It seems I’ve often started entries like that. Perhaps it’s a longing for a simpler time, when the Internet was easily accessible by only those who knew how, and a simple hello world was an incidental communication that everyone understood as an “I am here.” For me it has, I suppose, become a simple mechanism of reminding myself that I exist. Doesn’t that sound depressing? Well, perhaps that’s because of how I’m feeling at the moment. No, dear reader, I’m not feeling particularly depressed, but I am bathing in the subtle melancholy that has been my default state of mind for the past decade or more.
Let me spin you a story. At the time of my last entry, life was grand. I had been working as a doctor \for a certain amount of time-approximately 3 or 4 months-and I was enjoying myself. I’d probably just commenced my surgical rotation, from memory, and life was ticking along in his noble a fashion as it could’ve been. Two or three weeks later, that was different. I’ve never dealt very well with rejection, and never have dealt very well with relationships ending. When you’re in a position where you think you found The One, it is a bit hard to deal with the fact that that doesn’t prove to be true. At any rate, my relationship with the girl I referred to on this diary as Miss Butterfly ended in early May. I was shocked, horrified, pleading, self-destructive, and rapidly cycling emotionally from complete highs to complete lows: and that was all just in my head. Luckily, remembering how my last breakup experience went, I was proactive. I spent time with close friends, I saw a counsellor, I received medical assistance to help me sleep, and I had several of my most favourite people in the world come to stay.
Life moved on. And although it was an empty life, to some extent, it was liberated.
Over the next few months, several significant life events occurred. I underwent my first-ever general anaesthetic, to which, I’ve been told, I was hilarious to behold. I sat interviews for general practice training, as a means to get in to palliative training down the track, and despite being a doctor only six months on the job, I scored in the top 10% of applicants in Australia. Naturally gratifying, if slightly unexpected. That said, I’ve often been called an overachiever, a high achiever, or just fucking nuts.
I continued to work as a doctor, completing my surgical term, and working in the emergency department. I enjoyed ED a lot more than I thought I would, I was working with a lovely group of people, fantastic supervisors, and it was nice to be doing real medicine again. Then, moved onto psychiatry.
Psychiatry has always been a mixed blessing for me. In fact, I have often been told that I would make a good psychiatrist, and have been complimented on the quality of my work. What is not understood by the people I work with is how difficult I find walking onto the ward, every single day, and making it through the 8 to 9 hours that I spend their without turning into a blubbering nervous wreck. I remember, as you may if you’ve read this blog before, and/or have far too much time & the use of the search tool on your hands, that several years ago in medical school when I did my psychiatric rotation with my dear friend Kate, that on day two upon leaving the ward she and I both turned to each other and said, I think I need a huge hug. I almost suffered a complete breakdown on my psychiatric rotation. It’s not a proper post here without a slight amount of pop psychology, so let me just throw in that as an infj, I tend to walk through life with my empathy dialled up to 11. This, I have found, is highly self-destructive on a psychiatric term. In a psych unit, there are patients who’ve lost the ability to be themselves. This is an affront to human dignity and is something that I most abhor.
As such, psychiatry is to me most difficult to deal with. I was however, aware that this was likely to occur on this rotation, and as such I entered into it with an open mind, and with the expectation that I needed to dial myself down. This was going well until the middle of my third week of term. It was on a Wednesday, just before lunch, but I managed to inform a patient that he was not permitted to go on escorted leave that day, and thus was punched in the face. Security were present, and the patient reacted aggressively regardless. He was sedated, collected by the police, and taken to a more secure unit. I was shaken, but managed to compartmentalise it as something that, well, had been properly risk managed, and as such there was no potential for any other result at that time.
Exciting story, what?
So that’s work. I’ve been on leave for two weeks, which was planned before my assault, and has been a combination of incredibly relaxing and anxiety provoking. Relaxing in that I got to go home, visit my family, caught up with some of my most beloved people in the world, and drank a lot of good coffee.
Anxiety inducing, in that Things seem to be happening between myself and one of my closest friends in Tamworth. This was… Unexpected. Not badly timed, not unwelcome, just incredibly difficult for me to currently deal with. Let me set the scene. In Tamworth, I have three close friends. We are a… Gang of four, if you will. Three of them are female, and there is me. Now, I find myself increasingly attracted to, inspired by, and unable to get off my mind, one of these three in particular. Luckily for me, she happens to be the single one of the three. Looking at the situation, I am fairly sure that there is some reciprocal interest on her part as well. From friendly/close body language, to continue gentle teasing, to finding even my most inane jokes hilarious, to the occasional glance across the room, to shared smiles and winks, I am fairly sure that I am not making up the signs.
