Becoming More Involved Without Being Self-Involved

I’m starting to become more involved in my own life and the lives of people around me. participating more in activities that aren’t solitary.  This weekend is an excellent example of me “getting back out there.”  I’m not speaking in a romantic sense, rather I am talking about in a purely social sense.  As I mentioned in my last blog post, Friday was a good day for me.  We (about 10-12 people) went to my dad’s work (he works as a bar tender on the weekends) and celebrated his birthday.  Granted, he was working at the time so he didn’t get to spend too much time with us but we still all had a good time.  Normally (how I would’ve acted over the last three and a half years) I might have just sat quietly, engaging only when directly addressed, mulling over my own thoughts and problems and becoming more tired and distant as the evening progressed.  Not this time!

This time I was actively engaged in everything that was going on.  I was not only maintaining conversations with people around me, I was starting them, too!  I was laughing, I’m sure my eyes were twinkling and shining, and I was smiling almost the entire time.  I was definitely not alone with my thoughts!  And you know what? Even if I would have been left alone with my thoughts, it wouldn’t have been a bad thing because my thoughts on Friday were not negative!  I ordered a drink or two, had delicious prime rib (rare, of course), and danced and sang with my family.  We were out until after 11pm and I didn’t mind one bit.

Today was another active day for me.  I committed to (and followed through on) two things.  First, I went to brunch with Mary, Becky (my twin), Kristina (Mary’s friend), and my dad.  We met at our weekly brunch place out in Waterford and I ate a lot of food.  When I say a lot, I mean a lot.  I had two pork chops, two XL eggs over easy, two mozzarella sticks, and three pancakes with strawberry topping and whipped cream.  Oh, and two cups of coffee.  Holy smokes!  Where did this appetite come from?  It feels like I am making up for all the times when my depression decided, “Hey, you’re not going to have an appetite today!”  Bahahahahahaha

So. Much. Food.

Then I proceeded to go to my friend Stefanie’s (I’ve known her since high school) bridal shower.  I met up with several other high school friends (Bailey, Syds, and Kathy) while I was there and it was great to catch up with them, especially since I hadn’t really talked or seen most of them since maybe… Christmas time?  We laughed and shared stories of our lives thus far and then participated in a rather ridiculous bridal shower game.  We dressed Bailey (not the future bride) up as a  bride using nothing but toilet paper and she did not win the contest I am sorry to say…  We picked her because she was the smallest and we thought it would be easier.  Needless to say it was not easy and it was not a pretty result.  It was pretty hilarious though, so it was totally worth the effort.

While I was there I ate even more food and coffee (yay caffeine!) and then I won a bath and body works soap and lotion set for playing present bingo.  Basically we guessed what the brides (there were two weddings being celebrated: Stefanie and her cousin Rachel) were going to receive as presents on little BINGO cards.  I got the four corners and so won the little bag of soap, lotion, fragrance, etc. It was a lot of fun and I found myself laughing and not thinking about my problems hardly at all.

One thing I did notice, however, was how difficult it was to not talk about myself.  See, when you’re depressed you become a bit selfish.  Not in a terrible, “you’re a horrible person” kind of way.  But depression is a very “self-centered” thing, in that it causes you to think a lot about yourself and your own problems.  When you’re really depressed (or at least this was my experience) it is so hard to focus your attention without, on other people and their situations.  Therefore, I am caught in this habit of always trying to tie every conversation and comment back to myself and my own experiences.  To a certain extent that’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s good to be able to relate to different things and situations.  But when you start trying to tie everything back to yourself… you have a little problem.  So while I was aware of how I could bring every conversation back to myself and my problems I’ve been facing and the accomplishments that I have made, I tried very hard to not act on those impulses.  I think I did a pretty good job, to be honest.  I brought some threads of conversation back to myself, while letting others drift away, focusing my attention on what other people were saying about their own lives.

Man, trying not to be “self-centered” is hard! hahaha  But I’ll keep practicing and trying to be aware of what is going on around me.


3 thoughts on “Becoming More Involved Without Being Self-Involved

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