Anniversionary

February 25th was one year, to the day, to my coming down to Houston to enter the Menninger Clinic. Before then, I had essentially left grad school, had only a few friends – none nearby – , had serious internal family issues, and had tried to kill myself. Now, a year later, I live in my own apartment. I have a community of friends around, several of whom live in the same apartment complex with me – and we’re making plans for dinner, or something similar, this weekend. I have a job – if not a long-term, lifetime job – and I’m making money and getting experience, while looking for other work. And I have become a lot closer to my family, and we’ve covered a lot of ground that we probably never would have covered otherwise. There’s even the possibility – I hope a strong possibility – of a romantic relationship, something I wouldn’t even have conceptualized a year ago.

But it didn’t just happen, sadly. To get from there to here, I had to do a lot of work, look at a lot of unpleasant truths about myself, and undergo some pretty unpleasant experiences. Being told that, even though I wanted people around me – parents, colleagues, women – to change, that I couldn’t change them, and that the only person I could change was myself, was a big hit to me. There were times that it had to be pretty much beaten into me that there was no easy fix, no magic phrase or technique I could use to change the world around me. I had to look inside myself to see what I could change there, and oddly, as an introvert, I was very unused to introspection.

As an odd segue, being an introvert is one of the things I don’t think I can change about myself. And while there are certainly problems caused by being an introvert, I think I prefer being this way than being an extrovert. While my shyness and social awkwardness haven’t always been friends to me, there are good parts to being an introvert – I find it pretty easy to focus; I tend to be pretty good at assessing other people, even if I can’t always vocalize it; and I tend to approach most situations in a calm, thoughtful manner. But there are certainly things I find often frustrating, and while I could enumerate them myself, I find it is much easier to just let someone who has already done so to say what’s on my mind – ladies and gentlemen, I give you 10 Confessions From An Introvert.

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Anniversary

Today is kind of an odd day for me. One year ago today, I was doing something amazingly stupid – trying to kill myself. I can still remember parts of it pretty clearly. I had taken a lot of over-the-counter sleeping medication; I had sent out e-mails to most everyone I knew, and I remember that Sum of All Fears (the Tom Clancy movie starring Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan) was on TV as I went to sleep in the Drury Inn near the St. Louis airport.

After I woke up, I was hallucinating; I went wandering around the hotel, going by the breakfast greeter quite a few times; at one point I actually thought I saw my sister and brother-in-law and had a conversation with them, and I remember wandering outside the hotel, inexplicably seeing some friends who couldn’t possibly be there, sitting in various cars gesturing to me wildly. It was apparently terribly cold, but that was something I didn’t notice. Eventually, I went to the hotel receptionist, asking about where my family was, to find out I was the only one there; that was when I finally remembered what I had done the night before, and then eventually, I ended up in the hospital.

So, here I am, a year later. Right now, I’m sitting in my apartment in my robe, because, inexplicably, my apartment complex turned off the water for my building – actually, 28 buildings, of which mine is one – to fix the plumbing in a single building. Water was supposed to be off from 9 AM to 1 PM, but now it’s off until 4 PM at the earliest. I just got off the phone with XBox customer service; my first XBox One couldn’t play discs, so I had them send me a replacement, and then the replacement didn’t work – but I had to send in the first one, and they had to receive it and process it, before they could work on sending me a replacement for the first replacement. Now I find out that it will take them another 7 business days for processing, so I won’t get my second replacement for likely another 10 business days. Nto thrilling, let me tell you.

Yesterday was kind of a lousy day at work, as well, and to top it all off, today marks the third week that I haven’t heard from Calla. I know she has her reasons, but it still is kind of discouraging. So, it’s not a great anniversary.

But, you know what? I’m still in a much better place than I was a year ago. I have friends here who care about me; I live on my own, in a place I like; I have a job at a cool place. There’s stuff I want to work on, sure – doesn’t everyone have things they want to do with their lives? But even though things are temporarily not so great, I know that I’m doing a lot better than I was a year ago. And that’s due to a lot of people, including probably a number of my readers.