I had scheduled to write this post last week, assuming the words would flow as easily as the first one, but I just couldn’t get myself to write it. I had worn myself out last week and let most of my morning and nighttime rituals fall to the wayside, which led me to fall into my depressive cycle.
After spending most of the week at a quiet, beautiful cabin on a lake in Northern Minnesota, I am feeling reset and back to myself. On the ride up here, I listened to a podcast that Chalsea Handler had done with her psychiatrist on the nine Enneagram types. I’ve done quizzes before to figure out my personality type, my relationship style, etc., but all of those had you answer questions to determine which category you fit in. To find your Enneagram type, her psychiatrist had you listen to the description of each and see which one you were drawn to.
There is a difference between being actualized and unactualized in your type, basically meaning you understand your type and act accordingly or you have no clue this is why you act the way you do. I feel like I float back and forth between being actualized and unactualized.
As I was listening, I related to the first three types but felt a strong draw to type 4: the individualist and type 7: the enthusiast. The individualist is the sensitive, withdrawn type that is expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed and temperamental. Now that’s not easy to type or say about myself, but as we dig deeper into this type, I think it makes complete sense. Type 4’s have a constant feeling that other people aren’t like them and they are unique. This is not in a braggy way, but more so in a lonely way as they always feel like something is missing. They also feel like other people are better than them which turns into self absorption to find what is wrong with them.
An unactualized type 4 has a tendency to feel empty and be depressed. They are also prone to alcoholism as they try to drink this pain and loneliness away. An actualized type 4 realizes they are longing for the feeling of oneness they experienced in their mother’s womb and turn that longing into some sort of art or expressive work.
Type 7: the enthusiast is the busy, fun-loving type. They are spontaneous, versatile, distractible and scattered. They are always planning the next fun thing and always want the freedom to do what they want. An unactualized type 7 comes up with 20 new ideas and doesn’t follow through with any of them, whereas the actualized type 7 comes up with 20 new ideas but knows they can only pick two to follow through with.
This gets a little deep but I am sharing in hopes that it helps at least one person. One of the main topics I discuss regularly with my counselor is not feeling good enough. I think this is where my perfectionist personality comes into play. I tend to feel like I need to be perfect to overcome this feeling of not being good enough.
While I had never looked into the Enneagram much before, I feel like my journey this past year, especially my yoga teacher training, has made me more in tune with who I am. Listening to this podcast and some of the reasoning behind each type has lifted a bit of a weight off my shoulders. I’m sure I will experience some of the unactualized feelings from time to time but I’m hoping I can reason with myself a bit more and not let myself dip down to such low places.
I encourage you all to listen to this podcast and/or look into the nine Enneagram types and see which type you are drawn to. I’m looking forward to journaling about this and how knowing this information impacts each day. I haven’t decided if there will be a part three to this series yet. I feel like I have more to share but am going to let this sink in and try to process it a bit more before I decide.
Sending peace and love to all.