Are You a Solitary Person?

Patient Expert

Something I read got me wondering whether my solitary nature is related to my bipolar disorder or not.

I wasn't diagnosed with bipolar until I was 49, yet I was a strange kid from at least the age of 6. I began to be teased terribly at school when I was 10. You know how children are masters at identifying the other kids who are really sensitive, who will be most hurt by teasing - well, I was one of those. Maybe that's when I started to withdraw. By the time I was in high school, I was never the one who instigated activities with friends. I waited for them to call me.

I remember that some of my friends noticed this and decided to see how long it would take for me to call one of them. I think it was about a week before I did call Debby and asked why I wasn't hearing from anyone. The answer was rather shattering. Why did they care who called whom as long as I joined in?

Of course, I realize now, they may have been insecure, too, but damn it, nobody but me had gotten so emotionally battered in school that I was that afraid of rejection. (Funny - writing about this has made me break out in a sweat.)

And as the years went on, I became ever more the hermit. I preferred - and still do - to have people come to my house rather than going to theirs. I'm comfortable there, and only know one other person whose house is comfortable for me.

Now I have very few friends "in real life" (as opposed to online friends). I spend 90% of my time alone and cherish the other 10%. I'm not a party person. I don't know enough people to "get together with the girls," and it can be very difficult for me to get away from the wall at gatherings where I only know one or two people.

I still sometimes have a hard time recognizing teasing or a joke at my expense. I'm still sensitive to rejection.

And I am, through it all, a bipolar II depressive person.

After writing this, I guess it doesn't matter whether my withdrawn nature was originally related to BP or not. It's how I am.

What about you? Are you solitary? Do you prefer staying home? Do you have just a few good friends? Were you always that way? (I was not, until the teasing started in 5th grade.) Do you relate this to your bipolar disorder?