There are times when I feel like being social. I feel like getting out, chatting and catching up with old mates, maybe meeting new people. Those are rare occasions, but the desire does come up here and there and I go with it. However, I love my alone time. Alone time can be beneficial, allowing time to recharge and catch up on necessary chores or frivolous activities.
There’s more than a need and want. I must obey the call to curl up under a blanket and hide out for a few days. My new companions are the internet and a good old paperback novel. I feel okay with this; it’s my own form of enjoyment. Sure, my closest family members will think of me as a loser or needing to be outside more often. I don’t mind. This extreme instance of introversion is a part of me, and I accept it.
I will admit that there are habits that are unhealthy. There have been dangers reported on spending too much time alone. In this case, I can understand the concerns of my family and friends. Still, I find the need to be totally alone from time to time. I still try to get out and be social, like normal social beings.
I have suffered from bouts of agoraphobia and avoidance; moments when I’ll neglect all things to be alone and alleviate the immense stress developed in my daily life. I have gone months without talking to people, which seems to help but is–according to others–unhealthy. I tend to bounce back eventually, but still, an unhealthy habit.
How can I determine what’s a healthy amount of alone time and what’s excessive? Are these same standards placed on the social butterflies who flourish in a vast amount of interactions and social situations? Once again, the outgoing, confident individuals receive praise, award, and acceptance. My plight with introversion, social anxiety, and such usually gets ignored, misunderstood or ridiculed.
Alone time is not a one size fits all. We all have our own needs for breaks and personal space specific to our situations and circumstances in life. Some get a surge of energy from social encounters while others get theirs when alone. Some may go many months with no need to recharge, while others may take longer to muster the energy to engage others.
While it feels healthy to me to get in as much alone time as possible–in most cases indulging excessively in moments of isolation–I recognize when I have been tucked away for far too long. I begin by making plans to get outside and forcing myself into social interactions.
The best way to handle these things, in my opinion, is to simply listen to yourself. If you feel that your situation is reaching the danger zone, then find help. OR find a way to make it work for you. Do not permanantly close the doors; find a way to be social when being alone is getting to be too much. One size does not fit all, and some of us tend to dwell in our own space for extended periods of time. If you can find a way to make a living while doing so, is it such a bad thing?