I discussed the situation with my shall we say best friend, Meghan. Although she issued a caveat that it is incredibly hard to tell without personally knowing the people involved, she agreed with my opinion. This was both gratifying, and terrifying. Gratifying, because it’s nice to know that even when I’m having the effect of the high school crush as an adult, I’m not completely misreading things-I hope. Terrifying, in that I now to do something about it. Oh yes, I am aware of how pathetic & insignificant that sounds. I am, however, poorly equipped to deal with this situation. For a start, I find it incredibly hard to express these feelings in the spoken rather than the written word. I also have found that my autonomic responses i.e. adrenaline shock, increased heart rate, and mood swings make finding the right moment difficult. There was almost a right moment last night, until I decided, probably incorrectly, to wait.
Yesterday, I also went and had a chat with a psychologist, which is always a very liberating and very damaging experience. Liberating because it is nice to talk to someone and turn off all of my filters. They have been only five people in my whole life whom I am able to speak to with absolute honesty, filter-less (I’ve been in relationships with two of them, one of them is the aforesaid spelling mode Meghan, one of them is an old friend from Sydney, and the other curiously enough is this new friend in Tamworth – a good sign?). Damaging, because it brings certain things to the surface that I typically keep drowned far beneath.
At any rate, the psychologist’s opinion of my current state? Ask this girl out. I have, I told her, always put the greater good above myself. This is a very infj thing to do. Other people are more important, and remain so. I’m aware that this is self-destructive. I am aware that it is self pitying. But as Amanda the psychologist said yesterday, “you deserve to be happy too.” She’s right. As much as anyone does deserve it, I do as well. I just wish that it wasn’t so damn difficult, and that I could easily summon the courage to make it happen.
I suppose I am also terrified, that the answer will be no. The signs seemed to point to the opposite, my pessimism tends to reject them.
I can’t go on like this. I am careening from functional to non-functional and I suspect that there is an enormous positive potential in this situation, I just find myself overcome with dread that I could be wrong.
I wish there was some way to know. As a friend up here said last night, at dinner time, when I mentioned to him that I thought I was going to go for it-he is one of those up here who has, I am sure, picked up on matters, but is the only one to have commented thus far-he said that there’s only really one way to know for sure. He is right.
Hopefully, I will be able to write a more positive sounding entry in the near future. Hopefully, I will have happy news to share. I don’t how I’ll cope if the answer is no. Idealists in terms of personality often reject the idea of making advances, because they are afraid of the rejection that may follow. This is the hump that I must climb over. As Amanda said, the potential reward is immense. This particular girl and I have an incredible amount in common, we are already great friends, we already spend time together and, truth be told, have been mistaken for a couple already. My aim, therefore, is to make it true.
Wish me luck, dear diary. You’ve been a record of many depressive, and happy things over the years. Why don’t we kick off with a happy one this time.
It strikes me that I’ve begun entries in a similar fashion before. I’d search and look, but I’d prefer to sit with a bit of amusement on the couch and continue to discuss instead. Ah, life.
It has been by my count more than five months since my last post here, a drought not seen in a long time. What happened? Well, my apologies friends, life happened. In the last six months or so I have graduated medical school, moved to the country (music) capital of NSW and begun working as an intern doctor (or ‘junior medical officer’), raised from 6 weeks to 4 months old an adorable kitten, made some friends, watched some awesome TV, read a lot of books, sit and reflected, and just… lived a little.
Getting a wage for the first time ever has also been nice, I’ll admit to that.
I’m finding, so far, that there are two gaps that make medicine not 100% enjoyable for me. The first is that I am not my own master – being the junior really makes you junior, but that’s temporary. The second is to do with a certain young lady not being geographically located with me at present due to her medical training; that too will pass. Otherwise, medicine is kind of amazing.
There are things I miss though. I am, and have been for the first time in a while, stable. The world spins on its axis and I spin with it, not against it. It’s the oddest feeling; in some ways I feel the least ‘myself’ that I’ve ever felt. I was having a chat online with a friend tonight who mentioned he’d met an INFJ, and I thought wow, I don’t really even feel like I *am* one anymore.
