I have friends who wants me to be more social. They want me to go out more. I want to say to them: thank you, dearest ones. It’s just that sometimes I need to be alone. With kids, I am so rarely alone, and that’s pretty difficult with a brain like mine. Sometimes I need to go sit in the woods by myself. Sometimes I don’t want to talk. I can’t do this culture of go-go-go, talk-talk-talk. I feel empty when I follow that trail. I feel fuller when I sit down and breathe, feel what’s really going on in my heart. It’s like a filling up of my soul, and if I don’t do it on a regular basis, I’m a wispy shell with a fake smile.
But the problem I’ve found is that if I divulge to a friend that I suffer from depression, my well-meaning friend assumes that my absence means I’m on a dark bender. Perhaps that is just her caring nature. Or maybe she’s making an unfair judgement. Nothing is better than a friend who, when I haven’t seen her in a while, says a happy hello, catches up, then we make a plan for a get together with no guilt trips, no “Where have you been?! Are you OKAY?” The friend who keeps tabs on how often we hang out makes me feel like I’m a bad friend. Am I? Do I need a disclaimer? “Should you decide to befriend: be aware that she periodically hibernates.”
Are there more people like me out there? If so, let’s unite and just say, when we need that regrouping time, that we’re going hiber. The word “hiber” is Latin for a lack of activity. Doesn’t that sound nice? Peaceful? Going hiber means that we expect no judgement from outside parties when we are absent from the latest social gathering. We send love, and RSVP that we’ll pass. Then we will remain unfazed by the social butterfly’s guilt trip. It’s our right to take a little time alone to assess, adjust and just plain be.