All Tapped Out

As much as I have enjoyed all of the social events that I have been to over the past month, I think I have well and truly exceeded my exhaustion limits for face to face socialisation. I am utterly drained and feel like I could spend an eternity alone and in silence. My mum always talks about how being around people and socialising energises her. It does the exact opposite to me. It completely drains my energy and it takes a lot of time to recharge.

I’m not sorry I’ve been out, not at all. I’m just going to be paying for it some time with emotional (and physical) exhaustion. I’m all tapped out and just need to be alone to rebuild my strength, and reset my conversational limits.

Am I just weird or does this make sense to someone?

Last Friday Night

Man am I feeling really seedy today. I overdid the whole “loosen up and don’t be such an uptight stick in the mud” resolution that I’d made for myself.

Last night I went out. I work for a bank selling General Insurance – and the company that underwrites the insurance products hosted their annual Christmas Party for all of their business partners that work in the same financial sector as us.

I decided that I was going to treat myself and booked a hotel room in the city for the night that was near to the bar. I figured I would take total advantage of a night off from the kids and pamper myself. My plan was to go to the party for a couple of hours and then go back to the hotel room and indulge in some room service and a couple of movies.

Something put paid to that idea. I can’t pinpoint what it was exactly but there was free drinks and food and I was having some good conversation with my workmates. The thing is that I’m not really a drinker – I’ll have one maybe two drinks once in blue moon and be over it and not drink any alcohol for months. Last night I somehow managed to get started and found myself knocking back the drinks. Not just one type of alcoholic drink either – I went from wine, to bourbon, to scotch, to rum, to vodka – I was drinking whatever the person I was talking to was drinking (except beer, never beer)

Four or five drinks in, and I decided I needed a cigarette. I do not smoke, never technically been a smoker. Years ago I went through a period of time where I’d have a couple when I went out but that only lasted a couple months. I was never a legit smoker. I bummed a cig from my mate, and it just snowballed from there. I must have had near on 15 drinks in total last night, and probably around 10 cigarettes too.

Everyone at the party got well smashed including yours truly. And yet I really surprised myself because I didn’t get silly or trashy or sick. I spent the whole night merry but still very much aware and on good behaviour. I started conversations with people who work at other banks – I was very nicely loosened up and introverted Karlee was nowhere in sight.

After the party all the guys and girls from my work headed to the casino to continue the night. I was outside having a cig with my team mate (he’s my work bestie) and somehow he and I found ourselves stuck in a conversation with this random couple. It was really bizarre because he and I are both introverts (he’s INFJ and I’m INFP) and yet we found ourselves in really heavy conversation with this couple for a long time. Both he and I were quite puzzled at how we ended up talking to them when we finally managed to extricate ourselves.

I’m super proud that I managed to get out of my shell and talk to strangers. But I’m a bit sad that it took so much alcohol to get me there. And I really did not sleep well when I got back to the hotel room. I had a massive headache as I started to sober up. I also started to feel sick from the smell of the cigarettes and the taste of ash in my mouth. I had to shower, and I brushed my teeth like four times. Then climbed I into bed with a cold and wet face washer over my eyes and forehead. Eventually the headache left but I started feeling really dizzy and sick. Lying down made me dizzy, sitting up made me dizzy. It was horrible.

I finally managed to get some sleep. But all day long I’ve felt my stomach churning, and still can’t get the smell of cigarettes out of my nostrils, and ash in my mouth. I feel so sick even thinking about alcohol or cigarette smoke. So I’ve definitely changed my mind at this stage and won’t be going to our work Christmas Party. Not when it’s going to take me at least a week to recover from last night.

But I will say this – I had fun, even though I’m paying dearly for it today.

I Went Out Last Night.

I haven’t been feeling so great lately. I’ve been in a bit of a depression, and haven’t wanted to do a whole lot. It’s been hard enough to get up and go to work the past two days. I’ve just wanted to be a hermit and sleep my life away.

But last night, I did something different. I went out to dinner. It was a sort of work function – one of the companies that my work partners with (they are underwriters for the general insurance we sell) wanted to thank us for meeting our sales targets over the past financial year. So they treated the insurance team (including a few people who are now in different departments) to a celebratory dinner. Normally, I would make up an excuse and avoid this kind of outing like the plague. Especially when feeling the way I’ve been feeling. However, I didn’t make up an excuse, not even at the last minute, not even when it meant sticking around town by myself for an hour & 1/2 after I’ve finished work, waiting for the rest of the team to finish so we could have this dinner.

I went. And I talked. I made conversation and I listened to conversation. I stayed until the end. And I even enjoyed myself! It was a very pleasant evening, and I am glad I went. I am very proud of myself for not avoiding this evening when it would have been so easy to just find an excuse not to go.

Sitting around a table with eleven other people in a social context isn’t usually a situation I am comfortable with. At work, even though we do chit chat a little between calls, it’s a very different experience to sitting around a table socialising. It’s difficult to explain, but when it’s work related I can deal because there are parameters for the conversations I have. There is a work context – I am conversing about work matters so it’s clear and straightforward. I have a purpose for speaking, I don’t have to try to maintain or participate in idle chatter. In work related conversation you know what the boundaries are – I don’t have to wonder if they’ll be bored with what I am saying, or whether they will laugh at my joke or think it stupid.

When it’s a social situation there aren’t those parameters – communication relies on organic flow of conversation. It is unscripted, and purposeless, and requires instantaneous reactions to words being spoken. Because I always have to think (or maybe overthink) things through – I can end up either making the conversation stilted and uncomfortable while I think of a response, or in a group situation I remain silent and possibly seem aloof or disinterested.

But last night, I muddled through. Mostly listening to everyone else but I did talk too! Of course me being me, today I need the entire day of solitude to unwind, gather my thoughts, reenergise, etc. So I am lucky I have today off work. But even though I am feeling wrung out, I have to say it was still worth it. I managed to relax a little bit and simply be, just for a moment.