Are You a Solitary Person?
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After writing this, I guess it doesn’t matter whether my withdrawn nature was originally related to BP or not.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?
Marcia wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Mental Disorders.