A Need For Solitude

The older I get, the more I seem to want my own space away from others. Socializing exhausts me. I spent time with two of my closest friends this weekend, staying over on Saturday evening. It was lovely, but I didn’t want to stay another night. They know me well, so I don’t have to wear a mask around them and I feel comfortable enough to tell them when I’ve had enough. They know it’s not personal. That I love them to bits, and enjoy spending time with them.

It’s not just being sociable that exhausts me. It also depends on the activities we engage in. For example, if we go on a hike or a walk on the beach, I can spend more time with people. But when it involves sensory rich environments such as carnivals/festivals (this is where we went on Saturday evening), concerts, movies, etc, I become overwhelmed and over-stimulated, and want to get back to my comfort zone (my room, my bed, my stuff) much sooner.

Every so often (very often actually) I long to just disappear for a while. Go somewhere quiet, surrounded by nature, with not a soul or building in sight for miles. Switch my phone off and disconnect from everything and everyone. But my financial situation won’t let me do that. I wouldn’t mind going camping, which is more affordable, but it’s too dangerous to go alone. So I feel stuck in an overwhelming world. My little corner of the world.

So when my friends asked me whether I would house-sit for them for about a week at the beginning of August, the decision was an easy one. Granted, I’m not someone who enjoys sleeping in unfamiliar environments and beds (even when on holiday), and I always have to prepare myself for it mentally. But I’m usually okay as long as I have my “comfort items”. My family and friends always tease me about the fact that even if I’m going or coming for one night I pack as if for a week-long trip. And it’s not clothes and other essentials that are taking up all the space. But I can’t help it, it makes me extremely anxious any other way.

While I’m looking forward to getting away from this place for a few days (and from work), I’m also a little scared as I’ll be staying alone. They have two cats (I’m not really a cat person) and two little dogs, so that’s a comfort at least. The neighborhood they live in is quiet, so I’m looking forward to the peace, and plan to enjoy my time there as much as possible. Maybe I can see it as practice for one day when I eventually have my own place.

I’m supposed to be seeing my friend/business partner on Friday, but I just don’t want to, so I’ve decided to postpone it until next week. I’m going to group tomorrow anyway, so really don’t want to have to socialize more than that this week.

 

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8 thoughts on “A Need For Solitude

  1. Have you read “Quiet” by Susan Cain? The “energy suck” of being around too many people too much of the time is one of the signs of introversion. I can’t diagnose you, but you might want to think about it if you haven’t. Cain, herself a professionally accomplished introvert, talks about how she copes in a world that expects extroversion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dr Stein. I read that book a few years ago, and some others on introversion. I’m definitely one, and both my previous and current therapists have said as much. It’s a great book. 🙂

      Like

  2. I’m very similar to you in regards to socialising.
    Solitude actually has so many benefits as it allow your mind and body to reboot. I literally use a day of solitude as a reward for attending a function I really didn’t want to go to and I honestly find that this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Solitude is glorious. Of course, I take it too far most times, and seem to be needing more and more of it to the point of isolation. I need to learn to balance it, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be around people. Hopefully it’s just a phase.

      Liked by 1 person

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