who isn't sure what they need. I'm pretty sure I'd always be yellow.

  3. Hello - I recently came across your blog and read your post about introverts. I watched the video -- I loved it. I'm sure that I am one -- and so is my husband and our 3 daughters. I saw so much of ourselves in that video. It actually made me feel better about myself and I plan on sharing it with our daughters when they come home from college tomorrow. I think they will feel better about themselves as well. Thank you!