Then I look at how I’m speaking with and treating my patients and colleagues, living the life of solitude and quiet reflection with interspersed social engagements, the difficulty with criticism and personality, the ‘ruthless efficiency’ of doing the job right and myself that my first rotation boss commented upon… and I realise no, I’m just as much an INFJ as ever. I’m just not labile, emotionally speaking at the moment.
I kinda miss it. It makes me feel less creative in some ways; I haven’t really written much in a while. I feel like that part of me is stifled – objectively it’s not, but it feels odd. I think it’s time I started carrying a journal again, just for daily poetry slam. That could be fun. Working on elohim again could be fun.
… I’m going to stop as this talk is highly disorganised at present. Anyway. I’ve remembered this is here, and will be posting again soon. Perhaps a frequent ‘Life as a Doc(tor)’ kind of thing. Perhaps I’ll turn this back into philosophy. Maybe I’ll rant for the lonely empath again.
Either way – I’m looking forward to wordspinning again. Let’s do it.
This is the way the degree ends. Not with a bang, but with exultation.
Pardon me. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m finally at the end of the tunnel. In fact, ladies and gentlemen of my devoted reading audience (so… anyone?) in two weeks and one day, I will finish the education programme known as the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. One more week of placement, one week of presentations and conferences and then… boom. Done. Admittedly, we don’t get the ‘piece of paper’ until the 12th of December but as far as the formal programme goes, Wednesday the week after next is it.
It strikes me that I’ve been lax in my blog/writing/posting/etc recently. For that I can only apologise and say well, I’ve been doing a daily/weekly updates on Facebook thing instead of writing extended posts here. Not a great excuse, sure, but a true one.
At present I’ve spent the past five weeks at Sacred Heart, the hospice attached to St. Vincent’s in Darlinghurst. I arrived back in Australia on the 14th of October… I actually lost the 13th as I travelled, but that’s okay. Plane was smooth, Emirates were lovely, and I didn’t eat the prawns on the trip.
Since I’ve been home I’ve been working in the aforementioned Sacred Heart, with amazing doctors, nurses, allied health and administrative staff, as well as two ward cats named Morphine and Dexamethasone (Morph & Dex for short). I’m pretty much sold on the speciality now… it’s just been superb.
I note that I promised earlier to write about MedRevue this year, which I, ahem, did not do. So, a brief summary… it was superb. There was an amazing group of first year students in particular who were incredibly enthusiastic and talented, we had Kate who was one of our stars last year as the producer, director, writer and choreographer and she did an absolutely stellar job. Me, well. I told Kate if she needed some help I was happy to do “a little bit”. I went over the script for her and tidied it up a bit and said that I supposed I could be on stage for a small part if necessary. So I got cast as the leading compere/MC role. I played Willy Wonka in the Willy Wonka themed show.
Small part… sigh. It was, however, *amazing* fun, and they were such a great group of kids to be working with. Next year apparently they’re thinking of Harry Potter… I’m almost considering offering to come back for one weekend only as Professor DumbleDean, if that role exists.
Anyway fans, it’s getting late and I’m getting sleepy. Was off sick from work today, and need to at least make an impression tomorrow. My paperwork will be filled in on Monday I hope, so I need to look keen!
Miss you all, surely. Say hi!
I’m currently sitting on the seventh floor of a medical officer residence in London – where I’m placed at the moment for the next three and a half weeks, to learn how the NHS works. That’s what my brief says, anyway, and that’s what the assignment I really should start working on will say, you know, when I get to it.
So far London is a delightful place, full of interesting people and wonderful sights. I’ve been learning a chunk of neurology while I’m here, which is my aim, and have been engaging with a wide variety of people. That, and catching up with old friends.
Friday last I braved National Rail over here and visited Cardiff in Wales – something that’s been a goal of mine for several years now. There I met my internet friend, Jon, with whom I’ve talked about life, random stuff, women and bad humour for the past decade, and who I promised, many years ago, to visit when I finally made it to the UK.
Promise kept. He gave a visiting Australian a lovely tour through the Welsh countryside, gave me a surprisingly comfortable couch to rest upon, and even chauffeured me to and from the train station. He’s also a wonderful guy and has some lovely friends, as well as a great local Japanese restaurant. Add in the wonderful countryside and it was a thoroughly enjoyable visit.
South Wales and New South Wales though? Not that similar. Not really. One wonders where the name was inspired from, and will keep wondering.
Upon returning ‘home’ to London I had another Friend Adventure™, this time with Amin, an old school chum who has recently (last week) moved to London with his wife and new son, to start work at a law firm here. We sat down for a drink, and then explored the centre of the city for a while. Wonderful to catch up and to finally meet his lovely young lady, and his little boy – named, appropriately, after me. I assume.
