Being An Introvert Isn’t Isolating

Today I decided to debunk one of the biggest introvert misconceptions of all:

That introversion and isolation are the same thing.

I shared a status on Facebook from four years ago, when I lived in a doorman building on the Upper West Side.  Every time I walked in, and every time I went on the elevator to my 6th floor apartment, I had to make small talk.

Every.  Time.

Sure, it’s nice to be greeted or to have someone acknowledge you, but sometimes, believe it or not, you just want to walk in, go upstairs, and be left alone.  So, I would keep my sunglasses on, pretend I was talking on the phone, or keep walking straight to avoid the small talk.

After sharing my status from 2015, my best friend from my hometown commented:

“Thank you for this.  I cannot stand small talk, I would rather not say anything at all!”

She gets me.

Even though we live over 1,000 miles apart, those are the connections that mean so much to me- I would rather have quality friends who understand me than a large number of people who don’t.

Some people gain energy from other people, and others gain energy from being alone.  That’s the difference between an extrovert and an introvert.  In a city like New York or Boston you’re constantly surrounded by so many people, being stimulated left and right, that it’s easy for an introvert to get drained.

This is why I spend so much time in the park, outside, and journaling by myself.  Whether I’m reading by the river or hanging out at home with the cat, my recharge time is extremely sacred, and necessary, to maintain my sanity.

It’s completely different than isolating.

I’m positive that the world around me would rather have a recharged, calm Kristin than a snappy, reactive one- and that latter is what you’ll get if I don’t have ample alone time.

Dedicated to my fellow introverts and Rachel, who *always* gets me, no matter where in the world we are.

Love Yourself: The Importance of Speaking Your Truth

“Being yourself ” today can be a scary thing in a world of so many mixed messages, expectations, fear mongering, and marketing.  Just when it feels safe to speak up or “be yourself,” someone seems to shoot you down or makes you second guess that “you” you’ve been striving to embody.

Well, I’ve finally shed the final few things that have been holding me back from being my authentic self.  For me, the most important element of being “Kristin” is simple: it is speaking my truth.

I need to be in an environment where it is safe to surround myself with people who allow me to speak my truth and can benefit from my stories.

As I feel safer and safer to share my story and speak my truth on a daily basis, the easier life has become- and the more I have been able to be of service to others.

As some of you know, I have been sober on-and-off since April 8th, 2011.

I’ve never publicly written about this before in fear of being both isolated or grouped together with other “sober people.”  I don’t identify with any group, religion, or title- nor will I.  I’ve tried it, and it didn’t work.  You will never label Kristin or put her in a box.

Today, I am simply “Kristin, and I’ll take a coffee.”

My reasons today for not drinking are different than they were a few years, or even months, ago.  I used to say, “bad things happen when I drink,” or “my body can’t handle it.”  I used to make excuses, such as “I’m on medication” or “I’m on a diet,” but today, my answer is simple:

“I’m fine as I am.”

Over my seven years of sobriety, relapses, periods of thinking I was “normal,” and drinking for pure self-sabotage, I found one common theme:

I drank when I thought I couldn’t be myself.

Being “myself” used to be a scary thing.  I used to water myself down, drink away my thoughts, and numb out my emotions.  I used to fear my imagination.  My creativity used to scare me.  I was told “creatives are flaky” or “artists starve.”  Again, that’s society’s stereotype, their lack of understanding, and their inability to think, create, or live on their own.

I get by just fine doing things my way.  I tried to fit in their box, and it didn’t work- time and time again.  So, with a clear mind and a lot of lessons under my belt, I’ll try the alternatives and create on my own.

Don’t listen to the others if their way doesn’t work for you. 

Keep doing you.  Keep speaking your truth.  Your niche will find you.

Today, I wouldn’t want to water down any message; I want to be my authentic self to share my experience and strength with others.

I am happy to share that I finally love being myself- and I’ll do my best to help you love yourself, too.

If you think you have a problem a problem with drinking or need someone to talk to, please feel free to send me a message. You are never alone: kristinfehrman@gmail.com