Ollie the Flake
A while ago I had a friend named Christie, she would make plans, say yes to things she couldn't do and generally fail to be part of events we'd plan. I used to call her 'Flakey Christie' and after a while this came to upset her, so I stopped. As I understand it, she didn't and couldn't always be where we wanted her to be and back then I had no idea what it was to be flakey. I wasn't anxious about seeing people, I liked to go out and get stupid drunk and I especially enjoyed being in a big group.
Not so anymore.
No, now I like to stay at home. Now I make plans and sometimes anxiety will fill me and I'll hide on my sofa and play PS4. It's not that I don't like people, it's not that I don't want to go, sometimes my mind won't let me.
Today I heard "you're not happy because you choose not to be," but in the case of people who suffer with this illness, it's far from a choice. Not only was this statement a perfect example of how not to treat people who suffer with depression, it also indicates a certain level of ignorance on the subject.
I wish I could go back to 21 year old me. He got over shit pretty quickly, and when he was around people, he was the life of the party. As I've grown older I've come to accept a certain aspect of myself - the ability to admit defeat. I don't do it by choice, I do it because I have no choice.
I've let so many people down this year, either by not going to things I've said I would, cutting communication with people, or not communicating at all with those who deserve it. I agree that it's bad, but I can't help it sometimes. It's like some survival instinct takes over and I'm safer just staying on my own, or with my pupper or with my lover. I don't know that it's really something you can understand unless you've felt it yourself.
I'm making an effort to better understand and control these negative aspects of myself. Sometimes I'm too polite to say something.
Sometimes I feel like extroverts take twice as much out of me than other introverts or even ambiverts. Hear me out on this, I'm an introvert in that when I'm around people I give my energy, which means a lot of the time being in large groups sucks the energy out of me very quickly and sometimes even a short one-on-one is enough for me with an extrovert. Extroverts absorb energy from those around them. They like people because people feed them. Being loud, being the happy presence in the room is wonderful, and I like many extroverts, but they rarely understand what it is to auffer from chronic unhappiness, which causes conflicts.
So 'Ollie the Flake' has kind of taken form. He's not someone I like, but he's someone who's comfortable with not sending that one key message to say "yes, I'm coming,' and 'I've got plans, sorry.' Did I like it when it happened to me? God no! Do I think it's justifiable? Not really, I do my best to push through but sometimes i just can't.
I miss the days this stuff didn't get so on top of me. All I need is a bit of understanding and for the people I may have hurt through the process of flaking to know that if I had the choice, I'd be present as much as I can in all things.