Recognizing my threshold.
I've been in therapy, with a few different psychologists, off and on now for almost ten years. In that time I've learned many things about myself. One of the things I have become aware of overtime is my threshold for being around people.
I am quite introverted. I've spent most of my life forcing myself to participate in social situations long past a reasonable threshold for my sanity. As a result, I often have impatient, angry outbursts at whoever is around me after I've left the social event. So my family, former partners, and pets have generally taken the brunt of this.
After finally beginning to understand that I am an introvert, and learning what that means to me, I've finally figured out what I need to maintain my sanity. I've started to notice when I'm getting close to my threshold for "people".
Today's Thanksgiving dinner and the rest of the afternoon is a pretty good illustration of that. At Thanksgiving dinner, I sat outside on the deck alone to eat my food. After dinner, I disappeared to the futon in my nephew's bedroom and had a nap (albeit with several visits from my nephew to deliver or take away stuffies and show me the cool lights he has.)
When I got home after everything was over I had another sort of drowsy nap while my nephew played lego's at our house (I'm also quite sure this is directly related to the amount of sugar I've consumed in the last 24 hours.) I spent the rest of the afternoon alternately helping my mum clean up the backyard, and getting food for my nephew. This evening when his parents came to pick him up, and everyone was around, I really started to lose my patience. I was irritable and cranky and even shouted at the dogs a few times for barking too much. So I decided it was time to remove myself from the people. I snuck off, got myself and my dog ready, and went off for a walk by ourselves.
It helped, but I'm still definitely over threshold today. So when I got home from walking, I took myself and the dog straight downstairs to my bedroom. Hopefully tomorrow I will hate other humans a little less.
I still don't recognize it as early as I'd like, but I'm getting there. It can be difficult to remove myself from situations if I feel obligated to put on a good face and be nice. But, I'm getting more and more used to doing that and caring less what other people think when I do. At the end of the day, I have to live with me, and I don't like living with me that is over threshold and "can't people anymore."