Bipolar Thoughts

Who Likes Being Alone

I’m a guy that doesn’t really like to be taken care of.

It is kinda odd because I love attention. I love to be the center of attention at a party. I love to be asked questions. I love for people to come to me for advice. I love to hear that my name was mentioned when I wasn’t around. I love for people to ask about me.

I generally have a hard time believing it when it happens, but I love it all none the less.

It wasn’t a conscious reason for starting this website. But I have thought about it a few times, the fact that people read this and learn about me and think about me, and I wouldn’t say I enjoy it, but I certainly don’t mind it.

But I actively dislike being taken care of.

I don’t like anyone to be home with me when I’m laid up in bed. I don’t like anyone to bring me soup. I don’t like when people offer to cheer me up. I don’t like any of it. I would much rather just be alone and deal with it on my own. Of course, occasionally, I will ask my wife to cuddle with me when I’m very depressed. So that happens.

Some people, like my wife, turn to mush when they get sick and need everything to be done for them. My wife, when healthy, does absolutely everything around the house. My house would fall apart, I would die of starvation, and I would live in filth if it wasn’t for my wife. And she never complains about it. In fact, I ask her to be more communicative with me about what needs to get done so I can help out more and she doesn’t.

But the second she gets a sniffle, or a headache, suddenly she cannot function. I can tell when she isn’t feeling good because she will start to ask me to do a million things around the house. She needs to be waited on when she is ill. And frankly I find it confusing and somewhat comical.

I’m not sure why I want to be left alone when I don’t feel well, physically or mentally. I’m not sure how long I’ve been like that but I know it has been that way since at least high school. On days that I’m home from work, I spend at least 80% of it in bed. The rest is eating, using the bathroom, or watching TV.

The only other thing in my life that I prefer to be alone during is when I am trying to figure something out. Whether it is difficult or relatively simple, I prefer to do it alone, where there won’t be comments from other people.

I think both serve the same purpose: I’m embarrassed. Or at least, I don’t want to appear less than I am. Being sick is being vulnerable, especially so when that sick is actually depressed. And when you are figuring something out there is a strong possibility that you may mess it up, which also makes you vulnerable.

I don’t like to be vulnerable.

I always try to put up a, what I think of, “manly” exterior. I’m hairy and over-weight, manly, I have facial hair, manly, I drink heavy beers, manly, I have a high tolerance for pain, manly, I only use charcoal, manly.

But in reality I’m not all that manly, at least not on those terms. Not muscular, Not athletic, went to design school, loves science fiction, etc.

And the biggest non-manly thing of all is my depression. It is impossible to feel masculine while you are depressed. When you are down you feel like a sniffling, whiney little child who can’t deal with a practically perfect life where basically nothing goes wrong.

It is humiliating to admit to other people and so I think it is easier just being alone, dealing with it by yourself. You don’t have to admit failure or defeat to yourself. You don’t have to pretend things are better than they actually are. You don’t have to answer any useless questions to someone who will never understand your responses anyway.