For years, I’ve said of myself, approaching self-parody, “I suffer from HMHD, ‘high maintenance, high drama’!” Truth be told, those around me, especially those who are nearest and dearest, oft suffer more than I from the excesses (is there any other mark or measure, quantity or intensity?) of my long-experienced, self-diagnosed condition of needy passion (or is it passionate neediness?). In a word, I know how “to act out” or “to go over the top” with my thoughts and feelings, my wants and needs in unhealthy and unhelpful ways that benefit and bless no one – not others, not myself.
Now, I would guess that most of the people I know would not suspect this about me. For I know, as my grandmother frequently directed, demanded, how “to present well”, how to appear, indeed, to be civil and convivial. Still, this part of me that flies in the face of expressing myself in ways that strengthen and sustain my healthy and helpful relationships with others (and with myself!) exists.
Knowing this, I’ve learned to be alert, particularly when my greatest needs (i.e., acknowledgment and acceptance) are not met, to the powerful passions of hurt and anger, resentment and bitterness and, in that awareness, to contain and control them (most of the time!) so to wait for a reasonable moment (most of the time!) and a responsible means (most of the time!) to express them, so not to harm others and myself (most of the time!).
More to come…