I first learned about the Enneagram almost five years ago. I did some reading, took a couple of free online tests, and decided I was an 8–the Challenger. I spent all of 2018 and 2019 getting the EnneaThought for the Day emails for 8s.
Looking back at my email archives, I can see that some time around January 2020 I had come to believe I was a 4–the Individualist. Looking back now, I can say with confidence that that’s when the anti-depressants I was taking stopped being effective. I can also say that’s when my self-medicating with alcohol became a thing.
Type 4 is known for being melancholy, and also for being creative. It’s not hard to make the jump from struggling with poorly-managed depression and self-medicating with a depressive substance…probably was making me melancholy! And I’ve always been creative, so that seemed to fit.
In September 2021 I did a soft relaunch of my life. I’d been working with a new team to find a better treatment for my depression and anxiety. Eventually I quit drinking entirely, and I’ve been living alcohol free for close to a year now.
I started reading more about the Enneagram. I bought books for Enneagram 4. I bought a planner designed for Enneagram 4 use. I tried to embrace the 4 virtue of equanimity. And I spent the next year wondering why embracing the advice for 4s, like using positive affirmations, looking for what I have in common with others, etc., wasn’t really doing much for me. I have so much anger, and nothing in the 4 work really dealt with anger specifically.
Type 8 are self-confident, strong, protective, decisive, egocentric, and domineering. They translate their emotions into anger and often look before leaping. They don’t want to be controlled, slowed down, interrupted, or cut off. They want to be self-reliant and important in their world. They want to stay in control.
Y’all. I’m such an 8.
So here I am, redoing all the work I’d been trying to do, but with the proper type. I’m not sure what my wing is, but I’m confident this time that I’ll find it and it’ll fit. And in the meantime, I’m going to try to live with more restraint and learn to yield to others more. (I’m surrounded by 9s so they can be easy to steamroll until they finally get fed up with me and blow up. Yeah, that’s healthy for all of us.)
If you’re into the Enneagram, have you had trouble typing yourself, or even mistyped yourself? Any other 8s out there?