As A Neurodivergent Introvert, I’ve Never Been Happier.
Discovering strengths I once thought were weaknesses during the Covid-19 pandemic
To put it quite plainly, Covid-19 has affected us all in various ways, some more seriously and life-altering than others. I would never dare to overlook or make light of the seriousness of the situation as a whole, and I am grateful every day that I do not know anyone who has personally lost their life to the virus. With that said, I have to personally admit that many of my fears going into the days of shutdowns and social distancing were quickly quelled by one thing: the fact that I am an introvert. While the world quickly shifted from in-person events to Zoom meetings and from working at the office to pajamas at home, I realized one thing. This was not as much of a struggle for me as I feared. This is, in fact, my wheelhouse.
For some reason, I felt like shit for admitting it. With the seemingly never-ending doom and gloom that enveloped the world almost overnight, weaving itself into every single every conversation and every daily task, it felt wrong to admit that I was fine with most of the social aspects of it. I went from being uncomfortable leaving my house to finding relief in the fact that people could no longer see most of my facial expressions when dealing with assholes in public places. I also found solace in the fact that my “bubble” was now something that everyone had. You know the one. The don’t fucking touch me or even breathe in my direction bubble. Most of all, I wasn’t expected to leave my house and I didn’t have to make up bullshit excuses for staying home.
As a neurodivergent person, I don’t enjoy having to explain why I don’t want to be stuffed into a tiny, loud, shitty bar because of how it’s a literal sensory assault. I don’t enjoy parties, I don’t enjoy crowds either although I do tolerate them for concerts if I really want to see someone live. Most of the time, it’s a struggle to get me out to even socialize with the single neighbor in my building that I do like. My family feels the same for the most part, we’re happy with our creature comforts at home and the occasional ordered take-out.
The most impactful moment of Pandemia for me has to be when I realized that being an introvert was not only something to not be ashamed of, it gave me a leg up on life for a change. Staying home is what I know, social distancing my default setting. I was no longer made to feel “other” because my aversion to socializing gets the better of me more often than it doesn’t. Finally. I became comfortable with saying “no” because it was the best decision for not only me, but for my family too.
Being an introvert no longer feels like a burden. It feels like a gift that has gotten me through the almost two years this pandemic has dragged on for so far, and it will continue to get me through both Covid-19 and other situations in which I have to choose what is right and comfortable for myself.