Recovering from a major depression, I was talking to my therapist and asked him how to prevent a relapse. His answer was to engage more with other people. He said that people are social animals who need to be together for good mental health.
I cringed at his suggestion. I am an introvert by nature (my old blog which you can still find online is called ivyintrovert.wordpress.com.) I like being alone, and feel drained when I am around other people for too long. I heard someone say that for each hour she was with other people, she needed two hours alone. That is me.
Today I was in a class with not too many people, but enough to leave me exhausted, and I couldn’t wait to get home, put on my sweats and slippers, eat what I wanted, and finally feel safe.
I am more comfortable speaking to a large group of people, than having lunch with a friend. One on one makes me feel vulnerable, exposed, and the possibility of revealing too much of myself. Speaking to a large group avoids intimacy, and I am in control.
Maybe the fear of losing control is what causes me to isolate myself and have few friends or relationships. Whatever the reason, I will always be an introvert, and have to ignore the therapist’s advice.