A friend said that to me. “Maybe you just need to redefine what is normal to you, Erin. Your life has changed – why wouldn’t what you consider to be normal change too?”
It’s something I have been mulling over since we had the conversation. It struck me as pretty insightful at a time when perhaps my ability to view myself coherently has become a little clouded.
There are a few behaviours that I have decided fit into my new understanding of normal. This is, of course, subject to change.
~ It is normal for me to be most content at home with my kitty.
~ It is normal for me to find social situations exhausting, and to limit my exposure to such situations.
~ It is normal for me to want to spend more time with friends and still feel torn about wanting to expend the necessary emotional energy to do so.
I am writing this post so that my friends can hopefully understand that I still love them (I do! Promise!) but it is hard for me, at least at this point in my life, to feel comfortable in large groups of people. That is why I have turned down invitations – I just couldn’t face doing the social butterfly routine. I’m much more likely to agree to plans if it is only one or two people, and there is a set time limit on how long we are hanging out. If it’s open-ended and I feel like I may get trapped and be unable to politely leave when I need to, I am much more likely to decline the invitation. That said, I am trying to reach out more right now. It’s baby steps because I don’t want to let friendships lapse due to neglect but I am struggling always against my desire to stay home.