Introvert or insular?

I’ve been absent lately. Dipping in and out of social media, and struggling to be really present or social. I have little periods of time like this, and they’re for various reasons. This time, it was a combination of feeling a little blue (and so not really having confidence about what to say, or who to say it to) and also being more mindful of being present in my actual life, here at home. I’ve just been a bit, meh, I think is the best way to put it.

I’ve spoken to some much loved family and friends, and video called my mum and what not, so I haven’t been completely isolating from the world. But I’ve also realised that I’ve not really voluntarily left the house that much either, whether it be alone or with the kids, that I still have no real social movements or friendships close to me and that my world is really quite insular. And, more to the point, that I’m quite content with it. This is my normal now, it seems. 

I’m not sure whether this is a good or bad thing, or how I should really feel about it. But I’ve tried to remember the last times I regularly had plans to do things, or see people, and despite a good eight months of baby/toddler groups with N after we first made the move over this way, I’m struggling to think of any.

I used to be a loner because of (and to help facilitate) my drinking, and because I moved away from an area that I had lots of friends and connections (mainly drinking buddies, but also work friends, various housemates etc). But that was seven years ago and I haven’t really re-built anything solid since then.

People think I’m pleasant enough, I think, and I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly divisive or inflammatory character. But equally, I’m not top (or even middle) of the list when it comes to making plans, or arranging to spend time with. I’m easily forgotten about, and I’m used to that – that’s not a new thing. I know I won’t be alone on feeling like I’m on the outskirts of friendship groups, or feeling I am missing out. 

People might describe me as an extrovert, or confident, but I’m not sure those descriptions really fit. It’s all an effort, and I’m usually anxious and sick at the prospect of going somewhere new on my own. I just grit my teeth and persevere with it. The children help cushion that, and I can focus entirely on them when I feel it’s all getting a bit much, but we aren’t really going to any toddler/baby groups either, as they’re all quite hard to get to. N isn’t at pre-school often enough for me to get to know the regular mums or anything. C doesn’t have a single baby buddy. So this state of affairs isn’t just about me, like everything in my world, it’s about them. 

I don’t know where I’m really going with this, just that I’m not sure if I should embrace my lack of upset over an insular, fairly isolating state of being, or concentrate on changing it. And really, how good and healthy it is for my kids? Maybe I’ll see how things go once I’ve finally passed my driving test at some point this year. Maybe my world will literally open up with new possibilities then. Until then I’ll let go, breathe out and take faith in it will all work out for the best, one way or another.

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10 thoughts on “Introvert or insular?”

  1. I totally get this. My social life very much revolved around school. I was a Parent Governor and in the PTA. Many acquaintances…no real friends. I have one proper friend who works full time so we only get together about once a month for a catchup or a twice yearly theatre trip. I didn’t get invited to girls nights because (I think) I don’t drink. I get lonely. I don’t have workmates because I was a SAHM and my sisters all live close together so do see each other regularly. Now my daughter is an adult we do go out together, which is lovely. You need to decide how much it bothers you.

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    1. I relate so hard to this. Sometimes I get very lonely, and then other times I’m almost afraid of how unbothered I am that I have no one, you know? I’ll find my groove eventually I’m sure. I overthink things sometimes to the point we’re I’m not sure I’ll ever be truly happy xxx

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  2. I hear you on this. I don’t think that you are “forgotten” per se, but if you aren’t connected with many people, then of course the chances of being included in plans is slim. It’s one of those “you get what you put into” deals. And I say this with love, because I know the deal. I don’t have many friends. If you take away the friends I have that were my wife’s friends before we got married, then I have less than a handful (in real life, that is). I haven’t gone for a coffee with someone in probably a year. My phone calls are only to my wife and my parents, for the most part.

    Now, I don’t get too down on this because I know one single fact – I don’t keep up with friends. I don’t make the calls to get together, or contact them or visit them. And in the past when they tried to make plans, I bailed or offered up excuses. So really, it comes down to what time I invest in them. Which is nil. So I get the same back. And I am okay with that. I spend more time fostering friendships with recovery peeps online and that kind of stuff, and that works for me because I feel connected, but it’s from afar. It’s a drive-by of sorts. It doesn’t get too sustained where I am uncomfortable. And maybe that’s the issue – I find myself uncomfortable being engaged in a regular way.

    Anyway, I made this about me, but I wanted to show that you’re not alone in how you feel. Work gives me that sort of adult connection, but then again, it’s work. I don’t invest a lot of emotional energy there. So as to your question – I counter with another question – are you really not upset about your insular world, or are you aching for connection? I think, from where I sit, you would like connection. And that’s okay to admit. We all need it. Even this isolating SOB…lol.

    The ball is in your court 🙂
    Love and hugs
    Paul

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    1. You haven’t made this about you at all – I appreciate your perspective, always. And you are right, in a lot of ways. I can be terrible at up keeping even basic contact – sometimes through isolating, or just habit. And the ego and victim on me wants to wallow on the fact that people aren’t tripping over themselves to keep trying with me. I’m getting better, I’ve written a list of contacts to make and I’m trying to respond. So many new ways of being, it’s tricky x

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  3. I too, wonder about my solitary tendencies. When I drank I would usually try to find people of like mind (drunks) to hang out and imbibe with, but after quitting I didn’t really friend with them any more. I thought I was social and outgoing. It was all alcohol fuelled. Now I struggle to go out. It’s been tough. The first year or so I mostly just drove my kids (they are teenagers) around and watched Netflix.
    I worry that I isolate a lot.
    Even now. Still seeking connection to real people .
    But.. I do know that the connection via drinking is fake. I am not me when I am drunk . So I can’t really connect authentically with anyone else.
    Working on it…
    thank you for your honesty and courage
    Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Bonnie, this is like reading my life (minus the driving and teens). You are so right about ‘real’ friendships and feelings – drink confused that so much fit me, and still does a little now even though I’m sober! I sometimes feel like I’m learning how to interact socially again – it’s a whole new thing without the comfort of a buzz to hide behind! Thank you for reading x

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  4. Some of it is the season of your life. Taking care of the tots is consuming and sucks up probably a huge deal of your energy. At the end of the day you want to hide in the closest and eat candy without having to share LOL That said, maybe set a small goal for yourself of making it a point to lunch once a month with a friend, kids with you or not. Start small. It does get better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think sometimes I forget how allconsuming young kids are, and how their presences impact everything. So sometimes I put a bit of pressure on myself to BE everything, like supermom. Which no one really is, of course. I’m trying to make sure I make contact with people once a week, so I’m at least making an effort and keeping friendships going, until having spare time gets easier xxx

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