I love people. I do. I love going to parties and meeting new people and talking and watching TV together and being in plays and hitting up bars and restaurants. That said, this past week I had four guests staying with me (two at a time max) for a total period of a week and a half, plus closing a show and all that entails, on top of five weeks of required enhanced communication and emergency people-interactions.
I’m a little bit peopled out.
There are articles out now (that the blogs I read, like Jezebel, tend to skewer and I love them for it) about how to survive going to the movies or eating at a restaurant alone. Personally, I have a hard time understanding the need. Here’s how you go to a movie alone:
-Go to a movie theater
-Buy a ticket
-Watch a movie.
Is that really so mystifying? Yeah, okay, maybe bring a book or something for the time before the movie starts, since you won’t have someone else to talk to. Or you could just do what you were going to do when the conversation with the other person got awkward–watch the other people around you. Be normal. It’s a free pass to be yourself. You get to laugh at the joke no one else laughs at and not worry about your friends thinking you’re dumb! LIBERATION!
In general, I’m a big fan of learning how to be your own best friend. It just makes sense. There is literally one person you are always going to be stuck with, in every situation, including being born and dying. I wouldn’t antagonize or consistently mistreat a cellmate when we each had a sentence of 80+ years in the same cell–that would be miserable. Waaaay better to be BFFs with that person and not fear a shiv in the night.
Maybe I go farther with this than the average person. I tend to have my nice, affirming talks with myself and to make fun of myself for screwing up out loud. This probably sounds very “oh em gee look how quirky I am!” but whatever, it’s true. I’ve always talked to myself to some degree, but after the panic attacks started I began to do it deliberately, and it worked. So it’s stuck. And I’ve found it really–like, REALLY–surprisingly helpful to indulge in the mental dualization of myself at some times.
Some days suck. Sometimes there will have been no indication that this day was going to suck, and your friends are all busy, and your parents are at a concert, and your roommate is away, and it’s 7pm and you’re home and you’re upset and for better or for worse you’re alone. You just want someone who loves you to be there and to take your side in everything and to tell you it’s going to be okay, and maybe to make you a grilled cheese. But wait! You can totally have that! It doesn’t even require a psychotic break! If you can take a second, step outside yourself, and say, “How would I try to help my brother/sister/best friend in this situation?” you’re like two minutes from feeling better.
This goes for self-image too, and this is actually where this has been the most helpful for me. I can be really critical of myself, regarding my personality, my faults, my physical self, whatever whatever human nature. But I realized a little while ago that I would NEVER let someone say the things I was saying to myself to one of my friends. I don’t get combative easily…until you threaten one of mine. So if I heard someone telling my friend Suzie that she was an idiot for screwing up a project, or telling my brother he was fat (Todd, you’re not fat), I would absolutely tell them that was unacceptable and to shut the eff up. Why was I letting someone (read: me) say that stuff to me? If you prick me, do I not bleed? If you poke me in the knee, does my leg not do that reflexive kick thingy?
What I’m trying to say is, this week I’m hanging out with one of my best gal pals. Last night I took her out for a salad, a glass of wine, and some “Bleak House” (I made it to the spontaneous combustion part!!). We’re going on a run later today, and to a show on Friday. We might even sleep in the same bed. We’re real close, yo.
And you don’t have to worry unless you hear me speak in the third person…to you.