one hundred years of solitude

I am, by most accounts, an introvert. Some have even identified me as the poster boy for the Myers-Briggs Introvert. People exhaust me, and if I'm unable to escape into myself to recharge, I become rather cranky.

Some days, I think I could be a hermit. Well, not a true hermit. I mean, I would want to bathe regularly. Oh, and I would want someone to be a hermit with me. A shared hermitage, as it were. And the shared hermitage wouldn't be isolated, because you still need to associate with the townsfolk. Just on my terms.

I think this was one of the great deficiencies in my relationship with Dec. I was perfectly content being a homebody. He needed to socialize with people. All the time. But it wasn't enough that he needed to be with others; he needed me to do it too. So his friends viewed me as anti-social because I didn't want to go out to eat every night of the week (okay, I am a bit anti-social, but someone needed to watch the pocketbook), and this had a detrimental affect on how we related to and resented each other. But that's all water under the bridge now.

The last couple weeks, I've been particularly ornery. There are a number of reasons for this, primary among them being how others apparently view me as compared to how I view myself.

For example, one friend recently accused me of enjoying talking on the phone. I have never liked talking on the phone. Ever. I despise it. By my reckoning, God invented the phone for ease of making arrangements. I have a three-minute patience span on the phone. I can extend it to about eight minutes if it's been a while since I've talked to you. If you live out of state, I can maybe possibly make it to twenty minutes. But, as a general rule, after three minutes I'm no longer listening to a word you're saying; most likely I'm listening for the pauses where I'm supposed to throw in one of those conversation filler grunts.

Last week, the Momma actually accused me of being good with customer relations. That floored me, as I was telling her about how the one thing that frustrates me about working at the gym (aside from having to deal with her business partner who I find little value in as a businesswoman or a person, for that matter) is that I have to be a People Person all day long with lots of people, many of whom are wanting discounts because they're cheap bastards who place minimal value on their fitness and well-being. And dealing with people All. Day. Long. makes me grouchy because I can't get away to recharge. Editing was a great profession for me because I only had to deal with twenty people, at the most, over the course of the entire year. Even I could manage those niceties.

Then, to top it all off, I had apparently begun to grow attached to one of my friends, unknowingly placing him in the role of boyfriend. (Of course, when discussing this with him, I explained why it was that I had suddenly become distant and needed to do so, only to have him get a bit taken aback at the realization that he didn't want that distance. Which has led to the unexpected resolution of us starting to date. Just to see, you know. Weirdness. But pleasant weirdness, because it's nice to again kiss someone I actually like.)

Hmm. Where was I going with all of this? I forget now.

Oh. The orneriness.

I'm not sure my introversion is completely healthy. The major event of the past couple weeks is the anxiety attacks that have suddenly cropped up. I wish I could put my finger on a direct cause, because then I could take action to resolve it. But Tuesday at my grandma's birthday party, I was talking to my great uncle when I suddenly had to get away from people. I tucked myself into a corner in one of the bedrooms and struggled in vain to try and get a full breath in. It wasn't pleasant. And it was niether the first nor the last attack in recent weeks; it was merely the most pronounced.

In the end, I guess I can either hide away in some reclusive hermitage or I can get some professional help. For the time being, I'll try the help.


Th. said...


I think, by recognizing the evils of telephony, you're already making marvelous strides toward health.

Mr. Fob said...

I'd try the reclusive hermitage, personally. Not that I'm averse to help; the hermitage just sounds good. Imagine all the books you could read!

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I would like the record to state that I did not say that you enjoyed talking on the phone.

I did, however, say that since a certain event had happened, your telephone conversations had become longer, more chatty, more back to the real Edgy.

But, I am concerned. And like it or not, I see a long phone conversation in your very near future.

Jér said...

Down with telephones, chaotic parties and demanding customers!

Also, down with panic attacks. There ought to be a law.

eleka nahmen said...

Ahem. WHO???!!

(As if I could focus on anything but!)

N.F. said...

Hope things start to look up real soon for you.

Nemesis said...

I hear you on the introvert thing with the needing time alone to recharge. Usually this need hits me strongest about 15 minutes before the start of some party that I THOUGHT I was really excited to host. This is when it's good to have a trusted friend or roommate nearby to take over and prevent me from putting a sign on the door that reads "Oh piss off."

But I've never had anxiety attacks. Those sound really, really scary.

chosha said...

When I read the bit in your post about the unexpected twist that has you now dating your friend, I felt such a wistfulness. I think it's been too long since I really connected with someone that way. That moment when you realise that you want to go out with them, and that you both want that, is such a nice moment, as moments go.