As a kid I hated talking on the phone. I have a specific memory filed with fear, panic, and tears when my mom forced me to call my babysitter for a reason I can’t remember. Even to this day I rehearse what I’m going to say to strangers on the phone and I get a little panicky when the conversation talks outside of my carefully collected lines .
I had trouble making friends growing up. When I was 6 we moved to a really small town and because I didn’t go to kindergarten with all the 1st graders I felt like the new kid from day 1 through about 4th grade when there were finally enough other new faces around.
Regardless I was made fun of a lot and I never really felt accepted, except by a few. So as I grew older and the few friends I did have came and went, I was driven inward, downward, deep, dark, circling, spiraling depression consumed my middle and early high school years.
I learned how extroverts acted. As an introvert I prided myself on keeping my dark feelings hidden. All the while pouring my soul out on to journal pages; mourning my loneliness. Wondering why a good Father would allow my life to turn out this way.
Flash-forwad: I’m 24 and married, working full time, cat mom who loves to cook, keep a clean and orderly apartment, and creatively express herself in various fashions — and still wondering why sometimes things are like this, realizing now that the root of depression isn’t loneliness, it’s anxiety, and loneliness is a byproduct.
Because yes, I would love to have a girls day, group date, fun-in-the-sun, exploring adventure. I would love to go to every consultant party and buy products I don’t need and be happy – but I’m going to worry about my finances- pointlessly, I might add. And I’m definitely going to worry about what to wear. Even though I tell myself I don’t care what people think. Because I really do. And I desperately need their approval.
And I’m going to worry about how to get there. Does my husband have off work? Because we share a car and I’ll need a ride. My town doesn’t have buses or Ubers (and don’t even get me started on those). And now I’m worried about my dependency on others because I was raised to do everything on my own and I don’t always have transportation.
And this social situation I’m heading to has too many strangers anyway, who will judge me, or worse, people who know me really well and say they won’t judge me but secretly do anyway.
But the most stressful of all, especially for quiet introverts like me, is small talk. I try to stay up on politics and world news to seem educated and cultured, I think. But I’m not a talker (oh, the irony), especially to strangers. And is not because I don’t care about how your spouse and kids are, or what you did last weekend. I just don’t always think about it.
So I’m sorry if this tightly wound ball of stress and sadness has offended or hurt you in anyway. I truly didn’t mean it. And I thank God every day that His mercy is brand new every morning. Nothing quiets chaos like His peace. Some days I take it for granted. Some days I fail to believe. But He is a loving, patient Father. And His kindness always draws me back.