First things first — I am an introvert. I have always needed me time away from people to be happy, and my socialization needs are very low. Besides making the rounds of the Internet (which is a great way for introverts to socialize without hemorrhaging spoons!), I only need to be around people two or three times a month to top up my socialization needs to a happy place. This number is easily increased if it’s bringing people into my home, but that is a sporadic thing at best (and yet, well organized. Long story, ha ha).
However, one of the bigger issues with bipolar, and depression at large, is the problem of social isolation. With Bipolar II, it is well known that the high frequency of depression has a significant negative impact on psychosocial functioning. And indeed, I’ve written recently about how isolated (Bipolar Island!) it makes me personally feel. So yes, while some of it is having driven off friends and enemies and having heard the lamentations of the women, some of that isolation is even more self-inflicted.
For example, last night was my Stitch ‘n Bitch group meeting. We meet every other week, and it is something I vastly enjoy. And yet, yesterday, my brain was trying to ramp up the depressive side of my mixed episode and convince me to stay in. I’ve missed exactly once, and that was because I was out of country — this seriously is something I love to go to for the fun of crafting, and for the enjoyment of good people to chatter with. Trying to convince myself to stay in is pure sabotage on the part of my brain, especially with the kidlette and husband being ill (seriously, we all still have colds, and have since last year — dafuq) and muppet flaily, staying in would have probably been significantly more detrimental.
So yes, even though my brain was spiking anxiety so severely that I thought I was going to wreck the car the entire few minute drive across town, that my skin about climbed off of my bones at someone trying to start crap over a parking spot, I made it out. And I feel the need to pat myself on the back for that, ’cause even applying all the logic and knowing to the situation, it didn’t stop the bipolar from trying to shut me down, hide me behind close doors, and otherwise shoot me in both feet. And you guys should always pat yourselves on the back too when you manage to pwn the bipolar or depression or whatever, however momentarily. Blah, that makes me sound a bit sunshine-spewing, doesn’t it? My apologies if it’s a touch too sunny a sentiment; it’s just what I need to do for myself to keep my head above water.