I have had a lot of changes happen over the past ten years. Aside from the obvious (the big diagnosis), I have grown in my career, put myself in a mountain of debt, gained a couple of degrees, gained a lot more weight, and completely lost my self confidence.
I used to be so outwardly silly and carefree. I acted the same around everyone, regardless of how they acted towards me. I had more confidence. I was secure in who I was and what I looked like. I think with all of the work I have done on myself on the inside, I put off my physical health. I dread disappointing other people. Like they will see me as the ugly girl my friend brought along. Most of the time people don’t introduce themselves to me, look at me, include me in a conversation. They direct their attention to who I am with and if I try to include myself, they act as if I have been incredibly rude.
I know what some people are thinking and what they will most likely say, “don’t worry about people like that, they are jerks” or “If they act that way they are the ones losing out” or “they aren’t the kind of people you need around you then”. I completely agree. I am funny, I have a lot of interesting parts to me, I am more than what I look like, I am a good friend. It just sucks that it isn’t what starts a conversation.
Is it weird that I am concerned with inconveniencing others? Like, I have had guys that I am friends with on facebook ask me out (people I haven’t seen in person in years) and my first thought is that they will notice my weight gain. It isn’t that I hide it but I am not posting the most unflattering pictures of myself. I am concerned that I am not what people think I am. I am embarrassed when people mention that I am about to complete a degree and am afraid people will think that I am not that smart. I feel like I don’t really deserve the promotion at work I am desperately working towards, I don’t feel that I am good enough to date or be seen out with.
I feel like a fraud. I don’t know if that makes sense. But it feels right. It feels like it is how to describe how I feel and view myself. I know you can’t go walking up to people and dump all your baggage on them, but it sure would minimize the wasted time and heartache that I feel when it finally gets to that point. I want to say, “do you feel uncomfortable or not ready to understand bipolar?”, “do you understand that I am not 5’5 and 120 lbs”, “do you understand that I was not handed things and have more responsibilities than most people my age?”.
But I can’t. I can’t just put all the bad stuff out there beforehand. There is no sparing my feelings. I can’t just play it safe forever. I hate it. I just want to stay in bed. I want to go to work, come home, and be. I don’t really need interaction. I don’t desire to date. I am content. Not complacent. But I also wonder if I just feel this way because it is the only/easiest option.