Introvert/Extrovert

I fall into a “weird” category I think. I’m a partial introvert/partial extrovert. I weirdly like being the center of attention while maintaining my “privacy. Yeah, doesn’t make sense to me, either.

I’m rather vocal about my mental health diagnosis (bipolar, and I promise you I will see which “bipolar” it is when I see the doctor next). Yes, I was afraid of it. Why? Because I didn’t want to be my Mom/family. So, yes… I was afraid of my diagnosis. But I’ve come to realize that I am me, I am an individual, and that how I deal with my diagnosis is who I actually am, not the label of my diagnosis itself. And if more people realize it’s just a part of the person, not something that person is choosing (like cancer or diabetes), maybe it’ll be easier for that person to deal with. It’s a disease, not a choice.

So… I’m an introvert for the most part. I don’t do real well with small talk, I feel weird trying to do it. But I do like talking with people. I’ve realized this, as I’ve gotten comfortable with my job. I like chatting with and “helping” the patients we have. I like making them feel at ease. I like helping them feel a little more comfortable with the idea of having their test, with getting whatever diagnosis they get and owning the fact that it might not be ideal, but they’re learning about what’s going on with them. They’re learning now what too many people learn to late. I almost feel like I’m giving them hope.

And I really feel that it’s that little interaction, that little bit of “humanity” that makes what I do better. I’ve seen people come in afraid and go back to their test less afraid. I hope I make the lives of our techs a little easier.

My hubby has made it clear to me a number of times that I don’t need do what I do. I can stay home, work on my art/jewelry, and make a living there. He makes good money, we don’t live beyond our means, we do quite well. I don’t necessarily need the job, but that maybe, mentally, I need the job. And after talking with my head shrink (as opposed to my medication shrink), I agree. The job is good for me, I’ve come to realize that the interaction with both our patients and my co-workers (at least most of them) is good for me.

When we lost our dear Bonners, it was a serious turning point for me at work. I can never really make clear to those I work with how much it meant to both of us what they did for us. It wasn’t generic. It was very much a “their surviving family needs help getting through” and I know I can never really express to them how much that meant to both of is. It was very much the change for me at work. I belonged. I felt like part of the crew. It really made me weep, even though I didn’t necessarily do so there (I think too many years of “Grow up and get over it” kept me from showing my true emotions). I really wish I could truly long hug everyone I work with to make it clear how much it meant to all of us, both me and my hubby, as well as all the “kids”.

So, yeah…. a bit of an introvert. Some people get it (Lisa who knows what I was like growing up, and Jon who was with me way back when with the “woman” who was afraid to talk to his friends), and I know quite a few don’t. But think of the most shy person you know. That was me at one point. I just moved past it because it was necessary to help the animals that I was working with. They were the most important thing to me at that time. Their lives were often in my hands. And I took that seriously. That’s why I became able to deal with the general public. Now it’s become a habit, but often times I need a break. It’s exhausting to me. It’s like running a marathon. So, when I seem to tense up and “freak out” at times, that why. Give me a few minutes and I’ll be alright. Try to force me to keep at it, and you’ll see someone really freak out. 🙂

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