For those that know me in person, know that I am an introvert, so what I am about to share is something that it took me a loooong time to acknowledge, and an even longer time to accept.
When I was first called an introvert, I immediately went on denial. “What the heck does she mean? I am not shy, I am not afraid, I am not socially anxious.” I was obviously completely wrong about what it means to be an introvert. I thought an introvert was someone no one wanted to hang out with, and I did not think that applied to me - I cannot speak for everyone, but I don’t think people were actively avoiding being around me.
Today I am a proud introvert and I am not afraid of saying it. I thrive alone and crave alone time every single day. In the long-term - say a week or longer - I also need to physically isolate myself for hours to be able to function. I cannot explain it, but that’s how I feel better. No wonder I mainly work from home.
I found a list of signs for being an introvert, that, despite being from Dr. Google, it match my “symptoms” pretty well:
1. Being Around Lots of People Drains Your Energy
2. You Enjoy Solitude
3. You Have a Small Group of Close Friends
4. People Often Describe You as Quiet and May Find It Difficult to Get to Know You
5. Too Much Stimulation Leaves You Feeling Distracted and Unfocused
6. You Are Very Self-Aware
7. You Like to Learn By Watching
8. You Are Drawn to Jobs That Involve Independence
They also go on to explain the difference between introversion and shyness. Like I said, I don’t consider myself a shy person, I have always prefer to listen, to observe, to be in my own bubble and only go out when I want. Then, I can be as social as anyone I know. I can party, dance like no one is watching, talk to audiences, etc.
Luckily, nowadays, being an introvert does not mean one has to be completely isolated from the rest of the world - praise the web! - but I find it more and more rewarding to limit my social media interactions as much as I can (that is why giving up on facebook more than 2 years ago was so easy for me).
I am not going to lie and say I have never been depressed, but do not think that an introvert is depressed. He may or may not be, but one is not necessarily associated with the other. I can clearly see now that I am indeed an introvert, and that I am not depressed.
If you are depressed, think that you are, or know someone that might be, PLEASE, PLEASE, seek help! #mentalhealthawareness
And with this post I am releasing my self-portraits series. This is a VERY personal one, but I find beauty in being vulnerable and, at the same time, a great deal of braveness once that vulnerability is made public.