Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Transformation Tuesday

So I've been doing some reading, and by reading I mean some paragraphs with pictures and charts n stuff.
OK, so I'm about to get real here. So if you'd rather not read serious ramblings from my phyche then swipe right!
Here it goes. It's no big secret that I may or may not have issues, socially to be more specific (I saw where you were going there). I hate to admit it, I hate to talk about it, I fight it constantly and will continue to fight it, but a little over 20 years ago it was discovered that I have a chemical imbalance of the brain. My body doesn't produce enough of certain chemicials (mainly melatonin and serotonin). This disorder they call "depression". I hate that word, it's too connected to the word "depressed". Which is associated with "having the blues". Chemical imbalance sounds more medical and technical and less offensive to me. But I still hate the fact that I have it.
Some side affects of this imbalance are the same as symptoms of another issue I've been reading about which I touched on earlier, you know reading?
These symptoms may in fact may not be side affects of depression but just who I am, whether or not going through an episode of depression. Sure if you think about it, it still doesn't sound appealing. Yeah for the most part it's not, but here is the spin.
Society for the most part gets things wrong. In this case I think they've done ok. I'm not sure how long this info has been out there, I myself have only heard about it in the last year or so and more in the last few months. So some people have done some studying, did some math, used some scientific beakers, got some dean of a college to sign a paper and wholah, we have a positive spin on negative words and behavior.
What I've been called many a time, and it's ok, its true, but I've been labeled as "grumpy, stick in the mud, anti-social, shy, even stuck up, too good and depressed". There are probably more but whatever. All these words are adjectives that sound negative. You get society to call someone an "Introvert" and it all goes away and seems ok. "He's not shy or grumpy. He's an introvert."
In reading it's ok to be an introvert. Here is a little snippet of one article -
Definition: Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who is shy. In fact, being shy has little to do with being an introvert! Shyness has an element of apprehension, nervousness and anxiety, and while an introvert may also be shy, introversion itself is not shyness. Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.
Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to "recharge."
When introverts want to be alone, it is not, by itself, a sign of depression. It means that they either need to regain their energy from being around people or that they simply want the time to be with their own thoughts. Being with people, even people they like and are comfortable with, can prevent them from their desire to be quietly introspective.
Being introspective, though, does not mean that an introvert never has conversations. However, those conversations are generally about ideas and concepts, not about what they consider the trivial matters of social small talk

It makes alot of sense to me. It's hard for me to be around alot of people, its not because I'm shy or anti-social or that I don't like you, its just who I am. For some reason I have a hard time in crowds, especially ones where I can't move or get away from. I'm not good with conversation, I'm not good with attention and it makes me nervous and anxious. Too much of it and I need to get away and recharge. You can't see it but a battle is constantly going on in my head, even when I'm just vegging, sitting there like a monkey on a rock. I think I veg because my brain has to shut down so I don't have an episode.
And its crazy to think I'm in the communications industry, since I have a hard time communicating. But if customers call me and need something from me then its ok, they reach out. If I have to lead the action, be an extrovert if you will, then things get difficult.
And its possible being an introvert can cause depression episodes. And vice versa. But because one is going on doesn't me the other is happening, make sense?
It does to me! And it removes a big chunk off my shoulders knowing that just because I'm quiet or anti-social doesn't mean I'm depressed or having an episode of depression. Which is good because I hate having depression. The more I can think I'm just being an introvert the less I can think there is something wrong with me by having depression. See?
Now of course there are drugs for depression and there might even be drugs for introversion, and they might be the same drugs. But who has money and time for all that noise?
I'm sorry to my family and the friends that I don't have and never hang out with. I don't hate you. In fact I like you alot. If you see me then your actually alright, just not for too long ;)
In thinking about it I realize I'm not alone either. I just discovered a poster child for the introverts in my own family, well married into the family. He's known our family for close to 40 years I bet, quiet, doesn't say much, prefers to do his own thing, has great hobbies and enjoys them mostly alone. Sure he does stuff with people and his family all the time too. This guy does NOT have depression! So you don't have to have depression to be an introvert, or vice versa. Perfectly normal guy, just keeps to himself mostly. And no one bats an eye or gives him any grief. How about that?
Yes I like to do things alone, I like to be alone, I like to hear my own thoughts most of the time. This is why! I know me, I'm comfortable with me. Doesn't mean I can't be with other people or around other people, doesn't mean I don't like other people. I do like other people. I like my family, I like being with my family, I like going places with my family. But yeah, sometimes I don't like going places. Sometimes it makes me a nervous wreck. I've struggled with this, I don't know if that makes me a bad person or not, or just part of my introvert personality? By all means I know its still not good, and yes I'm working on my personality. But knowing is half the battle.
Sure, I'd rather not be these things. Life would be easier all around. But it is what it is.

"People see something strange, something they don't understand and they get afraid. Show them the beauty of that strange thing and they're no longer afraid because it becomes a part of them" - Bruce Lee