Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Pros and Cons of Emotional Exhaustion

So, after two weeks of Monday through Friday blogging, I wind up with a week of Tuesday-only blogging. What's up with that, you might be asking, especially those who went rappelling last weekend and were eagerly awaiting my blog post; interestingly enough, therein lies part of the problem.

Last weekend Cap'n Shack-Fu was granted a brief reprieve from deployment thanks to jury duty and doctors' appointments; since there was no telling how long it might be before he gets sent out again, he and PigPen planned a quick rappelling trip on Sunday. Throughout the day, I lost count of how many times I was told "Ooo, that's got to go in the blog!" or "That needs to be the blog title!" or "Boy, you should start carrying a notebook around with you so you don't forget any of this, it's gold!" etc. Now, while on the one hand it's nice that the group was so interested in seeing my take on things, at the same time the constant reference to how much they were looking forward to reading said blog did what such a statement of high expectations always does to me: it made me freeze up in fear that nothing I wrote would measure up.

"But hold on," you might be saying, "that only explains why you didn't post about the rappelling trip; what about Movie Monday? Or Fragmented Friday? Or any other day?" Well, like I said, the rappelling trip was only part of the problem. The rest of the problem is, well, complicated.

You see, despite having a lot of fun at times this weekend, there was a lot of other, less happy-go-lucky stuff going on at the same time, stuff that was affecting people I care about, stuff that was activating my high Blue tendencies and making me switch into overly-empathetic mode and putting the weight of worrying about everyone else's problem on my shoulders . . . in other words, stuff that I can't really talk about in any detail. Yes, I know it stinks when I only talk in generalities, but honestly the situations that were going on around me had next to nothing to do with me, other than me being kind of caught up in it all as the guy that people feel comfortable talking to, so I can't in good conscience go into any detail whatsoever. Suffice it to say that by the time Monday rolled around I was mentally and emotionally exhausted, especially as some of the emotional fallout from the weekend drifted over into the next several days, and was unable to summon the willpower to write about much of anything.

Now, I went back and forth on whether to even mention the emotionally exhausting portion of the weekend, since in the past when I have remarked on this sort of thing people's reactions have been to say "Well, I won't burden you with my problems anymore because I don't want you to get so stress out." Which is not in any way shape or form what I want. I mean, I have to admit I like being the guy people trust enough to talk to about what's going on in their lives; I like the fact that people know that if they ask me to keep something to myself, I will; I like being able to be there for my friends and offer my empathy and sympathy and advice, even if no one ever, ever takes said advice, ever. Ever. There are times that I learn things that I really don't want to know, but even in those cases I often think it's better than the alternative for me. Honestly, it would probably do me more mental damage if people stopped confiding stuff in me, because I'd most likely slip into neurotic what-have-I-done-to-lose-their-trust mode. That's right, I'm going to find a way to be emotionally exhausted and a mental basketcase with or without y'all's help; at least if it's from being the confidant and secret-keeper, it will come from a place of feeling trusted, wanted and needed.

Yes, I am a horribly needy bastage, but we all knew that already, right?

In all seriousness, last weekend was a case where there were multiple things going on all weekend long, and I was busy trying to process one problem while another one sneaked up behind me and whacked me upside the head with a psychic two-by-four; individually I probably could have handled any one of the situations okay, but taken all at once . . . I will say that, while I was in the middle of it all, there was a large part of me asking "Why me?" But, once the dust has settled, I can look back and realize that the only thing I would really change would not be being in the middle of it all, but instead how I dealt with being in the middle; if I could have said this instead of that, done that instead of this, found a better way to help my friends in need -- that's what I would change. Everything else pales next to that.