I’ve seen a number of people commenting online about how hard it is to stay home all the time in order to create the social distancing recommended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. I’ve never understood why people who can work from anywhere go to a noisy, busy coffee shop so they can concentrate on their work. People like that think it’s completely abnormal to be alone and are actually freaked out by the thought of being by themselves.
What is seen as an inconvenience to social people is an everyday reality to introverts and people with mental and emotional problems. I belong to both categories. Sometimes there are days I don’t talk to a single person. I’ve been this way my whole life, so it really isn’t that big a deal to me. I’m used to being alone. Even when I’m around people I tend to not really connect or participate. I do wish I had a few more people in my life, but truly I would not want a huge, boisterous group of family and friends, especially not considering what most people have to put up with in order to stay in or maintain the balance of the group.
Cultures revolve around socializing, so people feel cut off when they’re not physically with other people, but I think a lot of people give up themselves or compromise their own integrity with themselves so that they fit into the group or are accepted by the family or community. Religion, culture, family, society all put rules and restrictions in place and if you don’t follow those rules, you run the risk of being excluded or ostracized. In many times in history, if you left the community, you could very well die on your own, so people have this deep seated primal fear that if they are alone, they are at serious survival risk. I still have that to a certain extent; I think everyone does, but I spent so much time trying to find myself and extricate myself from depression, that I have zero desire to join a community that’s going to take me down that road again. I’d rather be alone.
I want people in my life who want me to be my true self, not to conform. I have only one person I talk to on a regular basis, and she is the very best friend anyone could ever have. We know each other inside out, have been through the good, the bad and the very ugly together. Nothing is private or off limits. We call each other on ALL our stuff and never go into reaction to each other or if we do, we say, “I’m in reaction to you. Please help me through this.” I say we, but I think it’s probably at least 60/40 with my stuff and I’m being generous. But you know what, she loves me anyway. We can be ourselves with zero judgement from the other. So when I say I want more people in my life, I mean more people like her. There’s nothing wrong with having friends you socialize with, acquaintances or colleagues you go to dinner with, but take this time of semi-quarantine to reassess the people in your life. If you don’t feel good when you’re with them, it may be time to let them go. Learn to sit with yourself, by yourself with no phone, no internet, no tv and get comfortable being with the amazing human being inside you.