Social Hibernation

15 Apr 2019
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Does everyone feel like this at times when you just want a holiday from people and life in general?

I would describe myself as fairly sociable and I enjoy going out and am not worried about being at a party with strangers. However, now and then I will not be able to go out due to anxiety.

I feel pressure to be always up, bubbly and especially so that people won't ask me pressing questions. I was at the hairdressers and someone who was supposed to just cut my hair started to ask the intrusive questions they feel they have to ask – where do you live, are you married, do you have children... yes I have a stepchild... yes she lives with us, no her mum doesn't not want her it's just the arrangement (cue the "Oh it must be so hard looking after someone else's child" - when will it STOP!!.

Some people seem to find me endlessly interesting because my life does change a lot of the time – not always by choice I have to add. I have many interests but I am ricocheting from one thing to the next – a sort of creative ADHD. I can't sit still for long although I am getting slightly better at it. At these times when I feel like it's a cross examination (even of the well-meaning sort), I do get stressed although I don't always show it, I don't know what to say, I feel I should be the life and soul of the party, and if I am quiet, people don't know how to handle me and I don't know how to handle it. It then starts to feel really pressurised and I get myself tied in knots.

It is exhausting trying to keep a charade or be the most polished version of myself so I've started not to wear make up all the time, and go quiet and if people ask I just say I'm tired and leave it at that.

Why do I feel I owe everyone such a detailed explanation or maybe I'm just a detail queen or maybe I just think too much. My racing mind won't often give me a rest. Or occasionally I have got (accidentally, never on purpose) almost paralytic on alcohol at social occasions and then have got incredible anxiety the next day (did I offend someone, why haven't they replied to my apologetic text, did I swear too much, have I pissed off my husband yet again etc)... or sometimes even before I go I'm doing a "mum and dad" on myself – don't get drunk, don't swear, don't wear the wrong sort of clothes, don't say the wrong thing etc. Easier to stay in!

So I recently have had a social hibernation with two hobbies of mine and I don't do the coffee meet-up for one of them afterwards. I've not been for two months and concentrating on the other main hobby which is writing and even done a performance at a local theatre with my fellow writers. A bit nerve-wracking but a total success which was fabulous. But by my non-attendance with the other hobbies, I've felt as if I've been forgotten. What a daft self-imposed quandary.

Liz

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Mary Wednesday

April 16, 2019, 4:47 a.m.

I recognise all of these. Hugs to you, Liz.

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Liz

April 16, 2019, 7:52 a.m.

Thank you Mary Wednesday x hugs back

Hopeful One

April 16, 2019, 5:21 a.m.

Hi Liz - Thank you for a really an interesting blog. When I read through it the first thought that ran through my mind was that it sounded like Social anxiety disorder , also known as social phobia. It is ,according to Wikipedia, “ an anxiety disorder characterized by a significant amount of fear in one or more social situations, causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. These fears can be triggered by perceived or actual scrutiny from others. Individuals with social anxiety disorder fear negative evaluation from other people.” The article ,which I suggest you google , then goes on to suggest remedies which might help you . Of course telling a joke is one way of lessening one’s anxiety although one has to accept its not everyone’s cup of tea The pro football team had just finished their daily practice session when a large turkey came strutting onto the field. While the players gazed in amazement, the turkey walked up to the head coach and demanded a tryout. Everyone stared in silence as the turkey caught pass after pass and ran right through the defensive line. When the turkey returned to the sidelines, the coach shouted, "You're terrific!!! Sign up for the season, and I'll see to it that you get a huge bonus." "Forget the bonus," the turkey said, "All I want to know is, does the season go past Thanksgiving Day?"

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Liz

April 16, 2019, 7:57 a.m.

Hi Hopeful One... it could well be. I think in my life as well (certainly in my twenties) there were some pretty awful friendships which actually did have negative evaluation.... plus my mum who always seemed to constantly negatively evaluate me. I do use humour quite a bit as a deflection - have always done and have had people say to me "oh you're so funny" but I'm really not trying to be. Love a good turkey tale! I do a good impression of one. Like impressions too! x

Hopeful One

April 16, 2019, 5:06 p.m.

Hi Liz - thank you for your interesting observations.

Orangeblossom

April 16, 2019, 5:32 a.m.

Thanks for your blog which is very thought-provoking.

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Liz

April 16, 2019, 7:52 a.m.

