introverted =/= depression

Well, I’ve been weirdly busy lately, but in an odd schedule. Fits and starts, really. I signed up with the school’s PTSA, and am volunteering on a committee for an upcoming activity. I went to the local University that I hope to attend and spoke with an adviser about my education plans, then I filled out my FAFSA and the college application. I helped John fix our new car. I’ve been working on my writing more, having set an every-other day reminder. In between, I do the usual household chores, cooking, and parenting. Oh, and it’s been 9 days since my last cigarette.
Oddly, I haven’t felt like talking to anyone really. I can’t say I’m depressed, because I have energy and I’m doing stuff. I just don’t feel like talking to anyone. Yesterday I realized that it’s been a month or so since I initiated contact with any friends or family, so even thought I didn’t actually have anything to talk about, I tried calling a couple friends and each of my siblings. It ended up that only one friend was available to talk, though, so I ended up not having to struggle to come up with something to converse about.
Sometimes I feel like there’s a real tendency in our society to equate introversion with depression and loneliness. As the years go by and I become more comfortable with who I am, I’ve realized and accepted that I am an introvert, and that’s okay. I like parties/ social gatherings . . . but in small, controlled doses. Few people. Finite amounts of time. I like to talk with friends, but in spaced-out distances. Whenever I start feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I respond by pulling away from most human interaction. I like people, I just don’t like to deal with my stress and other people at the same time. When my normal schedule is shaken up by either John or Kidling’s schedule changing, I respond by limiting my outside social interactions in order to limit my stress levels.
I’ve also come to realize that this behavior has been erroneously tagged as depression in my social and familial circles, and that a large part of the stress and concern I feel over this behavior is my tendency to equate it with depression and mental illness. It’s only in the past year or so that I’ve come to not just realize, but fully accept that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being introverted, even if our society does tend to idolize popular, extroverted people as the desired norm.

One thought on “introverted =/= depression

  1. Great post, Laura.My 2 cents worth:I believe a great deal of society don't know the difference between isolation and introversion. Consequently, they equate it as depression and isolation. Many people need to be educated on this.Interestingly enough, we have a great deal in common in this regard. I cope very similarly to you. I love people… in small doses… in a small span of time. Lasts night for example… A friend had invited some people over for dinner/movie/games. There's typically 12 or less that attend. Last night, there were 10 people. It as fun. Although, at one point I was a tad bit possessive of some game pieces and was aggressive with one guy. I think everyone got the point. Nobody made a big deal of it. We just moved on. The guy kept his hands to himself, as did everyone else. It was a lovely evening. We ended up leaving before midnight.

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