My mom posted a meme today about introverts uniting. The joke was something about them being uncomfortable and wanting to go home. I commented, "I've never been one but, since being ill, I find it harder to concentrate in groups and I now treasure the quiet in my house. Before 2010, I used to try to flee it. Now, I don't want to leave it. It's just a lot of work and worry when I'm out and about because of the ostomy bag and short bowel syndrome. Life's so much easier just staying home alone. (When people are over, I worry about them feeling neglected when I have to leave the room so often). However, I still recharge by being with people so I'm still an extrovert. I get depressed if I have too much time alone. Kind of an odd place to be."
I wonder if this is common with those dealing with such a severe form of a chronic illness. What do you think? What are your experiences?
I will admit that preparing for any trip away from home fills me with dread. There is so much to prepare. I always have to have a change of supplies and clothing. And, it's not fun changing my ostomy bag in a public restroom. I'm thankful that it doesn't take the hours it used to last year when I had the stoma AND a neighboring fistula opening that caused constant failures of both coverings. Maybe because what I deal with is so icky, the embarrassment makes it harder than another illness might be? I don't know. I just know that I still LOVE being with others and I treasure my time with them. A friend from church contacted me last week about going out to lunch with her and another of our friends. I looked forward to that for days. I zealously guard my Tuesday Morning craft time with the craft crew. These friends are not a stressor at all. They are my comfort and support crew. Most have some chronic illness--one even has a stoma--so they "get" me and there's no embarrassment. They have walked this whole journey with me. I only feel badly when I'm not able to focus for long times on their conversation. I think all the anesthesia has affected my ability to concentrate. They don't say a word, however, they love me as does my family and my church. I'm grateful for God surrounding me with such a wonderful group of friends and family so that I can get the extrovert time I need to recharge without all the stress.
I know that introverts enjoy and need time with close friends and family, don't get me wrong. I just know that they recharge by being alone and they NEED that time as much as I NEED time with close friends and family to recharge. Yet, I do find myself being drained when I don't get enough time alone. So maybe I am changing. I've always thought people were always one or the other. However, it's not being true in my experience.
(Sorry about the rambling post--just thinking something through).