My independence is my Achilles heel. A blessing and a curse at the same time. It is the thing that strengthens me, and limits me. I’m better than I used to be. But, I still slip back into bad habits.
Ironically, I don’t care as much as you’d think. I mean… I do, because I think my need to do things myself isolates me and makes others feel rebuffed. I don’t like that. I don’t like others feeling like I have deliberately shut them out because I don’t need them. I need them more than they can ever realize.
But… I get hurt easily. My feelings get hurt. And when I feel that sting, I revert back to that wild independence. It is easy as blinking my eyes. And I say, to myself (and sometimes out loud – which can be hurtful), “This is why I don’t count on people. This is why I don’t ask for help. This is why I don’t need anything from anybody.”
Yeah… wow. Unfortunate. But, true. And when I *am* needy, when I actually do *need* someone, it is very hard to ask. Because I assume they will deny me.
I’ve gotten better about it. I’ve gotten better about saying, “Say XYZ right now.” “Tell me good job.” “I need you to do this for me.” That helps. Most people oblige me when I spell it out. I don’t spell it out for their benefit. Believe it or not, I spell it out for me. It is a conscious choice to tell people what I need so I don’t suffer in silence.
I’m getting better. Recently, I had a full-blown shut down crisis. I took care of what I needed to, said the awful, “I stand alone today” stuff, but then got over myself. I worked through it faster than I expected, and moved on. A choice to let go. I am proud of me.
What I took away from the last incident was this: I don’t like feeling so independent. I have to need people. I have to need help. A very good friend of mine pointed out that letting people in assists in continued personal growth. She’s right. But, every now and then, when I get in that mode, I am proud that while I accept that I need people, I know I can still do it alone, if I had to. And that is the balance I need, for now.
This song happens to be one of the “Fuck-the-world-and-I’ll-do-it-myself” anthems of my time. I Stand Alone, by Jackyl. Thankfully, I don’t stand alone as often as I used to.