I am an introvert who easily gets lonely and depressed.
(And by “Gets Depressed” I mean has fairly dark bouts of normal depression. My clinical depression is a separate issue, which only therapy and potentially chemicals can help. That’s not what I am talking about here).
Those two traits often work against each other. Being with a group cheers me up but being around people, even a group of friends, takes a lot of energy from me. Being alone gives me energy… which I then sometimes spend on being lonely and depressed.
This is a complex tightrope for me to walk.
Now there are people who take much, much less energy for me to be around. A rare few even maybe that take no energy, if they are the only folks around. My wife Lj is one, as is RGG partner and dear friend Stan!. Some of my best friends in Norman are the same way — one reason leaving was so hard.
The AFK E&E managed to not take energy from me most nights, which is why losing it was such a blow for me.
SO, to manage my balance of introversion and depression, I need to socialize, but I need to do it carefully.
Last night I managed to spend some after-work time having drinks with some smart and awesome people. That certainly took energy, but it was also some high-end socializing. The energy was very well-spent, and I hope to find ways to do Drinks with Smart People more often, as a high-end option for trading energy for social experiences, and to get to know people better.
Today I’m going to go spend time with some people I theoretically don’t know as well as my Norman friends or Stan!… but who have been very caring and good to me. And who, somehow, seem to give me energy rather than take it. That’s an amazing quality in a friend, and I can only chalk it up to how spectacularly good people they all are.
That’s a good weekend for me. I may need to become a hermit Sunday, but I’ll be a happy hermit.