..I’ve got the third shift blues.
I’ve been on third shift for over six months now, but I still struggle on my
days nights off. I have this feeling that I want to reach out and talk to someone, but everyone is asleep. I know better than to call or text anybody because I would certainly hate to be woken up in such an inconsiderate fashion. But it’s still there; that nagging feeling that I just want to talk to someone.
I find that messaging people through Facebook helps relieve this. I am fortunate enough to have some kick-ass friends that I have known for a while and who also share my somewhat bizarre schedule and sense of humor. The reprieve this offers is very much appreciated. However, on
days like today nights like tonight, I want to speak to someone face to face. Go out for a cup of coffee, apple pie, and cinnamon ice cream.
I want to do “normal” things that I can’t because of the time: go for a walk, make some smoothies, workout, etc. I would definitely wake my neighbors or put my safety at risk if I did these things at night. And if I woke the wrong neighbor, I might do both.
This wouldn’t be so hard to deal with if I had more refined friendship setting. I have never been good at staying in touch. I can only blame myself for this because, no matter what past experiences I may have had, I am an adult who is making conscious decisions in the here and now. I know that if I don’t reach out to people, even with a simple “Hello”, they will stop expecting it. They will stop reaching back and, eventually, it will all just stop. I experienced this a lot growing up with an invisible illness that people did not understand. They would invite me to events and I’d have to say no, even though I really wanted to go. Whether it was physical pain, anxiety, or severe depression – I simply couldn’t do it. A few friends hung on and would try to say “Hello” every now and again, but Depression had set in pretty heavily by then and I simply wasn’t interested.
I am, thankfully, no longer enveloped in an all-consuming Depression, but these habits have stuck around. I just don’t feel like doing things when I get asked to do them. I don’t have that internal gauge that says, “Hey, you haven’t spoken to so-and-so in a while. It’s time to see how they are doing.” I guess that I’ve dealt with loneliness for so long, that it doesn’t bother me to be alone.
And therein lies the clincher. I’m not lonely and I prefer to be alone. I just have this desire to speak to another human being, face to face, and for an extended amount of time. It is strange because this feeling usually passes or is accompanied by that depressing, sinking feeling of being alone forever. I don’t have that. It’s kind of like cabin fever but geared toward Human contact.
I am lucky to have a wonderful husband who provides me with encouragement, humor, wonderful meals, and a sounding board. But it’s not fair to either one of us to be the only one the other communicates with. Wow, talk about a confusing sentence..
I guess to sum it up I would have to say that I don’t feel lonely. I don’t feel as if being alone is bad or wrong. I simply need to hear another voice and see another face. I’ve tried alternatives: the radio, television, the cats.. it’s just not cutting it this time. I don’t feel as though I’d break down in sobs or sulk around the house if I don’t talk to someone. I just have this very physical and mental desire to speak to someone else. And this has really been an eye opener for me because I never understood other people’s desire to mingle. I didn’t do it, I didn’t get it, and I thought it was a waste of time. It’s funny, but we do it to fulfill ourselves. We do it for the same reason we do most everything else: for us.
I can see the appeal to mingle, now. It’s not for an emotional connection. Hell, talking to someone for a few minutes doesn’t provide me enough time to feel as though an emotional or mental connection has been made at all. However, it provides that human need to speak and see another face. It is a purely selfish act that masquerades as being interested in another person. It’s kind of like all the relationships I’ve had before finding “Mr.Right”. “Talk to me, let me speak, okay I’ve had enough. Goodbye.”
I used to think this was apart of abandonment syndrome. I’d want to leave or hurt someone else before they did it to me. Now, though.. the more I think about it and the more I reflect on my past actions and behaviors. Now, I see it as a deficiency. I simply do not possess that thing that makes people truly interested in other people. That something that makes people actually care. I feign this by trying to people please, but that gets annoying for everyone involved. I just don’t get the whole friendship thing. I’m more of a book learner and I don’t think there’s a manual for this one. There are, however, lots of tests.
So crochet and computer classes, dishes and cat litter. Getting back to my routine will help and in the morning, I have things to do and people to see – and at the appropriate time to do so. Still, I’m feeling those third shift blues.