Suddenly I don't think all people suck
Friends are awesome. I think I might have the sweetest friends ever. Lord knows how they put up with me, as I'm sometimes grumpy and usually completely inside my head, not always letting people in. I occasionally disappear from some of them for weeks at a time, not to be heard from while I work out whatever my latest personal hang-up is. I'm a major introvert (who also wrestles with depression) and need alone time every day in order to survive, so when I have an issue or mood to work out, I usually lock myself up at home and shut everyone out until I'm ready to face the world again. Sometimes it's a weekend; sometimes it's a couple weeks. And every time I do that, the people I care about are always still there, unquestioningly ready to welcome me back to my life. I love them all for that.
While I actually like being an introvert and wouldn't ever change who I am, there are limits to what's healthy versus what can be socially crippling, so therefore this disappearing act is a habit I'd like to alter a tad. To be honest, this blog is a big part of this effort, as it's a way to put myself out there a little more, to not be so painfully private. I'll admit that it's only a baby step, as keeping a blog, though visible to anyone with internet access, still has a sense of anonymity, as it's indirect communication and I don't have to be face-to-face with people who read what I write here, which makes all the difference. But like I said, it is a step, if only a baby one.
In the meantime, people in my life have been so amazing lately. Well, always, but it's profoundly noticeable these days. A lot of crap has gone down recently. Actually, back up. A lot of drama went down a few years ago, and there were a few people who were my rocks, my touchstones, the source of my strength when I needed it. No questions asked, they were there for me. And then recently I've had more confusion and upheaval, and here my friends are again (plus newer ones!), just like before: rocks. I regularly get emails, text messages, phone calls, etc. from people "just checking in."
Take today for example. I was in a slight funk the past day or two (see my previous blog update), and even though I knew that as always, I'd pull out of it, I still hated feeling that way. But before I'd had a chance to talk to anyone or seek comforting words from a trusted buddy, they all seemed to know; they sort of swarmed in from their respective lives and locations (virtually speaking, of course) to give me the reassurance I needed. Without being asked. For one thing, my very very newest friends at work here made today so much better than yesterday, by just being them. I showed up at work still feeling miserable and on the verge of tears (not to mention my crankiness from the oppressive humidity today, but that's a whole different issue:) and within an hour of starting my shift, I felt a million times better. Part of it of course was just being busy, keeping my mind off bad stuff. But mostly, it was the fun I had with my co-workers today, even after I told one of them that I was cranky and depressed and why I was feeling that way. They're awesome. By the end of my shift, I was past my ugly little funk and was enjoying the day and the job.
Also, I got home from work to find a pile of mail from a whole assortment of people who are terribly important to me. I received a hand-written letter from each of the two kids (twin brother and sister) I used to babysit in St. Louis and who I adore. They're almost twelve now, so their letters were great to read. Very earnest with lots of sweetness. I also received a CD that my dear friend Emily in St. Louis had made for me. She put songs on it that she said have made her feel stronger during her own life's traumatic turn of events. There was also a package of three CDs my friend Elizabeth in Cincinnati made for me. And then Kathy sent me some yummy lotions and body wash from Bath & Body Works, as a birthday gift.
All of this came today! It was so much fun, and I swear I almost cried from happiness. Not about receiving material things, of course, but because of the timing and sincerity of it all.
And in addition to this, today I heard from an old friend of mine, who I haven't been in touch with for years. She's doing so well, and she truly deserves that. She also emailed a couple pictures of her beautiful 6-month-old daughter, which made me smile. I love to hear about people who's lives are working out the way they wanted.
I certainly hope my friends know how important they are to me. I try to tell them, but I never know if I say it often or clearly enough. That's another problem with being introverted: I'm never sure I express enough appreciation or concern to people. And while I certainly don't wish unhappiness on anyone, I do hope to find ways to be there for all of them in the same ways they have always been there for me.