NOTE: I STARTED WRITING THIS POST ON THURSDAY, JUNE 9. I WILL NOTE WHEN I START WRITING ON JUNE 10.
JUNE 9, 2016:
I haven't stepped in another person's house since December. It's coming on to 6 months—half a year—without entering another person's house, without visiting somebody for dinner, without socializing outside the workplace. Apart from those couple weeks over Spring Break when I was in Victoria, working on my Master's project, I haven't been anywhere except my own home and my workplace.
Well, not exactly. Since December, I have driven over the Port Mann Bridge once—to go to Ikea in Coquitlam for an hour; I have made it to the doctor's office in Hope once; I've driven to my therapist in Abbotsford six times; I've made a couple trips out to Langley and sat for bit in my wife's best friend's place once, maybe twice; I've driven to the Airport once and the Ferries twice. Apart from that, I've stayed between Chilliwack and Agassiz and that's about it.
What I'm trying to say is this: in December, I basically decided my life was too toxic right now to drag people into it. I've barely reached out to anybody for support apart from my therapist, and I've shared my situation with a couple people who wonder how I handle it (if I'm perceiving things accurately at all). But I've been deliberately antisocial, shutting down most of my friendships and relationships until this season of my life passes, until the toxicity of my life won't poison their own lives.
However, this self-isolation is not healthy. Just check out this passage from Emotional Intelligence:
JUNE 10, 2016:
Weirdly enough, a day after beginning to write this post, I got to spend some time with some co-workers at a post-classes party. This was good. I socialized and made merry. We threw darts at one another. It was goodtimes.
Which only further highlighted the strangeness of my self-isolation. Here, like New Year's Eve, I stepped into a potentially awkward social situation, turned on the charisma, and enjoyed myself. I let myself come out of my shell a little. It was good for me to see a bit of the "old Jeff" appear again, even if the newer rendition is a little more edgy.
And this makes it all the more confusing as to why I've felt so out of place in many recent situations, why I let so many negative labels go to my head. I am a capable socializer and I'm doing better at letting other people speak. I'm growing socially, improving my overall attitude and approach. This is all good.
Just sayin'. As I try to find my way out of all this, no matter how I try to isolate myself from people, it can only take me so far. Even introverts like myself need to spend some time having fun with people, need to spend time feeling "accepted" in a group, no matter how transient--or young--they may be.
Anyhow, I'd like to express some gratitude for the people I work with who accepted me into their home and laughed with me tonight. This was an overall "plus."
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