Thank you Orangeblossom. x

Sophie

April 16, 2019, 6:20 a.m.

Liz I can identify. It’s pretty cool that you’ve decided on a bit of social hibernation! I recently discovered something about myself and it might/might not help you... Essentially I was often living my life as an extrovert, in a very left-brained space but actually, what I discovered was I am a bonafide introvert! I used the Briggs-Myers (worth a google!) test (apologies if spelt wrong!) which is free online to discover what ‘type’ I am. Since that day, I’ve cut myself way more slack about not being ‘shiny’ in public and all sorts of other choices that now honour who I am!! I think your blog was fab and will no doubt resonate with lots of us!! X

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Liz

April 16, 2019, 7:52 a.m.

HI Sophie... yes and I think now I've done that but I won't put so much pressure on myself to be this person I'm not always (if that makes sense!) I have done the Briggs-Myers before and it was so accurate. I think I will do it again. Like you I think I discovered I was quite introverted in many respects. Time to cut some slack! x

sophie

April 16, 2019, 10:36 a.m.

I identify massively too. I have the ADHD too along with other things and am mostly Creative, and your blog is basically me all over. Thank you for showing me im not alone.

Liz

April 16, 2019, 5:08 p.m.

Not alone at all Sophie! Here's to our idiosyncrasies x

Jul

April 16, 2019, 6:59 a.m.

Hello Liz I identify with almost everything you've mentioned. (I don't get paralytic these days!!) I hate these intrusive questions which provide others with intriguing information and probably makes them feel a whole lot better about life but leaves us drained. Some people's lives are quite insular and many haven't had the total experience that we and many others have. They get their excitement and kicks from hearing about our lives which we feel impelled to tell them about when questioned. I find it can depend on where you live. I am fine where we are now as I feel I belong here. It's in an area of the UK I am familiar with. However for most of my life, we've moved around the country and one or two places have felt quite alien to me. I have been a person of interest so to speak and found myself revealing too much of myself. Push on Liz. Your writing is great. You'll find your niche eventually and feel at one with your surroundings and people you choose to form friendships with. I have. Jul xx

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Liz

April 16, 2019, 7:48 a.m.

Hi Jul, I try not to get paralytic either but oh my ***, it does tell you who your friends are. The ones who really care for you will be worried, won't be quick to judge and will get you sorted. I once woke up on a couch about to be sick only to hear people talking about me in hushed tones. I remembered nothing of the previous event after a couple of wines. I do remember only one of them coming down to (nicely) tell me how it would be a good idea to can the drink so I could be a better example to my stepdaughter... the rest just bitched about me and wouldn't talk to me. Had to get my hub to pick me up as I couldn't drive my car back (well over the limit). Wasn't popular I can tell you. The final straw was being sick as a dog in the car park overlooking my "friend's" house... of course I apologised profusely but at the back of my mind I was questioning their behaviour too. They weren't worried, only judgemental and thinking about how my behaviour had affected them rather than helping me. I'm still learning about people and the bullshitometer is a good tool to sort the wheat from the chaff! Liz x ps I love my writing and my poetry... keeping on with that as it's what I'm meant to do. Appreciate the comments.

Valerie

April 16, 2019, 11:56 a.m.

Jul,I spent 3 years in a small Cotswold village.I seriously thought about preparing an information sheet to hand to the endless people who were incredibly nosy.I would walk into the village shop,and total silence would descend.Hated it.***

Jul

April 16, 2019, 3:57 p.m.

Been there myself Valerie. I was very miserable too. I thought it was me until I moved here where I naturally fitted in. Not many questions so I didn't have to prepare an info sheet. Jul xx

Sally

April 16, 2019, 10:03 p.m.

That’s so amusing, Valerie. Precisely what my husband said after we’d done the rounds of consultants for our son,( who has a severe disability or several,) all asking the same questions. My OH actually suggested putting together a C.V. to hand in beforehand, so that we could get the best out of our half hour appointment. You would not believe how lazy some of them had been, not having read ANY of his notes, and us having to wait months for the appointment, plus nearly always having to wait in the hospital hours and hours. I shudder to revisit..

The Gardener

April 16, 2019, 7:02 a.m.

