Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On To a Better Day...And Maybe a Better Title??

It is always a challenge when things don't go quite right and external factors affect your best laid plans.  It is even more difficult when the unfortunate events involve emotions that can damage friendships you thought were strong, and make you question things you thought you knew about yourself. 

The last few days have been a time of learning for me.  If you know anything about me at all, you should know how I hate, hate, HATE drama.  You should also know how I try to avoid conflict like the plague.  Yes, I am one of those people who prefers to stick their head in the sand and wait for it to go away rather than deal with a problem head on.  You can now imagine why I had so many problems with relationships in the past. 

So when a conflict began to develop between a group I am part of, my automated response is pretend nothing is wrong.  Maybe say a couple things that wouldn't ruffle too many feathers, gloss over the situation til we get over this hump, and hope for the best going forward.  Unfortunately, this just caused things to steam, simmer, boil, then basically explode.  Way to go Alicia.  Your method of dealing with conflict is soooooooooo effective.  

Then, because of my conflict adverse nature, all the pressure was put on a good friend to solve everything.  I felt horribly bad about it, still do, because she has her own crap to deal with.  I know I should have a better backbone than I do, but unless it is through typed words, I just plain suck at dealing with confrontation.  On paper or through email, I kick ass at it.  In person or on the phone, I fold like a piece of tin foil.  Lesson one:  Just how bad I am at conflict resolution in person. 

Another thing you should know about me - stress is a HUGE bipolar trigger for me.  This whole situation caused an incredible amount of emotional stress on me.  On top of that, it is winter, my worst season of the bipolar year.  Add the drama to the winter blues I have been fighting and it results in an emotionally unstable Alicia.  I should have put up a sign on my door that says "CAUTION:  Unstable environment.  Downpours of tears and floods may occur."  This may have prevented my neighbor from getting cranky, irritated looks from me yesterday, and it may have prevented another friend from being caught off guard with tears.  Follow that with my hubby being pulled over for a registration issue that was supposed to be taken care of...yea...complete meltdown.  Lesson two:  My mask doesn't work as well when I am being overwhelmed with multiple things going wrong at once.

But then I found comfort in an unexpected place.  When I went to apologize for blubbering all over my friend, I was instead reassured I had no reason to apologize.  Life was just throwing crap at me like it does to everyone occasionally and I was just doing the best I could to deal with it.  After a long talk and a few more  tears, I was more comfortable with the situation.  I was reminded of something that I know in my head but frequently forget - if these friendships are supposed to last, we will make it through this rough patch.  If they aren't meant to last, I need to accept it and move forward because there are others out there I am missing out on by dwelling on things I can't control anymore.  Either way, there is nothing I can do at this moment.  Only time will tell.   Lesson three:  I have some really awesome people in my life.   Lesson four:  I have a really, really crappy memory...or maybe that should be Reminder One for my next post?

The important part of this though, I will survive and today is a new day...and so far, a better day too!