October 26th I woke with a major hangover. Like bad. I hadn’t felt this hungover since the last time I drank; which was on my stepdaughter’s birthday in June.
I haven’t had a drink in over 145 days. During my last alcohol-induced hangover, I puked once the husband and I got home. I had a tooth filling scheduled for the next day, and while sitting in the dentist’s chair—mouth gaping open, hoping to Beelzebub I didn’t puke all over the dentist—I realized I never wanted to feel that again.
Although this particular hangover wasn’t due to alcohol poisoning, or the result of using any substance. I deduced it was a social hangover.
See, I was asked to present on a topic, that for those who know me—in and out of the interpreting community—know I am obsessed with; Myers Briggs and personality type. I’ll admit, I’m more interested in my own personality type, and that’s really for the sole purpose of understanding me and my own fucked-up-ed-ness.
Yet, I was charged with presenting for two hours on other personality types, how we interact with each other, the dominant and auxiliary functions within each type, and how knowing this information can be applied to interpreting.
I had notes, charts, books, and celebrity examples for each personality type. I had a decent understanding of how most types function, interact and connect with each other. I had visions of how the evening would play out; it ended with a dance party, celebrating the unique gifts each type had to offer. In my head, everything was going to be perfect.
I arrived at Dexter’s Inn an hour and a half before the workshop was scheduled to start. I scanned the cute B&B, becoming acquainted with my surroundings. I loved the fact it was called “Dexter’s Inn”—I adore Michael C. Hall’s character, Dexter, and my feist-mix is named after him.
I saw the main room where white, wooden folding chairs were arranged in the shape of a U, for the purpose of everyone being able to see each other.
The owner of the Inn approached the large flat screen on the wall at one end of the room, looked at me and said, “Do you need me to hook your computer up to the TV?”
“Oh, no. I don’t have a PowerPoint.” I said.
He looked a bit confused. His face said, no PowerPoint, eh? Just gonna wing it? You’re crazy. His voice said, “Oh, ok. Will anyone be needing it this weekend?”
“I’m not sure. I guess you’ll find out before tomorrow’s workshop?” I said.
He walked away nervously, and I meandered around the Inn; looking for a more hospitable room. The U shape was indeed necessary, since the workshop was to be in ASL, but the room felt rigid and unwelcoming.
I found a room with big, soft, leather couches and loveseats. Yes, this. But it was too small. I knew roughly 16 people, that’s 32 eyes, would be attending and that would require more space.
One of the retreat’s facilitators, fellow INFJ and dear friend Patty, suggested we continue to look for a cozier space. The front room was just as cozy as the room with leather seating, and bigger.
“Yes. This one. This room pleases me.” I set up my books, laptop and handouts on the coffee table in front of a dormant fireplace and planted myself on the floor. Yes. I would “present” from the floor. The idea of sitting comfortably on the floor and facilitating a group discussion with my friends felt better than standing over a seated crowd, lecturing. How could I possibly feel comfortable lecturing to anyone?
I was ready. Let’s do this.
Familiar, friendly faces trickled into the room, one by one; all of them were hearing. Whoa, where are the Deaf participants? If I have to facilitate this in English it’ll be one short discussion. I have to fill two hours, sayeth the RID police.
And at 7:07pm—by way of pure magic—a Deaf angel appeared. Switch gears. First language mode ON.
In my head, everything made perfect sense, and I saw how it would all play out. But…the delivery was entirely a different story.
True to form, my INFJ awkward came out and as soon as I started giving a brief history of Carl Jung and how personality type and the Myers Briggs was born, I felt the unwelcome, red blotches of fiery hell all over my face, neck and chest. I frantically searched my notes for some guidance and cursed myself while doing it.
They’re staring… You know this shit, Rebekah. You breath this topic. Why can’t you just trust yourself?
Because. You also breath self-doubt. It’s the dark and unwelcome side of your INFJ-ness.
Deep breaths, deep breaths.
Pose a question.
“I have a handout I wrote describing the differences between E/I, S/N, T/F and J/P. Would you like to see it now or later?” I asked.
Not that question, fool.
Needless to say, this inner battle played out for almost two hours. Almost. Once a natural discussion started to flow, my breathing returned to normal and I remembered: Whether in ASL or English, Rebekah, your style of communication lies within the written word. Always has. Maybe it’d be best to petition RID for an Independent Study CMP/PINRA thingy and your written understanding of personality type would be presented better; cuz you know this shit. And, who knows? Maybe it’ll be printed in RID VIEWs.
Friday came and went, and I didn’t die even though I felt like I might. The world didn’t crumble; and I’m told for a good portion of the weekend, personality type was being discussed in my absence.
I wanted to be present for the rest of the weekend, but as I said in the beginning—I was hungover; severely hungover. I actually felt like I had drank a 6 pack the night before.
I arrived home after my workshop at 11:30pm, way past my bedtime. And my still-awake-ISTP-husband was awaiting a narrative about how my night had gone. No doubt, his logical brain was eager to extract any nugget I shared, to dissect in his own mind.
This put me into bed around 1:00am. With my brain still wound tight around all the things I could have said or done differently, and me beating myself up over whether anyone got anything out of those two hours, I finally fell into a poor night’s sleep.
Saturday and Sunday was spent in bed. Literally. I watched mindless TV, a couple of good movies and even ate junk food in bed, which I normally don’t do. It took me three days to recharge from those two anxiety-filled hours.
This is not uncommon among many Introverts. Throw in the NF functions/processes, and we may not surface for days. It’s just how we’re wired. We live in an Extrovert’s world and have no choice but to adjust accordingly; so it takes us Introverts a bit longer to reacclimate.
It took me four days to feel like myself again. I hadn’t written anything in over a week because I was busy prepping for (and was nervous about) the workshop. Not to mention, editing my current WIP had also held me hostage. Not writing anything felt like losing my right arm.
All in all, I’m glad I finally facilitated my first workshop, gave back to my community in some way, and I’m glad I was pushed outside of my comfort zone.
Perhaps I will write up something and send it to RID. Perhaps.