I spent the weekend in Philadelphia visiting a good friend of mine. I am the ultimate introvert. I get easily overstimulated which manifests itself in headaches, an inability to parse sounds, and a total brain shut down. The only thing that makes me feel better is lying down in a quiet room and closing my eyes. My friend is the ultimate extrovert. When she went to a beach house with friends, everyone else was ready to go to bed at 11:30; she was still full of energy and wanted everyone to stay up with her until 3am!
Because we’ve always been at odds energy-wise, I was a little nervous to visit her. But, she was very respectful of the fact that walking around in a busy city and socializing is tiring for me. Even thought I felt a little embarrassed that she had to adjust for me, I felt very loved and supported. And, she still managed to push me out of my comfort zone by forcing me to meet her friends, which was really good for me, and something I don’t do enough on my own volition.
I’ve been reading about having Attention Deficit Disorder and I’ve been recognizing how much shame I carry around because of it. It’s part of why I have a hard time becoming close to people and have been afraid of letting people see the “real me.” The real me is an incompetent mess who can’t remember to pack underwear and loses things constantly.
But, it’s who I am. I guess I’m just a little sick of working so hard to come across as a competent adult. I limit myself and become wary of leaving my comfort zone for fear of breaking this illusion I’ve worked so hard to create. (And it IS an illusion. My husband, who definitely has seen my “true colors” won’t even let me do the dishes because I always miss food). And while I’ll probably never be “normal” (whatever that means) I certainly want to be more comfortable in my skin, even if that means coming across as a “ditz,” a label I’ve struggled against a lot of my life.
Even though I worry about not being taken seriously, my friends will either love/accept me. I’ve been impressed, in fact, that my friends stick around, despite the fact that I am chronically terrible at returning texts, phone calls, and emails. So maybe I should have more faith in them and myself, that I can be loved despite the fact that I feel like I am so terribly flawed sometimes.
(top row: driving into Philadelphia and walking by the cutest bakery near my friend’s house. bottom row: being bored on the train)