Today, being Monday, was day 16 of elective, and I celebrated the best way I could; by having a day off to do some paperwork. Yep. I was going to go into the ward, but didn’t, and instead of attending the clinic I wandered about London, had something to eat, explored Fitzrovia, and found out where my mail gets delivered too while I’m here. That’s important, as I have ordered a book off Amazon, as well as an engraved pen, and now a pair of headphones. The book has arrived already, the pen hopefully by tomorrow, the headphones this week. Huzzah!
Tomorrow’s plan at this stage is to attend the Professor’s clinic (my technical boss) and then attend an epilepsy clinic in the afternoon, then on Wednesday I’m planning a hospital day (attending the registrar’s meeting and then rounding), Thursday probably similar, and then clinics on Friday morning, I think.
Next week? I’m probably having a week off. I’m going to Stratford-upon-Avon and staying the evening, as well as seeing some Shakespeare. I’m thinking about visiting the Continent, but Eurostar tickets are for some reason triple their usual price at this juncture, so that might not happen. Maybe I’ll trek up to Edinburgh instead, or do some sightseeing around England. I’ve always wanted to visit Alderly, after reading the Weirdstone of Brisinghamen, and maybe that’ll happen. Maybe I’ll just do some of the London sightseeing I’ve been missing out of so far, like the Tower, a bus tour, that kind of thing.
Probably try to see Wicked too; depending on my elective friends who want to go and see it. If they can’t make it, hell. I’ll still go. It’s my birthday that week after all, so I deserve some time, right?
The two weeks following I’m planning to spend mostly on the ward. I might do a bit of clerking perhaps, I’ll definitely attend rounds, and I plan to spend a day or two following the on-call SpR (A/T registrar) to see how the life a neurology-trainee goes. I’ve also got a PPD essay to write, as well as a disease monograph, and a symptom monograph.
Sigh. Busy busy. Life!
Well, it’s been some six months-ish since I last poked my head in here, said hello and spent a half hour or so following my stream of consciousness. It might have gone for a bit longer if I didn’t have a free afternoon in a foreign city to fill, or at least take up some time with, so here goes.
It’s now September and I’m currently sitting in a small room in John Harrison House, Whitechapel, London. I’m over here for an elective term at the Royal London Hospital with a Professor of Neurology, and have spent the past couple of days settling in, finding a supermarket, discovering three bad, one okay and zero good nearby coffee shops, you know – that kind of stuff.
In terms of what’s been going on… hey, well. I passed medical school back in June. That’s a big deal right? My final exams were at the end of June and I sailed through the written, and dare I say, smashed the living shit out of the clinical. I’ve just spent six weeks on the renal ward at the Wollongong Hospital doing a PRINT (pre-internship) term, learning what I need to know for next year (so doing some bloods, cannulas and a lot of paperwork) – that was fun, I had a great team with awesome interns and regs, so that was good fun.
I followed that up by flying overseas (for the first time since I was what, fifteen) solo to London via Dubai. Great fun and a lovely experience, even for someone who’s six feet tall. Airline was great fun, especially the A380 from Dubai to London (wireless internet at 38000 feet!) with surprisingly decent food.
I’ve since found my way to Whitechapel, have learned how (more or less) to use the Tube, and enrolled in my elective today at the medical school – and don’t really start until tomorrow, as my supervisor is off today. So I’m thinking I might go exploring again – I visited Westminster yesterday but the Abbey was closed, so I want to go back and do that properly. It’s also sunny and such in London, so it’s a shame to let the day go to waste.
In other news, I have a job for next year – I’m moving to Tamworth for 2 (probably 3) years to do my internship: one of my top two choices so that’s pretty damn nitty, and otherwise well, I’m well. Miss Butterfly is still well (and still together with self), and the family is well.
At any rate, I’m going to try to blog more frequently now that I’m overseas – I want to talk about MedRevue this year, amongst other things. Talk soon darlings.
It has been, shall we say, a longer time than I’d planned. My last post seems to have been in November, when I had intended to post at least once a fortnight and for a while earlier in 2011 was actually achieving that goal.
Ah, life. How it gets in the way. Well, that said, I’m kicking off 2012 in a similar fashion to 2011 – with a retrospective look at 2011 and a few thoughts for the future. Here goes.
