At Our House, Best Babble, Musings

IT’S AN INNIE THING

I have hit THE WALL. Not literally, no car crashes or broken fists or anything like that. But that metaphorical wall has come up and hit me in the face. Again.

Before writing this I was sitting in my wardrobe staring at my shoes. For quite a while. Pretty much not having the physical or mental energy or desire to move. Even the thought of watching TV … yuck, too much. I have suffered from depression in the past and it’s kind of like a (really) mini episode. Depression is a big word which I never take lightly. I’m not undermining anyone who suffers mental illness. But I can relate, those feelings won’t ever be forgotten. This is definitely a fleeting feeling of those days.

In this case though, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a small wardrobe, it’s a walk in with a window, and shoes, well I do love shoes. So it’s not as drastic as it sounds.

Except maybe it is.

This happens to me a couple of times a month. I am drained. Completely. It is usually after a particularly busy or intense period (so that would be a lot of the time around here!). I don’t even feel it happening but all of a sudden my tolerance and ability to deal with people is gone. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I’m a bit of a zombie (except for the flesh eating stuff, gross, maybe that’s not the best descriptor!).

If I don’t get a check on myself pretty quickly I can have a really sh*t couple of days. As can my family – Mrs Grumpy Pants is no fun for any of us including me! I can get to resenting my family and the work I have to do to make us ‘work’ and become totally frustrated at having to make decisions for everyone else. I seem to find the opposite of rose tinted glasses. Would that be green tinted? Green is opposite pink/red on the colour wheel (I think). Green=jealousy. Hmmmmmm. My theory is I’m really cross at me for not taking time to sort myself out / not being able to find the time before reaching breaking point.

So tonight I’ve come here to have a verbal vomit (ooh I like that!) which helps put some perspective in place.

I have learned in the last year or two that this is totally to do with me being an introvert. INTJ (occasionally INFJ depending on the test but the percentage differences of T/F are marginal) – Myers Briggs personality types. Google it if it’s new to you. Me just wanting to hide under my duvet, or in my wardrobe, is probably actually a pretty normal reaction for someone like me.

Introverts need time and space alone – we have a lot going on in our heads and too much time with people in our faces becomes overwhelming. We are NOT hermits, but do value quality over quantity interactions. I was so pleased to find out about the Myers-Briggs personality types and with that the realisation I wasn’t a bit mad at all – this is just how I am wired.

So what do I know about why, about two hours ago, that wall jumped out in front of me and I hit it so hard? Keep in mind that two and a half hours ago I was at a hockey game chatting to numerous people about a load of different things.

Well that in itself is part of the challenge. Us “innies” would much prefer to have one decent conversation with one person. So managing multiple conversations at hockey took a load of effort for me – even for just over an hour. Whereas last weekend I had dinner with a friend and I kid you not, we didn’t stop talking for four hours … and I walked away feeling vitalised. Yep, that’s how I roll.

Hockey was just the straw that broke the camel’s back though (did I just call myself a camel?!). I’ve also had a pretty full on week. I’ve had to travel away to a funeral (full on emotion, this was also a funeral tied to my mum) and the subsequent wake (a ton of chit-chat and polite conversation which I so struggle with). I have students in my face at work five days a week and my own kids constantly with me at home. So yes, I am stretched to the max and ready for meltdown.

Except I won’t.

I have learned am learning how to manage my innie needs. I’m also learning that it is okay to have these need and it’s okay to manage them my way. Again I say, it’s just how I’m wired. How can that be wrong?!

So hopefully tomorrow I will find a couple of hours alone in my bedroom to read, write, nap, listen to music. That time of solitude is SOOOO important to me. My husband is an active relaxer so he’ll be pottering out in the garden/shed no doubt. I don’t think he has a clue about how/why I need this time, it’s really hard to explain to someone who is so the opposite!

We’re also heading out for a bush walk on Sunday which I’m really looking forward to. I find being outdoors really healing. And in the meantime, this time sitting in my wardrobe and acknowledging where I’m at has probably saved us all from a major meltdown. Perspective and release. Aaaahhhhhhhhh.

Oh yeah, and my husband has gone out for fish and chips for tea. I was going to cook but honestly, I couldn’t even face the light and brightness of my white kitchen benches! Let along meeting their needs when mine are so far from being met right now. Sometimes (in these low moments) I do wonder what God is playing at setting such a full on innie up with such a big family. And I wonder if I can do it (then I kick my own butt and move on).

Selfish yes. Realistic yes. Truthful yes. I’m here to be real. And I’m sure someone out there can relate. Hands up … anyone?

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9 thoughts on “IT’S AN INNIE THING”

  1. I have episodes like this. I say it’s my turtle time. I have to pull back from the world and regroup. Not many people understand it. I don’t think it is selfish if it is something that you need to function. It’s just something that needs to be part of a routine so it doesn’t smack you so hard maybe?

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    1. Oh ‘Turtle Time’. I love that, it’s so right! And you are right, I need to actively make my time for myself. I just find it soooo hard to put other needs second to my time. It’s a process, but I’m working it out… (I think!).

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  2. I have these episodes. I’ve learned that I need alone time to regroup internally but I don’t always have to spend it thinking, because then it can be lonely. I make sure I use the time for pleasurable things like scouring the web for interesting reads. I found recently that discovering and listening to music make a good quieting strategy. Discovering engages my head while listening calms my soul. My theory is turtle time for innies is a form of alignment of the head and the inner self/soul. Im an INTJ to by the way.

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  3. You are not alone…I too need some time alone…almost to recharge or regroup…it’s not easy as I have little ones (5 and almost 4) but I try to take the time and re-focus my energy, otherwise it’s not pretty!

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    1. I’ve gone through a process this year of learning what I need, and accepting that it’s okay to both need and want it. Because like you, if I don’t get it, it’s so not pretty.

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