Wednesday, January 27, 2016

this is what saved me

YOU SHOULD BE WARNED: This is a bit of a serious blog. Me. EB. Getting real and deep. Or maybe like whatever is inbetween deep and shallow. Is there a word for that?

Remember when I said my trip to California was life changing? It was for a couple reasons. 1- I was alone, driving along the PCH with a lot of thinking time. 2- I read a book. An entire book, cover to cover, for maybe the third time in my life.

The book: The Comprehensive ENFP Survival Guide, by Heidi Priebe.

I should say that I've NEVER been one to believe in or even care about astrology. It's all so generic to match everyone and ew. Get out. But when I took the personality test and read all the extensive characteristics about my results [ENFP], and then continued to read dozens of articles about the different types... I related to every single one on a very direct level. Even stupid ish like "The Top Relationship Deal Breaker for Each Myers Briggs Type" and "The Role Each Type Plays at a Party" were making me be like "AWWWWW DAMN THAT'S ME YOU GOT ME YOU'RE A PSYCHIC WE'RE BEST FRIENDS, INTERNET!"

Then I saw this Survival Guide for $5 and figured why the hell not, I'll have some time on the plane.

A little personal back story that I normally keep from the public world, but people may have caught on: in September 2014, I went through a break up. Considering relationships are not something I do, the fact that I was in one for three years was a magical feat. It was my second official relationship ever, we were madly in love on day two, living together after a year, and long distance for the third year. For months I knew we were coming to an end, so when it happened- I figured I was fine. I sobbed at the pool under sunglasses for two days, drank myself into a blacked-out oblivion for a couple months, then made some new *friends* to have fun with.

I felt like I was happy. I was stuck in a weird rut creatively/with work, but these things happen and I blamed it on not having enough time, my ADD meds not working, and being surrounded by people and THEIR drama. I was traveling all the time, working my dream job with an awesome new boss, and for the first time in my life-saving up some money. What the hell could I possibly complain about?!

So as I head out to California, I jokingly said I was going on a rehab because I had just dealt with a couple of guys who were beyond emotional and hurt my brain. Once I was out there I found a happiness and care-free feeling that was like reconnecting with your best friend after years... you forgot how great it was. Even in pictures, I saw a sparkle again. [Let's use an analogy: As Britney got healthier after that horrid 2007, we kept saying she was happy... but we were lying. That twinkle in her eye wasn't there in pictures until recently.]

On my way home, I'm editing the pictures, then start reading this book. It was teaching me some things about the Myers Briggs system and making me feel like I was taking a science class. Then it was describing my entire self- my upbringing, family, friendships, work life/needs... then I got to some chapters about your personality crashing. Turns out losing yourself is real and these were signs I should look out for:
  • "Rather than coming across as their bubbly, optimistic selves, the ENFP will be formal and curt with their interactions, convincing even themselves that they won't be happy until they accomplish their goals."
  • "At your best, an ENFP is bold, adventurous, decisive and capable. At your worst, you are avoidant, irresponsible, self destructive, and prone to addiction."
  • Your fatal flaw is escapism. You dislike dwelling in negative emotion and avoid them at absolutely all costs. 
  • You may give up on new projects prematurely and get distracted by engaging in the never ending chase for the next great high.
  • You'll string someone along emotionally while you make up your mind, manipulating them into thinking your feelings are stronger than they are. 
  • Our struggles are born out of self neglect.
  • When your friends aren't available to go out as much as you'd like, you'll simply expand your circle. You'll shame or look down upon people for not living like you.
It was one slap in the face after another being like "girlfriend, you are effed up and admission is the first step to recovery."

Luckily, it told me how to get out of it. It told me to have some routine in my life like more sleep, more workouts, more conversations with friends, but also experience more because experiences are what make me feel fulfilled. Through an "activity," I realized follow-through is what I care about most in other people, but I needed to get back to doing it myself. The book/Heidi legitimately called me out for bragging about not needing a lot of sleep and told me to quit that ish cuz it's not worth it. So I did. 

It's weird when words on a page can know you so well and change the way you feel so quickly. A couple friends/family members had been asking me if I was alright for months, but could never give me an example of why they were worried, so I just brushed it off. This book knew everything I was doing!

Starting the next day, the admission happened. I had a meeting with my boss, lunch with my mom, and conversations with friends and exes. I kept telling everyone about "my book" and how I was sorry but I felt revived again. I even told them about the extra stuff I read like why I suck in relationships, how I'm helpful/terrible in the workplace. 

A lot of people have since asked me what book it is and if they should read it... if you're ENFP- do it. If you're not, it's hard for me to say whether or not it'll be interesting to you. There ARE several articles that might be able to help, like "What Each Type Does in a Rut." Heidi also wrote another book for all types right here.

Is this what it's like when someone suddenly becomes religious?! Is this my new Bible or something? I'm not saying Myers-Briggs is always right for everyone, or reading a book or some articles is going to change your life, but I do know that I'm beyond thankful to stumble upon it all. I knew I had to share it with not only everyone I talk to, but the world wide web too.

I'm still working on being my ridiculously happy, constantly motivated self 24/7, but every time I'm not, I notice it [or my friends do] and try to snap out of it. I've even printed out the below quotes/excerpts to put around and read regularly. On questionable days, they reel me back in.

This would also be a good time to thank you for sticking through it all with me. Every day I worried that I wasn't being entertaining enough or doing enough to keep people's attention... and maybe I wasn't, but at least YOU are here reading this right now. So thank you for caring. Or pretending to care. Or reading the first and last paragraph and thinking "this B thinks I care, that's funny." Still counts. 

Thank you. And here's to a new year, OLD me. 


PS: Heidi Priebe, the author.... I know I've never even tweeted you before now, and this could be a little awkward... but you're my soulmate. There. I said it. Thanks for helping me do something for myself that even my friends and family couldn't help with.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do it... Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -Howard Thurman

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