Liz, I recognise your feelings only too well. But there are many who are uncomfortable with a conversational 'void' and HAVE to chatter. Also (I hate hairdressers) so many people here who are desperately lonely (many due to their own characters) look forward to the weekly hairdresser appointment, only chance to converse. My emotions are utterly overwhelmed today - re Ach's remarks yesterday - cont

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The Gardener

April 16, 2019, 7:05 a.m.

The Notre Dame fire is awful for everybody. As a historian it cuts deep - my last house was the same vintage, as is our church, undergoing major repairs, hope they double check safety, I am only 50 metres away from it. I don't think I have hidden the fact that I am near the Mont Saint Michel. Since the awful terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice police surveillance has doubled here, the Mont has always been reckoned a prime terrorist target, and, for who knows it, once there it is very difficult to escape. I have a 'Tale of Two Cities' of my own. Cont

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The Gardener

April 16, 2019, 7:10 a.m.

I have four grand-children working in London. The latest wave of demonstrations, added to the Brexit fury, is going to complicate their lives, and millions of others. And although the reason, saving the planet, is a 'just' one, it gives excellent cover for people with less 'public spirited' ideas. I am NOT a pessimist, but when I worked in London the IRA were at their most active, and I was minutes away from several nasty incidents. Sorry Liz to depart a little from your blog - but today is going to have repercussions for so many people. Love the Gardener - it's rained! Great for my lawn! xx

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Liz

April 16, 2019, 7:43 a.m.

Hi Gardener... no worries about departing from the blog... it's good to talk. You've always got something interesting to tell us x

Tutti Frutti

April 16, 2019, 7:44 a.m.

Hi Gardener I walked over Waterloo Bridge past the climate change protests twice yesterday. It was absolutely fine. Hope this relieves your worries a bit Love TF x

The Gardener

April 16, 2019, 8:59 a.m.

Thanks TF. Problem between two countries - France is not happy over Brexit - I listen to Radio 4 to 'keep in touch' but they do LOVE disasters, and I think they are inclined to exaggerate - what came over was London at a standstill - hence the concern. xx

Valerie

April 16, 2019, 7:19 a.m.

Oh Liz,I am with you on all of this.I don't get paralytic anymore (dear ***,the cringemaking memories from the past!) but when I am trying to hype myself up,the drink hits me quickly.I went to a charity do at Christmas.Previous ones have seen the women in particular make a bit of effort.I turn up,the only one with full make-up and a bit of glitz. A few drinks in,I go to introduce myself to a new couple."Hi,I'm Val.I know I look like a prostitute compared to the other women,but I am a volunteer with the dogs!" Total horrified silence. I was in a grumpy mood at the hairdressers the other day.They are all lovely,but it can seem like a hen party there at times.I felt like running out into the street, with my foils in and towels round my shoulders. I love your blogs Liz,very honest,very comforting to read.xx

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Liz

April 16, 2019, 7:41 a.m.

Hi Valerie, oh you made me smile with your comment to the couple - would have been the sort of thing I would have said for sure. And yes re the hen party... let's all divulge... no let's just read a magazine about pointless celebrities so I don't have to discuss my life thanks! Probably why since being up here I've only had my hair cut twice (it is long but that's my excuse) in over two and a half years. I appreciate your lovely comments about my blogs xx

Tutti Frutti

April 16, 2019, 7:58 a.m.

There is a tale I think is true about a professor who once answered the question 'how would you like your hair cut' with the answer 'in silence' . I am not sure if this very blunt approach worked or how his hair turned out! Some people just can't do silence though. I have a very good optician who is naturally pretty hyper and I once needed an eye test when I was hypomanic so I told him that I didn't want to chat today and why. He was utterly incapable of not explaining the interesting trends on this graph the latest research etc. As far as hair appointments go for me I don't mind chatting but I prefer to talk to someone I feel a bit of connection with rather than a random person. So I actually choose someone I am happy to talk to who cuts my hair acceptably and colours it well rather than the best hairdresser. Love TF x I hate parties with small talk by the way and always end up overeating the buffet.

RC

April 16, 2019, 8:32 a.m.

