One of the key traits of many introverts that I think is most reflective on my type of social existence is the need to recover with alone/quiet time after being social. I love excuses to visit with people I know, whether it’s a party or a dinner or an out of town gathering. I don’t love meeting new people, but I love visiting friends and family and spending time with people I already know…BUT IT WEARS ME THE HELL OUT. I took a trip to Tennessee for a long weekend of visiting family and old friends and it filled my soul with light and my heart with love and it was exactly what I needed to get me through the month that brings so many memories of sadness and grief.
BUT THEN I NEEDED A GOOD SOLID 48 HOURS OF NOT TALKING TO ANYONE TO RECOVER.
The first 24 hours we were back I stayed on the couch and vegged with the kids without checking social media, listening to podcasts, answering emails, or replying to texts. It was like I needed to be in a cocoon where I could pretend the only people that existed were my kids and I. After that first 24 hours I finally opened up the internet and went to the library and interacted with other humans in very small doses vey emails and social media messages but HOLY CRAP, I WAS STILL EXPERIENCING A SOCIAL HANGOVER.
It’s like when I used to run endurance events (remember that? remember when I hadn’t gained 50lbs and I used to run?) and I would need a day or two of elevating my legs and soaking in epsom salts before I could even run a few miles at a time. My brain needs that kind of recovery time after socializing for long periods of time. It’s such a weird thing to observe now that I know it’s common for a lot of people. Because while I’m visiting with friends and family I’m high on life and love and I have no thoughts about the recovery process.
But…as soon as I’m alone and all of the socializing is done? My brain switches to recovery mode and I avoid people at all costs until I’m recharged…both in person AND online. I was days behind on podcasts and YouTube shows and social media. I took 24 hours before I could even catch up on THAT stuff. It’s like I had to spend 24 hours just pretending there were no other humans on the world besides the ones curled up on the couch with me. And even those guys had to let me hide in my room a little bit and read.
It’s just funny when you read something representative of a certain personality type and you are like OH MY GOD THAT IS SO VERY MUCH ME. I love being around MY people which wouldn’t normally scream “introvert” but then I experience that involuntary agoraphobia that makes me unable to leave me house or talk to people for a solid 48 hours after intense socializing.
So, recovery time is over. I’m back to being part of the human world again. What did I miss?