I’ve been hesitant to this type of blog posts on this platform, Soliloquium’s music homepage, but I reconsidered after realizing how tightly the connected the band’s music and my personal thought process is. I was considering making a separate blog for a while. But screw it, I’ll just leave this post here and see what happens.
Writing this blog entry and scanning my brain for thoughts is eerily similar to songwriting. I feel musically drained after releasing “Contemplations” and recording death metal guitars simultaneously. There’s certainly no writer’s block when it comes to actual writing though.
Like the Soliloquium lyrics, this will be a rant of inner thoughts; perhaps not always designed for other people to read or overall that interesting. I’ll just leave it here.
A constant introvert hangover cycle
I’ve been feeling trapped and unsatisfied for quite a long time. Researching and reading led to the conclusion that I’m an introverted, high sensitivity person in constant overload. Just like the symptoms of the famous introvert hangovers reads; really tired all the time, zoning out, trapped, anxious, can’t think straight.
This is literally how I feel every day, almost 100 % of the time. It’s not healthy, and it’s also a deeply unsatisfying life. It led to a crisis-like cycle of reading, exploring and reflecting. As lame as it sounds in writing, it’s leading me into a very necessary self-improvement project. Things need to change.
Introversion and Soliloquium lyrics
This blog post is on my band’s music page, so I thought it would be a bit off-topic. Interestingly, the introvert topic is easier to relate to the music than I initially thought. Much like the themes and lyrics on “Contemplations” entail, the last couple of years have been times of high-level reflection. It’s funny when I think about it though, because introversion has been a part of the Soliloquium themes for a long time. I just haven’t really reflected on it.
The first ever Soliloquium song “Garden of Truculence” even features the line “Blistering cold/Human lepers scratching the door/The isolation warms/A welcome sense of cabin fever”. This was before I even considered the concept of being an introvert, or introvert/extrovert ideals at all. The more nihilistic tone of that song is probably a symptom of social overload.
The notably more aggressive outcast themes of “Garden of Truculence” and “Nighttime Revelations” turned more reflective on newer songs like “In Affect” and “The Observer”.
“In Affect” manages to switch between the two: From reflective “Slave to a rampant pathos/the laments of a weary soul/Unbound in pursuit to structure the intangible I am the grave-like silence/I am the product of this white noise creation” to aggressive “Could never attune to distorted visions/An admission of the outcast, the consummate offense”.
I hadn’t quite realized the big role the theme played before I started writing this post. Introvert hangovers and white noise is certainly something I will explore in the coming material as well.
Justification and alienation
It surprises me that admitting to being an introvert and exploring it feels like coming out of a closet. Even without “pushing” my introversion, I’ve always been forced to make excuses for my state of mind and my lifestyle. This is what I intend to start fighting.
What angers me most aside from the constant expectation of normality is the shyness misconception. I can talk plenty if I vibe with a person’s conceptions, and first and foremost, if they actually are interesting to me. A superficial conversation is a nightmare that drains my energy. Not to mention that I’m often conformed to agreeing with conflicting ideals, that just happens to be the dominating ones, wherever I go.
It’s not that I simply play best with other introverts; I just crave deep, exhaustive topics where I can actually learn something. Communication is goal-oriented. This world bombards me with concepts and ideals that I deny, or simply don’t care about. They are forced upon me on a daily basis since, well.. I need to get out and make money.
The problem is that working office hours around people absolutely drains me. I never get the opportunity to reap the rewards. There’s simply no energy left. I spend most nights and weekends gasping for air. In the worst moments, it feels like the stars literally have to align for me to get any value out of my life.
The place you see above is the one where I take my solitary lunch break virtually every day, unless the weather is crap. It’s often my only cherished chance to recharge and collect myself from the social workplace cacophony. Ironically, it’s the same place where the “Contemplations” album cover was shot. These safe places or social breaks are key to survival for many introverts.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t fully do it for me, but without it I’d certainly spiral into an even worse state of “always tired”. People probably take offense that I go off alone 90 % of the time, which magically leads me into the next burning headline question.
Is there understanding?
Is there understanding for introvert behavior and introvert needs? In a workplace filled with highly functional career adults, the general answer is “no”. I’ve found a few open-minded people where I found value in opening up my views on the world. Most are in their bubble of tasks and achievements, with no interest in reflection or, often in my case, overall deviancy.
Stay away as much as possible from these encounters. Sometimes they’re necessary. For me, the energy-draining, but also effective, autopilot of “probably socially correct” answers kicks in. It’s the worst one. The one that truly eats all my patience and quickly turns me into a sweaty, anxiety-zombie. It’s not easy to know when to turn this autopilot on and off, leading to much awkwardness.
In the private sphere (well, what’s left of it for some introverts anyway), we’re free to choose most activities and relationships. This is where you can truly tweak for calming your mind and finding productivity. Find the people you can connect with on a deep level. Explore your goal-oriented conversation topics in-depth together. Discard people who force shitty ideals on you, as well as the ever-present energy vampires.
Does being an introvert limit my life?
The answer is “oh, shit, yes!” In return for every workday, I come home absolutely drained with no energy left for my personal relationships. It’s not a case of “being tired after work”, as mostly people put it when I address it. I’m mind-numbingly absent, unable to connect with people, searching for the first possible way to escape into solitude.
Even the positive events have this type energy price. This means an active weekend absolutely drains me, no matter how much fun I had. I’ve also attended many concerts and social gatherings that are great on paper, only to find that I hadn’t had enough reflective time. They were all a waste.
Crippling anxiety follows, because these were the things I was supposed to enjoy in between all the ordinary grind. This quickly grows into a poisonous cycle of anxiety, sensitivity and collisions with other people who have no idea what’s going on.
The introversion kills many of my friendships. It limits my career options. It certainly kills all hopes of a music career with a live band. There’s an endless fine-tuning to even have hope of getting anything out of plans and activities. Not to mention being productive. In the office 9-5 format, I’m also rarely allowed to reap the benefits from being an introvert; the sometimes extreme creativity I find in solitude.
The ironic part about heroic life-changes, exciting plans and introversion is that my decision-making is absolutely shot. There is no such thing as consistency. My constantly spinning mind analyzes, analyzes and analyzes until you can smell smoke in the room. I’m absolutely sure I will do this and that, and an hour after, I have no idea how I even got there. This makes any informed decision-making almost possible. These lacks of clarity are also very much related to outside stimuli. Gotta love it!
Creativity and energy levels as an introvert
It’s also obvious that it’s the interaction with people that is the problem. After a grueling day at work, I came home and spent around six hours rearranging this website. It was me, WordPress, my headphones and coffee. This might not seem as creative as something like writing songs. It’s certainly not the activity that should feel energizing after already spending a professional workday with digital marketing content.
The day after I felt focused. The familiar “I’m so tired all the time” feeling was absent. At least before people started bombarding me with their cacophony of questions again. This means it’s not a problem performing advanced digital tasks for a whole night after a workday full of it. However, interacting with people eats my energy up every time.
Conclusion and a promise to myself
Well, what to make of this mess? Beside ranting my way out of the introvert closet on the internet, this is a promise to myself. It’s time to start adapting my life to my personality type so I get something out of it. It’s going to cost me even more money and even more relationships. But at least I’ll be doing things in a way that makes me feel good and fuels my creative side.
Part of this jump from hopelessness to action was due to a book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. I’m not selling books here, by the way. Credit is just due where credit is due. I hope this post sense and isn’t completely unrelated to the rest of this homepage. Might write more on these topics when inspiration arrives. Meanwhile, head over to the music content if you like doom metal!