Time to Recuperate

I’ve been in my own place since Friday, which I’ve written about in a post that’s currently sitting in my drafts folder as I just haven’t had the energy to complete it.

I’m at the point where I’m too exhausted to care about anything. The things that have been causing me anxiety and so much anger lately have now dissolved into apathy. Things have been overwhelming and busy over the past week and I think my mind has now finally had enough. I had so many plans and things I wanted to do during my first week here, but hadn’t counted on this happening instead.

The only self-care I’m able to do at the moment is allowing myself to sleep as much as my body and mind needs. Today has felt like a write-off but I couldn’t care less. I feel like I have to go into hibernation for a while, and fortunately I’m on my own now, so can do just that and not have to worry about anyone or anything.

On Friendship and Solitude

Growing up, making friends was never easy for me. I enjoyed my solitude and doing my own thing in my own way. I found out recently that I’ve always been that way. Even as a baby and toddler I didn’t interact with other children or people and always seemed to be in my own little world.

I made my first friend when I was 7 or 8 years old. The memory I have of that is sitting alone on a low wall during break time, eating my lunch and watching the other kids play. Then Christina came. I didn’t know her, and think it was the first time I saw her. She gave me a sweet, or something like that, and the rest is history. I can’t remember much about our friendship, only that it was short. My family moved and I started at a new school the following year.

It’s still not easy for me to make new friends. I meet someone and we get along. Or so it seems. I automatically think then that we’re friends, only to find out a little while later that that wasn’t the case. I’ve always had the habit of rushing into a friendship (or romantic relationship for that matter) and go all in, only to discover that they had only needed me for something. It’s my own fault though. I would try to be the perfect friend. Always paying for things (even though I couldn’t afford it), giving them compliments and plenty of “feel good” words, and going out of my way for them. But I would get drained, never quite seeming to get anything I needed. Once I slowed down and they discovered they weren’t going to get quite as much as they used to with me, they would disappear.

These days I’m better at setting and maintaining boundaries. Earlier this year, I walked away from a few friends that were only causing me anxiety, anger, and heartache. Since then I’m more careful about who I let into my life, and how much I give to others.

I’ve always tended to make friends with those much older than me. As a child and adolescent I would spend most of my time with my grandmother during the school holidays. Watching something on TV, listening to the radio, baking, watching her knit, etc, while the children were playing outside. Their games didn’t interest me much.

Here’s the thing. I’m more than happy in my own company, doing those things I enjoy. It’s very rare that I actually get bored. I’m a life-long student and enjoy learning about psychology, animals (especially dogs), science and technology. With the internet, TV and library, there’s a never ending amount of study material available. Then there’s of course things like writing, reading, movies, and series. If I don’t get enough time to do all these things I burn out very quickly. So for me balance means 80% of time spent on my own, and only 20% with others.

Solitude is a beautiful thing, so I don’t understand how some people can constantly want to be around others and get bored when they’re alone. But, they probably feel the same way about me. How can I actually enjoy being alone? And that’s the beauty of being human. No two people are perfectly alike. Nor should we be.

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.