Day 28: Do you consider yourself high-functioning or low-functioning?
In a short answer, high-functioning.
When I attended counseling in the summer of 2013, something the therapist pointed out was that I had some long-lasting things in my life. The first was that I had held a full-time job for over 17 years. Sometimes even working a PT job while working that job. Until, I hit the spiral vortex downward into sex, drugs, depression and emptiness.
Second was that I was/am in a relationship that has lasted longer than any other relationship. My marriage is strong, my spouse is understanding and an anchor to my endless floating.
She asked me to attempt to pinpoint why my spouse was and is different from the others. What have I done differently with this relationship than all the others. I remember something my mother once told me and that was “you will reach a point when you will decide to fight and work at the relationship.” I think I reached that point. Sadly, to be honest, those that are like me know that emotions are the most difficult part of any relationship. The doubts of love often fill my head. Moments I need reassurance and understanding.
High functioning. I appear “normal” on the outside to the public. However, you can ask those people who are allowed into my inner circle if I am normal. They will answer no. I often joke “when I’m in your life you will never be bored.” Because those people who are in my inner circle get to see everything. The madness, the emotional ups & downs, everything that I hide from the rest of the world. Those people get to deal with me in that state of who I am. Mostly, my spouse and my #1 fan. Those men are saints or crazy themselves. I have learned to “expel” or “explode” all of it (whatever is causing me emotional distress) in the four walls of my home. There’s where I have my tantrums, of frustration, anger, when I jump up & down in rage. I tend to “fit” in when I can or if I’m not sure I just don’t get too close. I do what I have to do and leave.
I can “function” out in public for brief moments before I get feeling overwhelmed or that those around me will find out that I am not who I seem to be. I can work at a job. However, I do need time away from people from time to time. I do get anxious at public and social gatherings. The anxiety builds up, I tend to freak out a bit. That’s when my “shield” comes in a does his job. My spouse is my shield. When he is not available, I become that “on” person. I’m not sure who or what that is, but I’ve been told by some friends (at parties, gatherings) “be funny” or “Where’s the chick who is the life of the party?” or “here’s a shot you have to make us laugh.” Yeah. I’m the one who makes others laugh, like a comedian. However, I’m usually buzzed on something. When I’m not I’m quiet, withdrawn, shy and stand away from others just watching them.
The more I work on these questions, the more I think that as a person matures, it becomes easier. The symptoms are not so intense. When we are younger we are still learning to adapt to life as we know it. As we grow we reach a better understanding of it all. Looking back I see it clearly. Not saying that the symptoms will disappear but that they are not so disabling.
I never thought there was any thing wrong with me. I just thought I was different. I just pushed through it all. Chalked each thing up to life lessons. Tried not to repeat some more than others. Now a days I look for my triggers, talk more often with my spouse. I have attempted to mend the broken relationships with my children and family. I do not see a therapist or attend any outside counseling. Now I write a blog about my issues.