Hello, my name is Amanda, and I am an Extreme Extrovert.
Don't worry, this isn't a start to some weird version of AA, but I have recently had to admit to myself that I exist on the extreme edge of extroversion. I am obsessed with spending time with people, and terrified of spending time with only myself. (And this is one of the reasons that I am sitting here in a coffee shop writing my own thoughts down in a blog, so there is at least the feeling that I'm sharing them with other humans.)
If you don't know, people, often times, fall into three categories: extroverts, introverts, and ambiverts. Extroverts get their energy from being around people. Introverts get their energy from being alone. Ambiverts are somewhere in between. A common misconception here is that extroverts are always bubbly and outgoing and introverts are shy and quiet. I learned that this is not the case at all! Sure, extroverts tend to be more talkative, but you can be gaining energy from a community of people, even if you aren't the most outspoken of the bunch. Likewise, while introverts sometimes tend to be shy and reserved, some introverts do great in front of a group of people, but need their time to recharge afterwards.
I consider myself an extreme extrovert. To the point where alone time gets to be so draining that it is legitimately bad for my mental health.
I am not someone who is shy about my struggles with mild/moderate anxiety. That being said, I am also someone who knows there are a lot of people struggling with this disease in different and more intense ways than me. Anxiety manifest in many unique ways to all different people. My anxiety causes me to overthink simple situations and convince my brain that the people in my life who love me, actually can't stand my guts. Basically my brain talks itself down a rabbit hole of negativity and hate. Its easy enough to point out that I'm being silly: I AM successful, it IS okay to take some time to relax and watch TV, the people around me DO love me for me. But for whatever reason, I find it harder and harder to believe those things once the chemicals in my brain decide them to be untrue.
And as an extreme extrovert, time alone only gives these thoughts more space to roam.
And only working part time while freelancing as a performer gives me a lot of days off. By extension, I have a lot of days to sit alone and stress that I'm not doing enough.
So, we work to improve.
When theres a problem or a situation to avoid (like me being alone for longer than one hour), you escape it. I'm discovering safe space and creative activities. Coffee shops are always good, because, seriously, just being around other humans gives me energy. I'm currently working one part time job, so I'm seeking other flexible jobs when I can work on my own and have things to do to fill my time. I use my Passion Planner to map out my day and hold myself accountable to get stuff done. I go see my therapist, because thats an absolute need AND it fills up 2 hours of my day off. I promised myself I would practice art once a day, whether that be practicing guitar, singing for an audition, or writing. Its cathartic.
Is this a perfect solution? No. Does it help? Yes. I'm finding people who understand. I'm reaching out to people to meet up and spend time with those I love during my free days. I'm learning to be happy with just myself.
But if you're out there and have trouble being alone, I hear you, I see you, I am you. Hopefully, even when you feel most alone, remember you aren't. And if you can beat that feeling of sadness, even for a little bit, you've won.
P.S. Some articles that I love in relation to this: