Conundrums of wants and needs

Diary, Mental Health

I guess recovery is a long process. When there’s been too many overwhelming negative things happen in life (or maybe I’m just predestined to only see the viscous in a retrospect), it’s easy to return to them, dwell on them, and wonder how things could’ve been different.
Well I can’t change my past, it happened. Things happened. But I have tried to move on. I changed what seemed my destiny, stuck in a career I was unhappy with, and in my mid thirties I did something. I took huge risks. Taking those risks gave me life. That life has consequently seen struggles, both emotionally and financially. I would be lying if I said I was comfortably middle class and had savings pouring out the bank. But I had a choice, work towards a career in something I believe in and really want to do, or stick to the job that pays me well but eats away at me. It took a while, but the no brainer was to swap monetary comfort for an almost cliched life of an artist, spent counting out small change. I’ve made positive this far, I am happy.
But what still gets me, is my inability to fit in socially. It’s like I’m stuck in a game of Trivial Pursuit waiting to fill that final wedge. I have friends. They are good friends. They have to work hard to put up with me at times. I revel in being fun, and witty, and caring, and silly, and laidback. But this is at odds with the person who is constantly trying to fight paranoia, constantly second guessing what everyone’s motive is, constantly putting myself down (maybe it’s me, maybe I’m just not cute enough, maybe I’m boring, maybe I’m too flaky, maybe I’m not spontaneous enough, maybe I’m too needy). I see the pattern. I’ll get upset with myself, I’ll get upset with my closest friends, I feel isolated and lonely, I push people away. I talked endlessly with my therapist about this, how I don’t like feeling needy or dependant, because I’m worried of becoming attached or a burden, I don’t want to feel vulnerable, I don’t want to feel hurt. So don’t get close to people. They will disappoint and hurt me.
But being lonely isn’t fun either. I can only pretend so much. No matter how many times I try to explain myself, I get the same response. I like quiet time, because I need to recharge. I don’t like being alone. I’m stuck. Go out and be spontaneous. Be at risk of being aloof because I don’t have the right social skills. Plan things and get told I’m too rigid. All the time, I’m told I am wrong. What do I feel? I feel like it’s easier just to leave me out because the moments I’m revelling at being me are hard fought for, and sometimes there just isn’t the patience.
I know these facts. I need, I require reassurance. I need to feel loved. I need to feel wanted.
I got a new job. Facebook told me over 100 people liked this fact. Facebook tells me that people only interact when it’s news like that. Facebook is destroying real social interaction. Who’s going to say, “Mindy, you don’t seem too happy. How about I take you out for a cuppa? I know if I stick at being a good friend, I’ll see how much you revel at being you!”.
My frustration lies with me being so caught up on repetition, and things happening in my life repeating themselves, that when I hear the stock response of, “think positive, only you can do that, it’s only a feeling, get over it”, that I hear two things – I’m a burden they just want to shut up, that my feelings are negligible; and that the reassurance I’m actually seeking, isn’t in response to my cries of frustration and anger, but with receiving an invite, being thought of first, told I’m looking pretty, being liked no matter what. Do I have to change my whole personality to be accepted? I can’t change who I am. Yes I can be positive, I have plenty of positive in my life, I know I am lucky in many ways. It’s beyond that, it’s my frustration, that throughout my life, I’ve felt isolated, I’ve felt different, I’ve felt that because I’m not comfortable in my own skin like some people are (I’m not a natural extrovert, and I don’t want alcohol to be the only fuel that allows that), that I’m less. I want to shout out and have small talk with strangers and be the light that emanates from the centre of the room. But I know that won’t happen, I am not that character.
I think my road to recovery is a tricky one. Because on the one hand, I’ve overcome the negative things that have been said about me in the past, I have grown stronger knowing that I cannot be the perfection I strive. But the other hand still deals me the challenge of fitting in as I am and finding people who are happy to have me that way, regardless. Their challenge is to know my needs and respect them, that as much as I give 100%, I need their reassurance. Yes, that makes me hard work, but maybe I am worth it when I am revelling in my own peculiar light.