While I manage to hide it often, I'm overwhelmed by large groups of people and deal with social anxiety. I'm fully conscious of being an awkward person, and I'm also difficult to get to know because of that particular recipe for disaster that I am. Aware of that weakness, I make considerable effort in human interactions, but I also recognize when I hilariously fall short.
Tuesday was a hilarious falling short moment for me. I described this (from my perspective) very uncomfortable social interaction to a close friend who laughed and said, "That probably would have looked totally normal from the outside." Yes. The other close friend I discussed it with asked if I was overthinking a conversation I had with someone who is notoriously awkward. 1,000% yes to that too. Here's what happened on the inside (from my perspective) that mattered and made it an opportunity for me to face my shortcomings and choose to grow: I was asked a weird question that I considered uncomfortable and vulnerable by someone who has previously been hurtful towards me and also may (or may not) be legitimately be afraid of me, and I immediately moved to shut the conversation down.
"What if that was actually that person's way of making an effort?" Givorgy laughed at me earlier today.
"That's what I was convicted of when I woke up in the middle of the night and needed to pray for them!" I shouted back.
I ended up sending a message with an actual answer to the awkward question as my act of apology and repentance, and I'll laugh about my own ridiculousness for ages while hopefully not shutting down any future genuine attempts at conversation from other people. Motivations matter. Also, trust issues, man, they really go deep and require a lot of effort and work to grow from.
I'm familiar with the long haul growth efforts. I just had Jahreskontrolle 7 (I think that's how the math checks out) post paralysis. The first few years were full day events where I had blood tests, lung tests, physio tests, ergo tests, electro tests, and opportunity to model my textbook perfect kidneys on the ultrasound machine. For the past few years, the annual check up gets increasingly shorter until the next five year benchmark (which by my count could actually either be next year or the following year...).
My doctor is a really friendly Swiss guy who's very eager to prescribe me whatever will help me thrive. He also speaks incredibly quickly and thinks even faster. I think my heart rate goes up when he walks into the room, but I do trust him because he's incredibly knowledgeable and remembers details of my recovery and problems from year to year. This check up was the shortest yet, but he did ask about my goals for improvement for next year as well as ask how I was able to make progress through this past corona-shadowed year. He was super understanding of the lower gains from previous years and happy with my maintenance and minor progresses. I've got goals set for next year that are, truth be told, plan B.
Last week, I was enjoying a late night chat with Hannah who lives down the street, and I said something along the lines of "Or, plan B, I miraculously learn to walk."
"Excuse me," she interjected, "Why is that not plan A?"
"You know what, good point," I amended.
From now on the miracle is plan A. Plan B is the slow route that I've been on, but there's always space for plan A to interject and change the course.
Plan A expects miraculous heart change so that Givorgy can affirm that I made the right call acting in repentance for being a jerk. Plan A is that I'm not a jerk next time someone tries to have a normal human interaction with me. Plan B is the long route when I make mistakes and have to apologize. Plan A anticipates second chances to love people better.
Plan B requires me to get insurance approval of new specially fitted shoes and braces before that super fun process of holding my insurance accountable yet again for my disability needs.
Please join with me in praying for plan A to happen - and in the meantime also praying for plan B details to come through. There's a tension in presenting both requests, but I need God to move in some way for either plan to happen. Those shoes cost over 3,000CHF last time, and it took the Rehab physios writing three appeals to get them approved. It's a smaller miracle than plan A in some ways, but I'll give God credit for whatever miracles happen.