Valerie, oops!! Well done you for saying such an amazing intro; an icebreaker to beat any! I would have laughed if I had been there! Don't berate yourself and thanks for telling us all. As for having a few to help I can't drink much as I tend to feel dizzy quite quickly. In company of friends and relaxed I'm fine sharing a bottle of wine but not with strangers. Whether that is a good thing or not I can't bear it when the room starts to spin round and I want to be in the bathroom. I'm no saint regarding alcohol but having an alcoholic brother and married for 22 years to my first husband ( he is now teetotal; coming from 'up north' he used to down 16 pint a night with no problem ;-( ) I was the one always doing the driving so was used to having to drive all the drinkers around. Hate New Year as I was always the sober one. I will be having a few over Easter; my kids sent me a lovely box of various cheeses for Mothers Day; got to have a nice glass of red with those! Take care x

The Gardener

April 16, 2019, 9:02 a.m.

Valerie, when I was a very young hostess I would make remarks akin to yours just to 'break the ice' the shock (and enough alcohol) got them talking, at least. Total opposite in France, stopping them and getting them out of house the problem. xx

Valerie

April 16, 2019, 9:28 a.m.

It is a mystery to me where men who drink like your ex put the stuff.A glass of Guinness and I'm up needing the loo twice in the night.A nice box of cheeses with some red sounds blissful.Enjoy! xx

Valerie

April 16, 2019, 9:30 a.m.

Liz,I envy women who can grow their hair,plus you save a fortune! xx

Valerie

April 16, 2019, 9:34 a.m.

Oh T.F.how I wish I had the nerve to say that.I used to have a very sullen girl who did my hair,I could read a magazine the whole time with barely a word exchanged.She was good at her job,and I missed her when she moved away.x

Valerie

April 16, 2019, 9:35 a.m.

I suppose the French would make allowances for the famous weird Brit humour.xx

Jul

April 16, 2019, 10:56 a.m.

Hi Valerie. Would you like to grow your hair? Or do you prefer short hair on you? Jul xx

Jul

April 16, 2019, 11 a.m.

Agree Gardener. We're going to our French house tomorrow and when we were there last time, our French neighbours asked us if we'd be there at Easter. When I said yes, I could see our neighbour' brain working out how many times we could have long lunches and meals all together. I've warned my husband he's got to chill and not get stressed when the first invite arrives. Difficult for us Brits to go with the flow on French meals which can last forever. Jul xx

Valerie

April 16, 2019, 11:48 a.m.

To be honest Jul,I am grateful to have any hair at all.Both sides of the family had alopaecia,Dad was almost totally bald by his early 20's.I have never had great hair,it won't go beyond collar bone without fraying.It is luxurious compared to Spock,who is as bald as a coot.Any men reading this,do not worry about losing your hair,I don't think it bothers most women.When Spock is sitting hypnotised in front of the computer,I nip behind him and squirt some Lemon Pledge on his bonce.It comes up lovely,but he says I'm stupid and childish.***

Sally

April 16, 2019, 10:12 p.m.

Laugh out loud! You’re so funny, Valerie!! Spock and the Lemon Pledge !!!!

RC

April 16, 2019, 8:18 a.m.

Hi Liz I know exactly how you feel; I totally get you. I'm often like this when in a low. My hairdresser senses when I'm not talkative; his wife suffers from depression so he can see the signs. Also, he can be quiet too. Please don't try too hard and then feel worse-sometimes it does'nt help. I'm currently well; have been quite high and spending too much. Not rashly, however maybe I just needed to as I felt better. Now is the time to stop and go steady. I've had fun, opening parcels from various companies and am pleased with the items ordered and as I declutter my wardrobe every Spring I needed replacements! Thank you for your blog; as I have been doing Moodscope since 14.04.2009 I am going to celebrate by writing a post which I hope Caroline will print and everyone will find entertaining ( or mildly interesting! ) Have a lovely Easter; enjoy the weather and whatever you have planned. I have a quiet break coming up and will be spending my days in my sunny garden looking at the blooms! Lots of love from me to you Liz and all Moodscopers Take care x

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Sally

April 16, 2019, 10:18 p.m.

Good on your hairdresser ! I also overspend coming out of a low. AND have to give myself a talking to...I liked your “I’ve had fun, opening parcels...etc.” Yep! Me too. That’s a long time on Moodscope, RubyRed. Looking forward to the blog.

Liz

April 17, 2019, 6:25 p.m.

Thank you RubyRed. I shall look forward to your blog and enjoy your Easter too x

Molly

April 16, 2019, 7:47 p.m.

I will answer your blog Liz but guess what, today is by birthday, a big one! So have been a bit preoccupied xx

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Dragonfly

April 16, 2019, 8:06 p.m.

