Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Alone, Above and Apart

Journal-surfing yesterday, I came across two separate references to the label of "introvert." One writer was really struggling with the appellation. Another seemed to wear it as a badge of honor. Let’s face it, people, if we all weren’t card-carrying introverts, we probably wouldn’t be spending the time we do pounding on these keys and filling up these pages. And, like the over-thinkers we are, we sometimes get to wondering (obsessing) about whether it’s okay to be our quiet little selves.

In my own life, I’ve found that I cherish and nurture my introversion, most of the time. As long as I can retreat to my quiet places when things get hectic, I maintain my balance. I have always needed time alone to recharge my batteries. But it can be a double-edged sword. If I am frightened or wounded, I tend to retreat into myself, and STAY there. And then it becomes a struggle to get out again.

I’m in the midst of one of those struggles right now, in fact. And it’s been a long, difficult one. Six years of heavy losses had driven me deep inside myself. I’ve been swimming back to the surface for about three years now. So odd to talk about this in terms of YEARS. I look at it, written in black and white, and think what a long time it’s taken me to GET OVER IT. Can’t imagine how much of a weenie other people must think I am. And yet, how can you set a timetable for grieving and healing? It takes a complicated blend of LETTING yourself recover, and MAKING yourself well. Now that I am finally hammering away at the wall I had built around myself, I find that I have missed an awful lot. I’ve been so self-centered the last few years, I feel like Rip van Winkle. I’m lifting my head, blinking, and thinking, "My, how the world has changed…"

I’m still an introvert. Probably always will be. Like all other secret indulgences, it’s fine—even healthy –in moderation. But, like drinking, drugs, or chocolate, can be dangerous if taken in excess.

1 comment:

  1. This is very insightful. I find myself at a point where I either want to retreat, or run away from home. In my case, I need to LET myself discover and MAKE myself act on what I learn. It is much easier to retreat in utter confusion. But you are right - indulgence in solitude will rob one of life. Thanks for this entry. - Kat