2011 was an interesting year. I entered it physically well and whole, with not a care in the world and precisely halfway through my medical degree. I left it with a chronic (albeit mostly stable) medical condition involving torn groin muscles and relatively familiar pain, whilst being precisely three quarters through my medical degree. I must admit that the latter is more positive than the former, but both are amongst the top three events/processes that occurred during 2011, so they’re both important. The other is the relationship that began in October and still continues, but I’ve discussed that previously, and I’m out of sequence.
In January of 2011 I spent a few weeks working in a palliative care inpatient unit with an amazing doctor, and emerged from the experience relatively convinced that I had found my calling. Between palliative medicine and medical oncology I think I have a fair concept of where I may end up in the great ocean that is medical care, so fingers are crossed for that potential. Of course, it was during that elective that I began experiencing my relatively constant pain and torment in my groin muscles, following through with surgical visitations, uncomfortable examinations, expensive scans and finally a diagnosis with long-term surgical treatment post physiotherapy. If you’d like to know more, here’s a link for your edification.
Other than physical change the year brought an advancement in medical progress, passing Phase 2 and entering into Phase 3. That also led to me moving to Bowral for Phase 3, where I’ve spent six months and will be here for several more to come, working two days a week in a GP surgery with my supervisor, called Dr Penny by several of her patients, as well as acting as her intern/assistant in the hospital, and working a half day a week in the emergency department. I also joined a gym (for which, I must admit, I have not *quite* achieved maximum value but I try), I’ve learned a bit more clinical medicine, I feel inadequately prepared for my next year’s thing which will be actually being a doctor for reals, and… yeah.
I sit my final exams for medical school this June. It’s a combination clinical (OSCE) and written paper, much like last year, and I haven’t quite ramped my study up yet, I’ve been a little too… lax? No, just hard to get motivated at home in Bowral, but I have a good plan sketched out and I’m finally beginning to follow it so that’s good.
Other stuff that happened in 2011 included entering into a relationship with Miss Butterfly, which I’ve mentioned before and will leave out of here in detail, buying a new computer, and watching a lot of bad television – these are of course in decreasing order of importance.
How do I feel in myself? I’m balanced. I published a book of poetry in September last year that was quite pretty, I think, and I’ve written some more since but less so, as my mood has been more stable and uplifted. I hope to resume writing soon, and I think that I will… it’s just nice to be happier again. Plans for the year ahead? Write more of and hopefully finish elohim this year, my sci-fi philosophical work, write some more poetry, apply for a rural internship position through the Rural Preferential Recruitment process (I’m thinking Orange!), pass medical school, go to London (I’m working there for 6 weeks in September/October!) and do a palliative care elective to make sure the passion is still there in St Vincent’s in Sydney.
That’s on top of continuing to build a relationship with a wonderful person, trying to still keep up with friends and family as best as I can, and just enjoying life.
Wish me luck.
So it’s been an… interesting few weeks. Hell, it’s been an amazing few weeks. A friend asked me tonight online how I was feeling and I replied with “pretty fantastic” – which isn’t my usual basic state, but hey. It’s becoming that.
It’s currently three weeks before the end of the year, and I’m feeling like it’s going to be very downhill over the next part of a month. My major assessments are handed in, my performance review was signed off on, and my preceptor’s overseas for a few weeks so… I’m kind of in a holding pattern now until the end of session, turning up and making sure everything goes nicely. So that’s nice, I’m massively looking forward to the break and having a few weeks off, spending some of what my housemate tonight called “love nest time.”
Oh yes, I should mention that too – regular readers will recall the character-referred-to-as-Miss-Butterfly, and how I spent some time trying to wrap my head around whether or not she was interested, available, etc. Generally speaking I’m pretty good at figuring stuff like that out, and so she did my head in with the uncertainty and the mixed messages. Well… turns out I was right. She was interested. Still is, for that matter – and now we’ve been together since the start of October, which is pretty damn fantastic. It’s been an amusingly rapid relationship too – helped along by the fact that we’ve been good friends for a while, and that we both know what our lives will be like for the next few years, and thus have been forced into having “future” conversations a lot earlier than you might normally expect.
Then again, maybe “grown up” relationships do happen a lot faster. Whatever, all I can say is that it’s happening, it’s rather serious, and it’s right.
Serious enough that we’ve met each others families and we’re doing a road trip over summer to have a look at the place she wants to be placed in for Phase 3 of med (did I mention she’s a med student in the year below mine?) and also to have a look at hospitals in the area for me to do my internship at so that we’re not too far apart.
