According to this Guardian article, I’m attending a Hallowe’en party tonight in the most scientifically accurate ‘person with depression’ costume possible: I’m not going. I was invited, and I’m not otherwise occupied, but I don’t want to go.
Some people find this hard to understand. This comic gives a partial explanation – as an introvert, sometimes I allow myself to be pressured into going out and I just don’t enjoy it. I did actually love clubbing in my first year of university, but now I don’t also see my friends all the time during the day so when I do see them I prefer to be somewhere I can hear what they’re saying. I am shy and not good with people I don’t know, particularly in high concentrations (like at parties) and where everyone is loud and excited (like at parties). Sometimes, though, I still go to parties and I enjoy them.
But for me it’s a big thing. One late night is something it will take me days to mentally recover from. A night of interacting with lots of strangers (because even my closest friends don’t want me attached to them all night) genuinely takes up a huge amount of energy; if I borrow extra energy with alcohol, I’m even more exhausted the next day. A party is a commitment that I have to be pretty sure will be worth sacrificing the next day for (with weariness if not a hangover from all two of the drinks my low alcohol tolerance could deal with), and this party doesn’t tip the balance.
It’s not that I eschew fun, or that I’m scared of the people or can’t be bothered to dress up. I am capable of going, and probably of enjoying it for a while, but when I run out of energy it happens pretty fast and even if I leave as soon as I start getting tired the journey back will be a torturous, drawn-out assault on my senses when all they want to do is shut down. I don’t want that; it is literally bad for my health. So please don’t laugh at me for staying in with a film tonight – I was almost at a stage where I could feel good about looking after myself.