An introvert finding herself

An introvert finding herself

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Enjoying the sea breeze at Anmok Beach in Gangneung.

The above is kind of self explanatory,or is it? Back at the end of October last year I realized I was heading into a big dark cave I have seen many times before. It wasn’t my first time in that cave nor was it going to be my last day dragged back down into its depths.  I decided to talk to a few friends about how I was feeling and even they noticed how much of a change had overcome me. A few close friends suggested that just maybe, I should reach out for help.

I’ve never been one to actually ask for help. It makes me feel inadequate and helpless. I’d rather trudge through murky water cursing than admit, I need help. Well, I scoured the internet and found a place where I can go spread my fantastical miser-like thinking. Or as my friend, Kerri lovingly puts it, ‘the brain doctor.’

The brain doctor and I have been seeing each other for a few months now and today is the first time I have walked out of there without crying once in a session. I’m quite proud of that fact that will only be given a slight nod of acknowledgement by my inner critic.

So what made me decide to take the plunge?

Its simple, I had enough of me. If I think I’m a miserable sarcastic downtrodden bundle of joy, then almost certainly my presence was like that to everyone else. A crazy lady?  

Not even close. I realized that just maybe it was time to work on the things that were holding me back from being me.  Its funny how when life doesn’t go your way you somehow become engulfed in the flames of jealousy. I never considered myself much of a jealous person until the last few years. Its been a battle to be a social person and continue to use social media to stay in contact with people. When there is nothing that I would rather do than disconnect from everyones picture perfect lives.

I’ve made progress and I wanted to share some of that. I worry the hell out of my family and close friends so much so that I decided to give a little update.

Life has ups and downs and we all have little demons that control our lives. I have a few friends living in my head and they all do different things and harass me in different ways. So let me introduce the characters:

There is a pink elephant named anxiety. The fucker loves to hang out and cause a scene with everybody else. Always anxious that he is gonna step on a spider he is an elephant that tries to walk on his toes and just bangs into everyone else causing a ruckus.

Hes a got a sweet friend that just loves to scare the shit out of him. We’ll call him sassy  holy shit I’m a spider. He likes to have fun and just knows what comments and actions to take to get a rise outta his buddy. Problem is sometimes he is outta control his  sassiness can be a bit too much.

Wherever sassy spider exists so does, negative nitpicking bitch. NPP, she’s an old cat thats run outta tricks and is sick of sassy and anxiety running the show. But becuase she is an old fuck she is kinda set in her ways. For better or worse she can run the show for a few days at a time. She likes to throw out one lined zingers for an added affect.

Well no one likes an old cat. So thats where jealous ice bear, Elsa comes in. She’s just been given that name since I can’t stand the movie. But ice bear is jealous pretty much all the time. She plays it cool until someone on a bigger nicer ice patch with a family of loving bears passes along. How do we solve ice bears problems?

We’ve got a happy overzealous glutenous black chocolate swirled lab named Mocha. Mocha wants to make friends and have fun, but everybody else gets in her way. Mocha also has an affinity for all things sweet and chocolate. She’s a bit greedy and sometimes doesn’t know when to stop. So she gets nagged by everyone else and ends up in her cage for periods at a time. Always waiting until no one is looking so she can break out again.

After reading that you might think, ‘Shit! The bitch be cray cray!’  But its my odd sense of humor that uses things to emulate situations. Particulary the emotions in my head. It makes it seem more fun and intersting if there were a bunch of animals living in my head wrecking havoc.

In all honesty, talking to someone has helped a lot. I don’t feel judged for how I think nor do I feel like a broken record on repeat to my friends that can’t fix the same problem from 10 years ago. Admitting that I needed help was really hard and now I’m taking small steps everyday to find Mocha.

The biggest thing I’m working on is acknowledgement. I don’t give myself credit for anything. However, slowly I’m starting to say Nina, you did okay today. Eventually, it will be great! Good! Amazing! But until then slight acknowledgement is better than none. And even the brain doctor told me I’m doing a great job with the steps I’m taking. So part of me feels a sense of relief that slowly I’m clawing my way out of this hole.

One thing I’ve gotten out of this whole experience so far is how valuable an impartial view can be to us. How little things from the past continue to haunt us today.  Being an introvert is really hard, but what makes it worse is being an overly emphatic introvert. My empathy gets in my way of succeeding in the world. Time to put on a little armor and take a step out into the world. Part of stepping out into the world is sharing my inner world. So watch out the steps I need to take to find her will slowly be revealed. Mocha is waiting for me to break her out of this so she can go out and play like everyone else.

Maybe a real Mocha would do the job?

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I imagine my inner Mocha to be a mix of these two lovebugs.

14 thoughts on “An introvert finding herself

  1. Congratulations The first step is always the hardest , and you have already conquered that.

    Gramma D.

  2. So I wrote you a novel length response to this entry, and somehow I lost it. So I’ll just say this- I can relate, I’m so happy you decided to find help, and good luck on your journey 🙂

    I love you and miss you!
    ♡ Ichigo

  3. What I find interesting about this post…. as serious as this subject is…. I giggled in quite a few spots. You have become an amazing writer. I actually saw that elephant jumping away from that sassy spider. Not crying when talking to the “brain doctor” today was an amazing accomplishment. Good Job!!! Mocha is waiting patiently on the sidelines. I am so happy that you went to S Korea to teach.. maybe it was just a little too soon … possibly you needed more time to find yourself before you went to another country 1/2 way around the world. We love you. We are here for you and always will be. You will be fine.. I have faith in you.

    1. Thanks mom! I know I will be fine eventually! I don’t think it was too soon, but rather too late. I held off on doing it for a long time, haha.

  4. Introvert? I think not…….(nester maybe)
    Low Self-esteem (which 75% of women suffer from)? Maybe a bit
    Writer? ABSOLUTELY!
    That said – it’s always nice to have an outsider’s ear – non-judgemental, insightful & just someone to listen to “your shit” whether it’s about dark caves or jealousy it’s just shit but it’s your shit!
    Picture Perfect lives? No such thing- rich, poor, black, white, illness or health etc….- we all have shit! Some just have more shit than others! Larry King once said 98% of the country is dysfunctional & the other 2% are in denial!
    So, keep up your blog, enjoy your writing, enjoy sharing your thoughts with whoever you choose, socialize when you want & be alone when you want 😁 You too smart & worldly for introvert status lol just saying……….

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