I suppose that does count as rather serious. Yes.
Other than that, I recently compiled and published conversations, with you which should hit Amazon soon… complete with a slight grammatical error in the endnote. Ah, me. I’ve also began watching, with dear Meghan, several new TV shows – including Once Upon a Time and Hart of Dixie, the former being amazing, the second being schlock-y fun.
In fact, apart from a few episodes of Bowral Drama relating to an incident in the ED which has been ‘tidied up’ and a few other small issues… life right now is kinda grand.
I like that.
It’s been a little while since I posted – a few things have happened, and I’ll do a more detailed and thrilling exposé shortly, I promise. Right now though, I want to tell a brief story.
Those of you who stalk my daily life on Facebook may have noticed on Saturday just gone I posted the following as a status update:
What a fracking odd day so far. Slept in which was nice, breakfast at gastronome which was delicious and ran into a patient whose baby I delivered a month or two ago which was lovely, coffee at elephant boy which started well until… well, ran into someone very unexpected, then went to Dick Smith and bought DVDs to master MedRevue and found out that they didn’t work in my burner, returned them and… same damn problem with another brand & kind, so that’s irritating as all hell, and now I’m sitting at home feeling trifled with.
Now, some people know a little of the story, some people none at all, and in a way I’d wanted to keep it at that. It’s something that I’ve exorcised in various ways in the past, but as I found myself fuming down the pavement on the way home, a line from my on-again-off-again novel elohim came to mind – “no more ghosts.” Thus, this post.
When I was studying creative arts I made a group of very good friends, all amazingly wonderful people. One of them in particular at the time, I was taken with for quite an extended period. We did the good friends thing, the flirt thing, the coffee thing, lunch, etc. Everything was, how you say, “on track” until Something Happened.
Something? Yes. What? Who knows, honestly. To use a crude term that I write infrequently – I have no fucking idea what happened. We went from being very close, kind of dating, etc, and then boom, I was suddenly figure of contempt number one. I shrugged and tried to move on as best I could, but it got worse – all of a sudden any comment I made in a class, regardless, was punctuated by very interesting facial expressions and occasional vocal disparagement. I began to be excluded from social events, initially that she was organising, and gradually fell off the radar. By the end of the degree, I think a year had gone by where we’d have been lucky to exchange words half a dozen times – going from multiple emails/texts in a day to a wall of silence was something rather dramatic, as it seems.
At any rate, I did shrug and move on. I was seeing someone else, life was going very well, medicine was starting up, etc. She continued at the uni but I encountered her at a distance maybe once or twice – and by this point I’d given up on building that bridge and was now simply in a “forget, forgive” mode.
I attended the launch of the creative arts student magazine in 2009 then – some two years after we’d exchanged words. Facebook told me a few hours before that she would be there, but hey. I’d moved past any rancour, and I figured apart from a few pleasantries I’d spend the night chatting with other friends – and I tried. I did get a cold shoulder though… to the extent that I was physically ignored, and it spread from her to another friend as well. That was… disconcerting. After all, those that know me know that I tend to get along well with people – almost anyone, as a matter of fact. All part of the personal charisma, as Miles puts it. This situation though, with my creative arts ‘friend’, was a shock to the system.
Fast forward almost exactly two years and I’m sitting in Bowral in my favourite café, having a coffee and reading on my eReader, when a voice from the past says “hello Ben!”. No, not her, but a mutual friend who’s engaged to one of my other creative arts friends. We chatted briefly, and then she told me – oh yes, I’m here with so and so and such and such. Come and say hi! We’re right next to the door.”
My internal monologue at that point was something explicit. That said… I did it. I ordered a second coffee to go, and went and said hello/goodbye. I actually got acknowledged, too, which was interesting, even if it was a smile and a nod that still had a flavour of contempt about them.
At this point, I left the café and wandered back home, eventually, semi-fuming and semi-upset. It’s hard to quantify why, she’s about the only person in the world who can make me feel like that. I suppose it’s a bit of dehumanisation – I wouldn’t look at a piece of garbage that way – and also the whole “what the fuck happened again?” that inevitably crops up when this goes through my mind. Maybe it’s because, unlike other infjs, I don’t really doorslam – and I feel that’s what’s happened here to me.
Anyway, I went home and started playing around, did the Facebook status – and within thirty seconds someone messaged me online saying “it was X wasn’t it.” We then had a very cathartic conversation – as my confidant knows me very well and knew the situation at the time, hell, we started dating at the end of it and were together for a few years. Anyway, she helped me feel a lot better about the whole thing, which is something I’m thankful for – I seem to have gotten a good friend back. So that, at least, ended the day on a positive note.
