I am an introvert through and through. And if you had asked me back in January, I’d say a world where it was socially acceptable to stay in your house most of the time and stay six feet away from everyone else the rest of the time, I would have thought that was ideal. Now, however, I have my doubts.
Even though I dislike crowds, I love catching a ballgame in person. Even though I have social anxiety, I miss sitting in a bar and people watching while I catch up with friends or family over a pint. And I am not the only one.
I have heard from several other mental health advocates and introverts that I know who have expressed similar thoughts. And on some level it makes sense. Ultimately, despite what the lies of mental illness might whisper in our ears, we are a social species and we need social connection. Living in this quarantine world is not natural. It is not what we need. And when we practice self-care, we need to be aware that even introverts have their limits when it comes to being home.
Zoom, Facebook Video Chat, Google Hangouts, etc. These are all tools that can help minimize the separation we are dealing with right now. And not only can it help put your isolation in its place, but it can also help put you mental illnesses in their place by highlighting the lies mental illness whispers.
In the darkness of isolation, the lies can seem very loud. Yet the more we shine our lights on them, the more we connect with others and share our dark tales with others, the more we will see the impact of that isolation, and the impact of our mental illnesses, shrink. And that is something we can all celebrate and excitedly share. You know, from a distance.