When I asked my mom years ago if I was extrovert or introvert she said; ''You are the most extrovert a person could be!''
Before the age of 23 I was the life of the party. I loved being around other people about 100% of the time and in those situations I refilled my energy. I had a LOT of friends and I made sure to stay in touch with all of them always making new plans so that my callender was never empty. In fact, I hated being alone. I just couldnt stand my own company.
I was out and about every friday to sunday and there was not even the slightest chance that I would stay home and do absolutely nothing! That was the worst thing that could happen to me and I would be bored out of my mind.
So I attended every party, dinner, and other social event I was invited to. My favorite hobby was to meet new people and make new friends, I never had a dull moment in these situations and I was always ready for the next one! Honestly, I was a bit extreme. I used this as a way to escape my negative feelings.
Until anxiety hit me.
Suddenly, there was no more energy. I went from being booked weeks ahead to being totally isolated. For the fist time I had to stop and reflect over my own feelings and how I was living my life. Who was I? what did I really value? What made me feel good?
For almost a whole year I had to practice enjoying my own company as I was afraid to leave my house because of all the panic attacks I was having. And slowly all the nights out were traded by nights in with movies and other chill activities with only a hand full of people. Slowly, I even started to enjoy and appreciate this quality time I now had with myself and my own thoughts.
Today I will 8 times out of 10 choose to do something more relaxing alone than to meet a lot of people or go out. Being social still gives me energy but not when there is too many people arund. That drains me more than it uplifts me. I now know my boundaries and I respect them. There is a whole other balance in my life in general and the more I figured out what really worked for me the more the anxiety went away.
I just think its interesting what a radical change this has been for me cause I would never have guessed that I would one day rather read a book for 4 hours on a saturday night than go clubbing. Its funny how an experience can shake you to the core and completely transform the way you look at things.
When I look back on how I was living then without pauses I dont miss it. I had a lot of fun but I didnt feel good deep down. I needed more balance in my life and im still working on that.
Today I am a mix of extrovert and introvert. It was a long journey back from anxiety to find balance between these two but it was necessary for my wellbeing.
Has any of you gone from one of these to the oppisite?