Warning- These are just my opinions
I write this blog as someone with Autism, I know what it feels like to feel alone sometimes and to feel down and worthless about it, like I’m the problem or something. At the age of 26, I feel like I have accomplished more than I was expected to do many others growing up and it’s a good feeling but the constant thoughts of self doubt and the times where I felt like I was going to be a constant loner my entire life. I honestly felt like no one would ever be my friend growing up because I was dealing with a lot of stuff that I didn’t understand which turned out to be my Autism in the end.
It hit home hard as I didn’t take the news well at all. I completely shut myself away from society for a few years and just became depressed, I was unmotivated in my future and just flopped at everything, even my GCSES which I had to re do in college a couple of years after I left school.
Next I would go onto to College and turn things around as I was able to make good friends who I still know and even met my now wife! Got good qualifications and was able to get into a nearby University where I got my degree. I don’t think that’s bad after being in such a hole for so long, hating myself and everyone else for how I was, something that was out of my control and to be honest would rather not have…takes a lot out of me to not over worry over the smallest of things on a daily basis, no wonder I’m often feeling sleepy but then again, I do have Gilbert’s Syndrome as well.
I did a lot of things I didn’t understand as a child that others found to be odd, like talk to myself and prefer spending time to myself because as I grew, I found myself becoming scared of interaction with other people. It felt like a pressure of some kind when I had to talk to others for a lengthy amount of time, I felt quite breathless actually, like I was going to pass out or I was worrying so much that I was going to say something bad and be alone again, I just one day decided that it wasn’t worth the risk and often spend my time by myself. Only problem with that was I got to comfortable doing that and as a result, struggled even more later on to try and make new friends and escape my bubble.
After School, College and University, I often reflect how social I was during all of it and what I could have done better. It’s not always the best thing to do but when you have the memory of an elephant, you can and maybe learn something for life down the road. Was I social? Kind of really, I mean I had friends, don’t get me wrong and I went out and socialized but perhaps not to what is considered ‘normal’ I maybe it was a couple of times a week or two weeks and I had to try to convince myself to even want to join a society in University or talk to a class mate because 9/10 I would want to back out and remain by myself because I felt safer….lonely but safe.
So for me, I like being social and enjoy seeing friends from time to time but still like time to myself as well, I like both ways and can appreciate both positives and negatives for each and I view all of this as simply….well you can do what you want…if you like spending time with friends, keep doing so but don’t make others feel bad if they don’t want to as often as you do. If we were all a little less judgmental than maybe the world would be a little less of a terrible place because personally, I think we are very judgmental and like to comment on other people’s opinions, ideas or stories if we don’t agree and making the teller feel awful for it which makes it very unsurprising as to why many don’t want to spend time with others because we have now become a society where an opinion is pretty much a bad thing….thanks internet.
Is it bad to prefer ‘me’ time?
Spending time with friends….it’s something that we all want to do, even if your an introvert…you do enjoy it from time to time. Some people who read this may not have even had a single friend in their life or aren’t good at keeping them, others will have many friends and are very social which is great as well.
I’ll be honest, from time to time I do enjoy having time to myself, it’s nice to be able to do something that I enjoy without the pressure of having to do something that someone else wants or you are doing something you like to do but not in the way that you would do it. I’m someone who likes to do things my way and can sometimes struggle to do things ‘other’ peoples ways all the time which was a reason why I struggled at University because of all the group activities and the constant pressures to interact with people because everyone else around you was doing it!
Last year I had Game nights with a group of my friends and apart from feeling nervous as to whether they actually like me or not, It was fun but it was also quite draining for me, I mean by night four I was wishing for them to stop! Not because I didn’t want to attend or anything but I would always feel very emotionally drained by the end of them every single time because I feel like I have to go into overtime quite a lot with keeping calm and not overthinking absolutely everything, like as I said before…convincing myself that my friends don’t like me that much, even though I have no evidence to back this up, yet it keeps happening to me all the time.
Is it ok to enjoy spending time to myself sometimes though? Do people like doing something by themselves or are we in a society where it is looked down upon if you don’t often spend time with other people? I think it is not a bad thing to be ‘anti-social’ from time to time, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with my friends and making new friends as well but, I mean it’s ok to have ‘me’ time sometimes and you don’t have to spend time with your friends all the time. I know they are there for me and if I needed anything like advice or time to kill, they would arrange something with me.
We have Facebook where you can see everyone interacting with one another daily and we live in a world where you can reach a friend or get a lover so easily with the click of a mouse, it’s easier than ever to make a friend if you really want it…compared to the 90’s yet you can still find many people who haven’t a friend in the world or even if they do, don’t often spend time with them and many see this as a problem. It’s like they think people who don’t always see mates as anti social or rude but quite often, their is more to what we can’t see.
I often ask myself why I prefer to spend time by myself, even though I have a wife and friends…why would I prefer to be by myself, even though I find myself quite fortunate to be in this situation? Sometimes I need to unwind and calm myself because life can get on top of me sometimes, everything can take a lot out of me, more than I think people realise and it requires me to just do something relaxing like go for a walk or jog, watch a good movie or play some games until I’ve rested enough.
Often if I don’t do this, I can have a ‘meltdown’ and it’s not fun because I feel very angry all the time and it takes a while to calm down afterwards and I honestly don’t see the point of getting to this point because it does nothing except make me look like a guy with anger issues.
So to finish off, We have a world where everything is judged….mostly negatively because we can all hide behind a screen and say what we actually feel…it’s called trolling…and in this day and age, people all over the world can see what you write and say online….every week videos of kids being beaten up by gangs or animals being killed by youths for fun appear on websites and it’s disturbing. As well, we can see how many friends everyone has and what they get up to all the time but you can even find Introvert pages where people express how much they enjoy being by themselves. If I was to know that this was how the world was going to be 10 years ago…I’d have panicked because nothing is really that private anymore, everything is judged and flaws are frowned upon because….well let’s face it…we suck as a species…I mean we often mock ourselves for the stupidest of reasons and have the dumbest reasons for the things we do quite often yet if we comment on them, we get mocked….makes perfect sense.
So basically you can speak your mind, just expect to offend someone for having your opinion. You can have friends but be judged because you don’t have as many as someone else on your Facebook Page and you can enjoy time by yourself but you’ll likely be mocked and called a loner for it.
Imagine the world 10 years from now….I shudder.