Suffering versus Living

The Myers Briggs Test; A fun little look into our psyche that companies will often give once we begin a work relationship with them. The company I work with gave me my first test when I was 23. My first result was the following:

The Executive-ENTJ

Assertive and outspoken – they are driven to lead. Excellent ability to understand difficult organizational problems and create solid solutions. Intelligent and well-informed, they usually excel at public speaking. They value knowledge and competence, and usually have little patience with inefficiency or disorganization.

I have changed SO much since then. I wanted to rule the world. I had more motivation than anyone I knew. If I had been a race car I would have won the Indy 500! I knew nothing of mental illness; and certainly would have not identified as feeling any effects of that or any other illness like the flu or lupus, or even the common cold. Sickness was just the weak person’s excuse to just not go to work and get things done. Mind over matter, right?! I had things to do, marathons to run, degrees to finish, companies to take over, tasks to accomplish. I was SO clueless. I had no idea what I was doing to myself. That I was burying my pain and giving it a warm, dark place to grow and flourish. I would have told anyone who asked me that I was enjoying life, but I wasn’t. I had put an unimaginable amount of pressure on myself. I was climbing the corporate ladder at a record rate. I was losing my peace and health at that same record rate. My family had no idea. Everyone thought I knew just what I was doing. Although if anyone had questioned me, I wouldn’t have been able to see that anything was wrong anyway. I didn’t understand that I never stopped to enjoy my successes, but instead wondered about disappointed I didn’t do some aspect of it better/ more perfectly. Then I would immediately jump on the next task hoping to do better this time. I could always do better. Always room for improvement. No such thing as perfection. But I needed to aim for perfection…

It took me years to realize I wasn’t living life, I was just suffering through it.

The Idealist- INFP

Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick, and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people.

I took a new Myers-Briggs test now, 16 years later. It is amazing how much your whole personality can change. I have absolutely no desire to take over any companies. I do still have an issue with perfectionism; and I do still beat myself up about not being more so. Or at least closer to. I think I may be exceptionally harder on myself now but I am more aware of it and am able to handle that better. There isn’t anything anyone can say to me (negative) that I haven’t said to myself and worse. Really, there is only one person who says negative things to me anymore and with the help of my therapist I have gotten better at drawing boundaries and creating roadblocks to make it more difficult for him to do that to me as much anymore. I know that is so much more about him than me and I do feel badly for him that he feels the need to do that to me. I just feel sorry for him in general. I have seen in person how people like that end up when they don’t get help. When they can’t see that they so badly need help.

Which brings me more closely to where I am now, to my fascination with idealism and therapy; specifically with people who are mentally ill. Maybe this is why I am so different that I was 16 years ago. That “hyper-type-A Christine” would have never taken time to slow down for therapy to access the pain of her past and illness of her present to fix the things that bring hurt today. This vast change could have only been brought on by my near death experience that almost took me away from my children and close family that I see now would have honestly missed me. I would have been missed. I couldn’t see that before. All I saw was a failure previously. After, I saw concern. I heard confusion, tears and strain in their voices. I recognized the lack of anger in their conversation and knew. I had to stay. For as long as my body would allow and until I had a natural death. So as long as that was the case and I was staying; I had to learn, that is what I do. Idealist. Who would have thought? I am loyal. I don’t wish ill, or bad for anyone; but I do defend my cause (mental health/illness and suicide awareness). My children, husband and other family matter the most to me in this world. Understanding people is very important to me; even the people who do not like me. Especially the one(s) who I feel may even hate me. I feel  like I have an excellent perception of a person’s true motives. This could be what makes me really good at what I do. I have been able to predict (100% so far in 16 years of doing weddings) who will stay married and who will not. People trust me, as they should. I am extremely honest and as such a great sales person and always surpass my goals at work. My brother is in the same profession (not weddings, though) and is also very successful in his work and is told the same reason; his honesty. We both give our clients our cell numbers telling them if they ever have an issue to call us ASAP and we will fix it. Not many sales people will do that…and there is a very good reason for that. Actually, often sales people will not even give you their real name…or will give you their first name only.

This is my life now. I am no longer suffering; not as much.


About Christine O.

I had been a young, single Mom to two girls for ten years; until March 9, 2014 when I married my soul-mate Jason. I’m a former 20 year+ full time executive in a demanding field turned business owner (this year); marathon runner, daughter to the perfect parents, oldest sister of a highly successful ‘normal’ younger brother and ‘functional’ single-mother (of 3) sister, coach, boss, best friend, member of the church choir, volunteer for the local NAMI, AFSP, and CASA organizations, and have over time become well acclimated to the world of mental illness after a life changing event or two. I have also become known in my community as the one who takes on the High School year after year in attempts to have a Suicide Prevention Program in place (as in Texas statute). My goal in writing, blogging and learning as much as I can about such subjects is to defeat stigma associated with brain disease, preventing suicide in the future, and saving my family.
This entry was posted in Anxiety, Corporate, depression, Education, family, Health, work and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Suffering versus Living

  1. Wonderful post…Thank you

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