Contrary to popular opinion, i do enjoy spending time with people. The amount of time is quite short, and it does tend to be few and vast in between meet ups. This isn’t because i don’t enjoy spending time with my friends, but more than i value my alone time too.
Spending time with people, isn’t a relaxing thing. It’s a task. A fun one, yes, but it does require effort and considerable amounts of energy. Then take in all the other facts I’ve previously mentioned in this blog, and perhaps you can see why i tend to spend most of my time away from people. I prefer talking to them via text or a phonecall.
In the past this has bothered some people, and consequently friendships have drifted apart. But those who have stayed on board, I’ve come to really treasure.
I think with some people they require spending time with people on a regular basis. Say, meeting them on the weekend, every week or at most 2 weeks. Whereas i can quite happily go for months without seeing anyone.
I do feel bad sometimes, when i’m invited to things and i know i can’t go. Either because it’s too far, time of day making a journey tricky, it’s an activity that would make me uncomfortable or simply i can’t afford it. Consequently the invites become less and less, and i start to take a voyeur role in my friends lives. I can see, through photos, the exciting, fun stuff they get up to with other people. But i’m never there. Never in the photos.
It’s difficult, because there’s two sides of me in constant conflict. The fun-loving, social side to me who longs to get involved and experience things. Then there’s the other side, who would rather be alone and not be involved, because of the things I’ve listed as to why i don’t go.
Anxiety and Autism have a tendency to go hand in hand. They’re bosom buddies in the world of disorders. So, expanding your world as an autistic, is somewhat challenging. But with support, effort and determination – it does happen.
Too Much Time Alone
Sometimes i can get sucked out of this world, and too much into mine. Which while at first isn’t too concerning, it can over time create problems. I become more stubborn and rigid in the things i do, and avoid doing anything other than those things. I become more anti-social, withdrawing from people more and more. This is unhealthy not just for me, but for anyone. It leads to mental health problems, such as depression, agoraphobia, anxiety, etc.
Hounding me to get out and to do things (within reason), although i will find a absolute annoyance, will in the long run really help me. Literally dragging me out to things and places are good, as long as it’s respectful of what i can and can’t do.