Names? You want names? Sure. Ask me in person. Otherwise, well, I leave you with a song by Gotye – it’s called “Somebody that I used to know.”
Sadly, or not, sometimes that’s all we get out of it. Actually – yeah. definitely not. And nowadays, that’s just fine.
I’m not a massive fan of this time of year. Sure. The plants are blooming, there’s some gorgeous flowers, the weather is beautiful, everything is green, etc… but. Well. It’s my birthday this week and, as you may know, I’m not a big fan thereof.
I don’t dislike birthdays, don’t get me wrong – I’m quite happy with a sing-along and a slice of cake, etc. I just hate mine.
No, it’s not some stupid bullshit about getting older or anything like that. It has to do with self-loathing and disliking being the centre of attention for praise/etc and…
Okay. I’m just not going to even try this week. Maybe later.
Okay, this post is likely at this point to be several things. It’s likely to be morbidly depressing, quite possibly irritating to read, will no doubt contain some absolute pure arrogance, will sound at times like complaining and perhaps wistfulness, and will definitely make less sense that I would like it to. I apologise in advance, there’s just one or two things I need to get off my chest by writing them down, and, well, this is I suppose my forum for that.
Oh, some of the initial subject matter may be a little unfamiliar for some – for others, may sound like a broken record. I do apologise, again, for the quality of this post, its potential tone (as I think it through) and its potential for repetition. All right? Wünderbar.
The past few days to weeks have proven quite difficult for me in a specific way, and that is a way tied into personal identity and identification. It’s a constant source of amazement to me how unimportant this can be for some – possibly one of those NF personality things yet again – but for me, actualisation of self and being able to point at a (possibly arbitrary?) concept and say this is me is an absolute vital thing.
This came up in an email with a friend a while back, actually, when talking about apathy and the desire to improve. I’ll quote a few lines:
The easiest way to explain it is to say that I do seek to improve myself, but my mechanism of doing so is by helping other people grow. Thus, as your friend said it – I want to help others. Helping others helps me find meaning, and to people like me, we so desperately crave meaning. So when I say it’s not about me, it really isn’t. I’m merely a reflection of what I do for others.
The major reason I came unravelled a few months ago is I reached a state where I felt *no point* to life, and that I couldn’t find one – I’d lost direction and meaning, and in doing so, I lost my sense-of-self. That’s hard, Miles. I kind of anchor my world around that sense, and without it, I had nothing.
The major reason I came unravelled a few months ago is I reached a state where I felt *no point* to life, and that I couldn’t find one – I’d lost direction and meaning, and in doing so, I lost my sense-of-self. That’s hard, Miles. I kind of anchor my world around that sense, and without it, I had nothing.
To expand on that: the sense of meaning is vital to a concept of who I am, and without that concept, I kinda unravel. I did that back in my psych rotation, as some of you know, when I lost my sense of self to the point that I felt like I was emotionally about to shatter. I came very close, actually, scarily close looking back. The reason behind it is neither here nor there, but had a lot to do with emotional attachment to certain people which were unavoidable and were eventually dealt with, through the magical means of poetic expression. Am I over that? No. Am I functional? In that regard, yes.
The current situation stems more from a word I’m uncomfortable with, namely, charisma. In the past few weeks, six of my friends (or similar) have referred to me as charismatic, or to my “personal charisma”. This has been difficult for me to process, not just because of the word itself, but because of the emotional reaction I’ve had to it – and the further reactions it has dug up.
Apparently, I have a great personal pull. I am likeable. I am ‘popular’. People ‘love’ me. I attract people. People listen and value me greatly.
What. the. fuck.
Okay, yes, I get on well with people. I admit that. I like people. But I have never, ever identified as popular, nor as a centre of attention, or as having personal pull or charisma. If anything, I have always felt the opposite and have considered the evidence, as someone pointed out, to be rather one-shot or aberrant rather than ‘a thing’. Being forced to face this has actually made me incredibly upset internally and uncomfortable – recall what I said a few paragraphs back about meaning and self? This little word has destroyed my current sense of self. Yes, okay, I admittedly must say “I suppose it’s true”. But I never really accepted or processed it, and so now I’m feeling existentially fucked over. A friend told me “you’re seriously complaining about being good at too many things. Seriously. You need to value other people’s opinions more, that’s really it.” For me though, that’s hard.
