I am not belittling social anxiety issues in anyway, they are horrid. But I am a wee bit sick of people (usually the sort welded to a CBT textbook and wondering why you refuse to fit into a neat little category) assuming that when I avoid social situations it’s ‘anxiety’ or some other issue about feeling I can’t cope with it. The biggest issue is usually, I don’t WANT to be sociable and I am worried that I won’t ‘cope’ faking being sociable when I have no desire or energy to.
I am a natural introvert, I genuinely like, even love adore and crave being alone sometimes. The dominant ethos of society is that of an extrovert. I feel some of my natural and benign tendencies become unfairly pathologised because of my depression. Sometimes I know that I will become more depressed if I do not get this alone time. The pressure to ‘be sociable’ when I know I don’t want to be in horrid and often leads to more angst and mood nose dives than being left to ‘brood’.
Perhaps it’s selfish, but then so is the outside world’s insistence that if I come out to play and listen to all their tedious bollocks I will be magically happier.
As one of the patron saints of gloom, Sartre said ‘Hell is other people’. There are some days when I am driven mad by the sound of people breathing too loudly, to the point of having to go and lie down lest I fall into some sort of horrid rage.