Updated: Sep 1, 2021
I am an introvert. A newly discovered one. For a long time and for most of my 20's and 30's I had myself convinced that I was a social, outgoing, happy go lucky extrovert. I thought I loved being surrounded by large groups of friends. I thought I loved people. I also liked the look of a being an extrovert. The optics worked for the picture I was trying to paint. But little did I know that the only way to maintain this image was with copious amounts of alcohol. It has only been in the last 6+ months that I have come to discover, that I am in fact an introvert. I am happiest when I am lost within my own thoughts. Alone with a pen and paper. Staring at the sky. Walking through the woods. I want to talk one on one and dive deep into conversation with one friend who has thoughtful things to say, and my personal idea of hell is being surrounded by a group of loud, chattering individuals with nothing of any substance to discuss.
But this is all new to me. Walking this bumpy road takes time. Care. Compassion. I need to tread lightly and be gentle with myself. I am learning how to be me and cope with my anxiety without alcohol, without the crutch I so deeply relied on for so many years. After understanding this and that it is all part of the process, I am able to move along in this journey.
In my state of introversion, I have come to learn that I am grieving today. Grieving the loss of friendships and what once was. Not necessarily grieving the loss of alcohol, but instead missing the role these friendships played in my life. I need to cut my friends some slack like I need to do for myself. I must stop judging others and the decisions they continue to make about their drinking. I know it's a defense against my own pain, to be judgement towards them first. I hope eventually I can just get to the point where I say "this is my life and I don't care what other people think. I am happy and I hope you can be happy for me too."
I hope I can get to the point where I am confident in being an introvert and let the past go.
In the meantime, I will continue to discover this new found world of introversion and mourn the death or my past