I have always done my best to hide just how fragile I am. ‘They call me Mr. Glass’ – besides the fact that most of M. Night’s movies are crappy shambles, that line from Unbreakable always summed it up for me. Except for the shattering of bones, it was the shattering of psyche, the shattering of stability. That’s not something you can ‘toughen up’, per se – you can only hide it and hope you look menacing enough that nobody is inclined to take a swing.
Having said that, I don’t much like being in positions of leadership. I tend to disguise this fairly well too, insomuch that I didn’t have a choice growing up. I was the eldest, I was under strict orders to ‘be an adult’ and help out from age four. I don’t begrudge my parents this – I still had plenty of play and fun, and have even more now that I’m in the somehow less stressful job of being a parent and wife on my own steam. But because of that young experience and the fact I am (supposedly) charismatic and confident, I tend to find myself in leadership roles in spite of myself. I try to not bemoan it even if I VASTLY prefer to ‘lead ‘from the shadows (where you can avoid the PR and get real work done) because of that old saw – the best leaders are the ones that probably don’t want the damned job in the first place. So I do my best to set a good example, because leading by example is a fantastic morale builder. If the people working under you see that you’re busting your ass too, then it’s much easier to say that we’re all in ‘it’ together.
With that in mind, it is not my style to be an active volunteer for things. If someone asks for help on something, I’ll usually voice up easily – this is passive because it doesn’t require me seeking out things to do. It’s being handed a task, and (fingers crossed), being able to take it back to my dark cave to work on it by my lonesome. So trying to set up a support network and having to proactively pester people to spread the word and consider joining up to The Bipolar Blogger Network is totally outside of my comfort zone. That’s equally blamable on the anxiety that’s been comorbid with my biploar for long years now, and the whole introvert thing. I’m not shy by any stretch, but anxiety of being a pest combined with not enjoying extroversion makes the task unduly stressful. I managed to drop a few notes this morning before caffeine kicked in, but now that I’m alert, I’m ridiculously nervous about considering poking people. Add in the fact that I’m finding people now who already have little groups of their own in place, and I’m incredibly worried that they’d find me super-annoying, or who knows what from the list of made-up ‘you’re a jerk’ things that is suddenly in my head. Since I have been having this period of insanely amazing random stability, I am definitely hesitant of doing things that could rock the boat, so…
Still, I’d not do these things if I didn’t think they were making the world a better place somehow. And while I have no interest in making my mark by being some rich person or some sort of august careerist, I am glad to take my gift-flaws (“Meg, I give you your faults.” – Mrs. Whatsit, A Wrinkle in Time) and use them to make me better, and to make the world better. It might not be the fanciest legacy, but it’s one I’m glad I’m willing to keep trying in spite of the non-stop war with my emotions and thoughts.