Happy birthday Molly:) x

Ach UK

April 16, 2019, 8:38 p.m.

Happy Birthday Molly. :))) ? XX Ach.

Ach UK

April 16, 2019, 8:40 p.m.

Oh shame . . The ? has replaced a lovely little birthday cake. Guess Moods cope doesn't do pictures. Ah well, hope you had a good one Molly.

Sally

April 16, 2019, 8:52 p.m.

Happy Birthday Molly. I’m eating a piece of lemon drizzle cake in your honour, wink wink. Mine in 12 days, always share it twin sister!

Molly

April 16, 2019, 9:12 p.m.

Thank you everyone xx

Liz

April 17, 2019, 6:24 p.m.

Happy birthday Molly - hope it was a good one xx

Molly

April 17, 2019, 9:28 p.m.

Thank you Liz, thanks Ach (shame we can’t put little pictures on) but I got your cake. Thank you. Sally, didn’t get your cake, because you ate it all, please remind us of your birthday, I can’t count. Thanks lovely dragon xx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

April 16, 2019, 8:01 p.m.

Happy big birthday Molly from all at Moodscope. xx

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Molly

April 16, 2019, 9:12 p.m.

Thank you Caroline xx

Salt Water Mum

April 16, 2019, 8:26 p.m.

Super blog Liz, I can really identify! I am a chatterbox and I entertain with stories and I am known for it I suppose but it's exhausting. But even if I'm feeling low or sad or down or tired... I can't not talk. And it's the people pleaser in me I think, I want people to feel comfortable and I want them to feel at ease and smiley in my company. But it's draining - if I'm not feeling up to it. But I would find the silence even way more stressful! I don't socialise as much any more. I don't have the energy or the inclination. I'm become a bit of a hermit. I work from home and apart school runs and visits to my sick mum and thankfully meeting up with my girlfriends occasionally, that's it. Valerie, I would have guffawed at your couple introduction and deemed you the most interesting person in the room... Molly, happy happy birthday - hope you had a super day and either were treated or treated yourself to a little bit of lovely-ness x

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Valerie

April 17, 2019, 7:51 a.m.

I totally relate to you SWM,always have when you write.Wish you had been there,I felt a right t**t I can tell you.Mind you,next time I will probably turn up in jumper and jeans,only to find the others done up to the nines! xx

Molly

April 17, 2019, 9:06 p.m.

Thank you SWM xx

Sally

April 16, 2019, 8:50 p.m.

Hi Liz. Have only just logged in, so might be repeating some of the comments above. However, just wanted to say that I thought it was my clone writing !! Splendid portrayal of exactly how it goes for me too. Especially having to be the life and soul, the entertainer.. Thanks very much for a blog that ticked all the boxes. Go well. Xx

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Molly

April 16, 2019, 10:25 p.m.

Dear Liz, yep I am the same, not read all the comments here but I’ve isolated myself a lot. What I should be doing on my birthday, impossible. Mind you I look back and it was always a difficulty for me, much worse now but always kind of ‘there’ xx

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Valerie

April 17, 2019, 7:47 a.m.

Just read this Molly.Belated birthday wishes,take comfort in the fact that I am very much closer to death than you are my lovely! ***

Molly

April 17, 2019, 2:12 p.m.

Oh thanks Valerie, that has made me feel much better. We can swap if you like, not sure I’m liking life xxxx

Valerie

April 17, 2019, 3 p.m.

You may want to reconsider your offer Molly-you will have to take on Spock! xxxx

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Molly

April 17, 2019, 6:29 p.m.

Always up for a change Valerie, you can have my one, I put him on eBay but there were no takers xx

Valerie

April 18, 2019, 7:07 a.m.

I'll get Spock bathed and groomed,and deliver him with his bowl and basket.xx

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

April 18, 2019, 7:14 a.m.

You do make me laugh Valerie. xx

Valerie

April 18, 2019, 11:43 a.m.

Thank you xx

Molly

April 18, 2019, 7:31 p.m.

Can’t wait for Spock arrival !! Xx

Molly

April 18, 2019, 9:39 p.m.

Can’t wait for Spock arrival !! Xx

Valerie

April 19, 2019, 4:19 p.m.

Don't go undoing all my hard work Molly by spoiling him.He needs to beg for his treats.***

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