Being an Introvert…

Being an introvert can lead to a lot of inconveniences and difficulties.  There is a simile about extroverts vs introverts that I quite like.  It is that extroverts are like solar panels; they get their energy from an outside source, like the sun.  Being in a place with a lot of people is where they thrive.  Introverts are like energizer bunnies; creating their energy from within.  They produce their own energy and exert almost all of it when placed in a social environment.  Introverts need alone time to recharge.

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I am pretty much as introverted as you can possibly get.  Being with people for over an hour exhausts me.  This past weekend was one of the most exhausting weekends for me in a while.

Matt’s brother, Brett, got married over the weekend.  It was a gorgeous wedding and perfect for Brett and Amber.  I know they will have a happy life together and I am so excited for them.  It was a fun weekend, but also consisted of a lot of social interaction.

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Friday was the rehearsal.  Matt and I arrived at his parent’s house (that’s where the wedding was) at 4:15.  We (mostly Matt) were running around like crazy with everyone else getting last minute things set up for the big day.  There were quite a few people there.  It was a bit too much for me and I ended up going inside the reception tent and sat by myself for a bit.

I was on the verge of going to the restroom to have a mini break down when my little niece and nephew, Lexi and Lane, came over to me.

Lexi is 8 and Lane is 5.  They are the sweetest kids and I love them to death.  We ended up playing games like “I-Spy” together.  They kept me company and kept me sane for the rest of that Friday evening.  They saved me from having a break down.

Amber asked me to take pictures of her and the bridesmaids getting ready on Saturday before the wedding.  Matt dropped me off at 10:30 am and I got to work.  It wasn’t too bad because I had a job to do.  I just walked around with my camera while the girls worked and got ready.  Matt was also coming in and out of the house which gave me some comfort.  But even though I didn’t have to talk to anyone, I was still getting tired from being in a social situation for so long.

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At around noon, Carli and her kids showed up.  Once again, Lexi and Lane made me feel better.  I was able to take pictures of them to get my mind off of being around so many people.

I took pictures until about 3:30.  The ceremony was at 4:30.  I felt fine the whole time I was with the girls.  I didn’t feel anxious or overwhelmed.  But when I was done taking pictures, done with my job that kept me busy, that was when I felt the anxiety taking over me.

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After the ceremony, I went into the tent for the reception.  Matt was a groomsmen and his family were all outside taking pictures with the newly weds.  I sat at my table, the same one his family was going to sit at, and ate my appetizers alone.  I sat there by myself for a while.  I heard so many conversations and voices going on at once.  I felt like I was sticking out like a sore thumb and that attention was on me.  My anxiety and exhaustion was almost unbearable.  I was, once again, on the verge of a break down.

Eventually Matt’s grandparents came and sat at my table.  They are very sweet and normally that would have made me feel better, but since I had already had so much social interaction that day, having anyone near me made me feel worse.  I almost felt depressed.  I wanted to leave and find a room where I could be alone to recharge.  But there was no such place inside the tent.

Carli came inside and I felt half relieved and half panicked at the same time.  I didn’t know if Carli talking to me would make me feel more tired and anxious, or if it would distract me from that and make me feel included.  Thankfully it was the latter.  I felt good while talking to her.  And she kept asking me question which was so good for me because that meant that all I had to do was answer.  I didn’t have to come up with questions myself or try to keep the conversation going.  I felt no pressure during our talk.  After we finished our conversation, however, I felt incredibly empty and drained again.

Matthew must have noticed this when he came inside.  His table, the bridal table, was dismissed for food first and he got food for me before getting any for himself.  He brought it over to me and gave me a hug and kiss.  He then got Carli’s food for her because she was tired too from watching the kids all day and she was holding her baby, Grace.  I’m blessed to have married such a sweetheart.

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I pretty much didn’t feel any better until it was time to dance.  I love to dance.  I’m horrible at it but so is Matthew so it’s ok.  We danced almost the whole rest of the reception!  I felt like it was just me and him.

Eventually I became too tired to dance and felt that overwhelming exhaustion and emptiness again.  Matthew noticed so we said our goodbyes and left the reception.  We stayed the night at his parent’s house.

He walked me upstairs and then left to help clean bring the reception food inside.  I was so glad to finally be alone.  The day was wonderful and the people I was with were so great and lovely.  I love being with them and getting to know them better.  But I had way too much social interaction for the weekend and needed to be alone.

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I didn’t want to seem rude so when Matt came back inside, I went downstairs and hung out with him and his family for a little longer.

The next morning we went downstairs and watched tv until the rest of his family woke up.  I was so exhausted from all of the social interaction that I actually felt hungover.  My head was throbbing and I felt anxious and just wanted to go home.

We eventually said our goodbyes and finally went to our apartment.  We were supposed to hang out with our friends later that evening but we were both too tired to move.

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It is now Tuesday and I am still recovering.  Yesterday I felt legitimately sick and feverish.  My stomach hurt and I just wanted to stay home and sleep all day.  Today I am still very tired but I no longer feel sick.  I am almost completely recovered, but hopefully I don’t have to do that much social interaction in such a short period of time for a while.

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  1. November 22, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    I feel really recharged when I am sitting along in a coffee shop writing for hours. I just feel better and less awkward when I can be my introverted self. Great post!

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