Sunday, July 7, 2013
I’m a hermit. This will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. It’s not that I don’t like other people; it’s that I don’t feel the need to spend large chunks of time with them. Also, I don’t like to have people in my space. You might be mean to my cats, or my books, and having you there makes me uncomfortable. If I invite you over to my apartment it means I really like you and am willing to make myself uncomfortable for you. To be quite honest, the thought of a quiet intimate dinner with anyone other than my family, or my boyfriend, makes me feel quite panicky (and it took almost a whole year to be okay with the boyfriend). This isn't a recent development. I've been this way for as far back as I can remember. I had trouble in school because I was so worried about how to act around so many other people that there was no energy left for learning. Being home schooled was a big blessing. Finally I could stop worrying and start learning! Part of it is anxiety related. I frequently don’t know how to respond in social situations and worry that I will say something inappropriate or just plain wrong.
Part of it is just that I would rather be at home reading a book, writing or playing with my cats. I like to be alone. No offense, but those are the things that make me happy. I don't need other people around to make me happy. Work is fine. I know what is socially expected of me at work and I’m good at what I do. I smile. I count their pills. I’m sweet, and sympathetic, and customers like me.
Occasionally someone will tell me that this sounds like social anxiety and ask why I don’t just take medication. My response to that is this: Firstly, have you read up on those medications? I have. The possible side effects are not worth the possible “gain” that those pills would give me. Secondly, and most importantly, I am not unhappy. Why should I change myself when I am fine with the way that I am? It is other people that have a problem with the fact that I am a hermit, and the people that care about me accept me just the way that I am. Quite frankly, I wouldn't want to be around someone who felt the need to change me and would not accept me as I am. I have learned from reading that it is our differences that make us special. The hero in the story is always the one who refuses to conform to the rest of society.
The moral of this story: Always be yourself, that’s what makes you a hero.