I identify as many things. I identify, firstly, as intelligent – I mean, this is probably the arrogance talking, but well, rather so. I identify as talented with language. I identify as caring & thoughtful of others. I identify as a loner and someone who needs space. So I’m going through a crisis of self here, brought on by a very positive comment in every instance.
It’s affecting me elsewhere as well. I’m feeling like I’m becoming emotionally unstable again – this afternoon, for instance, I was at a family barbeque, had a great time seeing everyone for Father’s Day, was feeling great, drove back to Bowral and got out of the car and felt “wow, it’s amazing to be home, weather’s fantastic, love it here, etc” and then half an hour later was feeling absolutely shit mentally with no reason nor rhyme, and just could not get back on top, until I had dinner with a house mate who gave me a big boost and then I did the ironing while singing love songs and feeling great, and now… I’m sort of in the middle.
There’s no major life stress I can blame right now for it. There’s no real agonising decisions to be made, I don’t have a major issue occurring in the next few weeks (apart from my birthday which I plan to ignore as much as possible as god I hate them) and… that’s it.
I’m just not sure what’s going on upstairs with me right now. I was almost morbid before, as… okay. Sometimes I’ve described living as me as a bit like acting – I put on a different mask for every group I’m with, just about, and it’s rare that people see through them – there’s two people I know outside the immediate family who have actually punctured those masks, which is damn well horrifying at times to a control freak like me. That said, I begin to wonder how much of me has become the mask – and how much of this charisma bullshit is because of people seeing the external face and thinking it’s the inside… and then I tunnel down and it’s still there and I freak out because I’m losing control of me. It’s like wearing someone else’s skin, but the skin is changing the inside, rather than the inside hiding away behind the mask.
The only bright spot was a touch of idle googling finding me this:
INFJs tend to question and examine their own motivations constantly. In moderation this is admirable, but some go so far as to decide that any “selfishness” (which often translates to taking care of themselves instead of others, for once) in their desires is completely unacceptable. Needless to say, this can cause a great deal of stress for the INFJ in question, which they sometimes resolve in a rather convoluted manner: by deriving a Higher Principle from the “selfish” need. (“It’s not OK to object to the proposed menu for the company dinner dance because I don’t like it *myself*, but it *is* OK to do so because it’s not nutritious, or doesn’t take into account ethnic preferences, vegetarians, etc.” — all of this subconscious.) Like all NFs, INFJs care deeply about people, both as individuals and in terms of humanity as a whole. INFJs are notable for their exceptionally strong empathic, even psychic abilities, which can sometimes cause them discomfort and even pain in their dealings with others. Perhaps because of this, INFJs truly open up to only a few intimate friends–usually very long-term relationships or obvious “soul mates.” Paradoxically, INFJs often appear to be extroverts to most of the world; they are almost always friendly, sympathetic, and interested in people, and sometimes positively charismatic. This can be puzzling and disappointing to those (usually I’s) who are drawn to them in search of a non-surface friendship, and find they just can’t get very far.
INFJs tend to question and examine their own motivations constantly. In moderation this is admirable, but some go so far as to decide that any “selfishness” (which often translates to taking care of themselves instead of others, for once) in their desires is completely unacceptable. Needless to say, this can cause a great deal of stress for the INFJ in question, which they sometimes resolve in a rather convoluted manner: by deriving a Higher Principle from the “selfish” need. (“It’s not OK to object to the proposed menu for the company dinner dance because I don’t like it *myself*, but it *is* OK to do so because it’s not nutritious, or doesn’t take into account ethnic preferences, vegetarians, etc.” — all of this subconscious.)
Like all NFs, INFJs care deeply about people, both as individuals and in terms of humanity as a whole. INFJs are notable for their exceptionally strong empathic, even psychic abilities, which can sometimes cause them discomfort and even pain in their dealings with others. Perhaps because of this, INFJs truly open up to only a few intimate friends–usually very long-term relationships or obvious “soul mates.” Paradoxically, INFJs often appear to be extroverts to most of the world; they are almost always friendly, sympathetic, and interested in people, and sometimes positively charismatic. This can be puzzling and disappointing to those (usually I’s) who are drawn to them in search of a non-surface friendship, and find they just can’t get very far.
So… it’s not just me? Doesn’t make it any easier. Maybe I’ll start looking under rocks for how I’m supposed to put my worldview together again when it managed to fall off a shelf and break. Who knows. Might find something else there I’m apparently like.