I think I have a small problem, y’all. (And I should probably apologize ahead of time for what feels like an epic whine brewing.)
I’m pretty sure I’m one rage-fest-fueled job resignation away from being a shut-in.
I don’t go out—at all—except for work and for those necessities I can’t get online. Mostly only because nobody really lets you order groceries online in Greensboro without charging an arm, a leg, and your first born for it. It’s not like I’m afraid to go out or in any way think I have a serious condition preventing me from spending my free time away from my apartment. I just…don’t. My free time is MY TIME. It’s my time to recharge, to putter around the internet for hours, or watch movies, or text my friends and siblings incessantly, all while going a full forty-eight glorious hours without saying a single word aloud.
That’s all well and good, except my anxiety cranked up to oh-my-god-is-it-a-real-heart-attack-this-time levels a couple days ago and I realized that it’d be at least a week before anyone noticed I’m dead. That has to be the one downside to living on my own at least six hours away from anyone I know well enough to maintain regular contact with, and half a continent (-ish) away from my family. (My tumblr mutuals might notice once my queue runs out, but that’s stocked up for at least a week. Plus none of them have my number or anything.) Plus plus, I’m actually getting lonely more often.
I might have to make getting out more a mission. Except I’ve tried that before I don’t know how many times, and it never catches on because leaving my apartment and interacting with people cuts into MY TIME. (Going to mass means getting up at a decent hour on Sunday morning, or carving time out of Saturday evening. Reading at Starbucks or the Green Bean or Geeksboro requires money. Bars are full of creepers and require money—and they’re not well suited to someone as soft-spoken as I am.) Notice the trend here? Even I’m getting sick of my own bullshit and want a change.
It totally doesn’t help that, according to Scott Koch’s article on cio.com, change can actually hurt. MY TIME has gotten to be such a routine that my poor brain doesn’t know how to process not spending hours every Saturday digging around Wikipedia or Tumblr. It’s comforting even as it’s isolating. Koch notes, however, that “[o]nce people have had that initial insight or epiphany that change is necessary, they need to repeat the experience in order to reinforce it and to experience the potential pleasure that can be derived from it.” Guess who might just have to rip off the bandaid and spend time out of the house. This moi.
I did see an interesting take on this while skimming the first few chapters of Michelle Phillips’ Happiness is a Habit (excerpted here): actually getting out and being with others isn’t deprivation, it’s growth. It’s not necessarily taking away from MY TIME, it’s giving me time to make a friend, or go on a date, or whatever takes my fancy.
Still, falling on my habit-forming face multiple times in the past has me leery.
I need an interaction accountability buddy, stat.