Before my father passed away, I planned to attend the Sunriver Writers’ Summit. Unfortunately, the summit followed only a month after his death, and I felt too raw to attend.
Social gatherings overwhelm and exhaust me and can trigger mood cycling, first hypomania as I get overstimulated and later a need to recover which looks like depression.
Now’s not the time. Now’s the time to spend with family. Visiting my mother and taking her out to lunch, which she enjoys. Seeing my sister, for we both deeply miss our father. So, instead of attending the writers’ summit, I visited Oregon with my husband and spent time with my sister and extended family.
We left our almost 18-year old son home alone, forcing him to forage a well-stocked refrigerator and freezer by himself. He managed to stay alive. Step in the right direction. (Got to encourage independent living skills before he goes out on his own.)
Recuperating from BlogHer16. Wondering if I want to go to NAMI California conference later this month. Prefer intimate get togethers where fellow writers support each other by sharing their knowledge. Do not get much from panel discussions. Plus, staying in hotels is expensive. Besides, I do not really want to monetize my blog. I identify as a writer and as a mental health advocate, not as a web-based entrepreneur.
As BlogHer16 approaches, my anxiety increases. I know the conference will overstimulate me. To not be overwhelmed, I must revisit a topic I touched on briefly when I starred blogging in September 2016 – my need to titrate stimulation, carefully balancing just the right amount of social interaction with breaks for solitude and relaxation.
Find I must titrate exposure to stimulation. Need enough to prevent depression, but not so much as to trigger hypomania. Enough, but not too much sun. Have to be very careful with social stimulation. Easily get on edge when spend too much time with too many people. And, not able to limit myself, to set boundaries, to keep myself on an even keel. Fear losing myself, jumping in too deep too soon, taking on more than I can handle. All a very careful balancing act.
What’s so bad about being a loner? Why is “social isolation” always referred to negatively? Can’t individuals have different needs? Some of us cannot tolerate social stimulation. Some of us do better alone, with a small family, with a close partner. Some of us do not do well in groups.