#MondayMusings: Emerging from the hermit cave

As an introvert, my default state is to hide away in my hermit cave. I truly enjoy pottering about the house – the husband and I doing our own creative thing in companionable silence; reading; journaling; playing with the cats… But then, the cycle will turn and I’ll have a couple of weeks where my energy is more outward focused.

September, so far, has been all aboutย  stepping out of the hermit cave more often than not, and it’s been fun! It started with a farewell party for a teammate at work, and continued with meeting up with friends both old and new. Yummy food, laughter galore, counseling sessions, venting, retail therapy: this month has had it all.

As easy as it is for me to be pretty self-contained, I do realize that spending time and energy with friends is also deeply nourishing. But it’s easy for me to forget this sometimes, and I realize that this is another change that has come about over the years.

As I reflect on my own seven-year life cycle, I see that my struggle through depression has left its own mark on me. While I have always been an introvert, I haven’t always been a hermit. I used to be out and about most weekends, meeting friends, partying, exploring the city. But over these last seven years, that has changed.

Maybe my natural introversion got amplified, but as I emerged from my depression, I became a lot more in-drawn: self-contained, inward focused, hermity. It’s not altogether a bad thing, and I don’t really wish to change much. I believe being self-contained is an important life skill, and my art practice plays a big role there. I also think there is a lot to be learnt from being inward focused, and a lot of growth, development, and resilience comes from really taking the time to understand yourself and what makes you tick. My tarot and journaling {both written and art} practice have helped me heal and grow in ways that I could never have imagined. The only thing I’d like to reduce somewhat is how hermity I’ve become. While I don’t always have to “people”, I would like to be out exploring the city more often.

Something to consider during this Sacred September*.

How’s September treating you so far? Do tell me in the comments!

* I’m using September as a pause month; reflecting on my previous seven-year cycle and getting some clarity on the direction in which I want to head.

Posted in Stories.

36 Comments

  1. I totally agree that being self contained is a great life skill. One doesn’t necessarily need to people (I like the term ๐Ÿ˜€ ) but meeting strangers and listening to their stories can be quite fascinating too. And, yes, cities can have their own charm.

    • Yes, and it’s a life skill that a lot of people never even develop, isn’t it? Meeting strangers has always been somewhat awkward for me; after my depression, it has become even more difficult in some ways.

  2. I know what you mean about becoming more inward and more of a hermit post-depression. It happened to me too and it took a lot of effort to move past that and get out and about. I think being in nature is one good way to start. Glad to hear you are getting out a bit more and while you are peopling, it doesn’t have to always be that.

    September started off a bit rough for me with the breakup and some issues at work but I’m healing by being out in nature and with friends

    • Nature is a wonderful healer! I am lucky to have a patch of green in the urban jungle that I call home. Just looking out at the greenery soothes me and fills me with peace.

      I’m glad to hear that you’re healing after the breakup and work issues.

  3. I do hope you arenโ€™t depressed anymore . It is wonderful to be self contained – to be happy in oneโ€™s own company is the greatest blessing . I too can survive by myself . September has been quite a mix – Happy and sad moments . But this I consider to be the pattern of life . Donโ€™t you think?

  4. As someone who has slowly withdrawn from socializing, I can completely understand you, Shinjini. Now I come back from a social event exhausted. I’m slowly trying to push myself to socialize more, but not too much! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I especially find large social gatherings very draining, which is why I tend to avoid them. I’d rather meet a small group of people – that’s relatively easier for me. Although too much socializing can leave me very drained! It’s important to strike a balance!

  5. Maybe it is not good to be a hermit, but it is very important to cut out toxic people from your life. The smaller the circle you have, the happier you become.

    As someone still trying to come to terms with depression, having a close bunch of friends around and a supportive partner helps me. So does reading. I still love to socialize, but I limit the size of the crowd. Too many people always give me headaches.

    • Oh, I absolutely agree on the toxic people! No one should have to put up with them! A close bunch of friends, though, are a blessing! Glad you have some good friends and a supportive partner as you try to come to terms with your depression. (((hugs)))

  6. Being an introvert myself, I completely understand being self-contained and being home-bound. While it’s really nice it’s also nice to hang out with friends and get out now and then. A right balance of both is what keeps me happy. A lot of home-bound with a sprinkling of outing with family and good friends. Hope you are doing well .

  7. September isnt too bad nor has it been exceptionally good. Filling in the gaps of my days, with reading and that relaxing the mind, way beyond my imagination. Its my little world and the best way to escape.

  8. Self introspection always helps. Also, I love the fact that you are happy with yourself. It’s not a good thing to always want people around you to be happy. Be blessed – September has been busy but good! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I think that the people who find it difficult to be happy in their own company are the ones who are afraid of what they will find if they have any time to examine their own life. I know I have been in that place too, and I hope never to return there!

  9. These days I am reading so many posts on depression. I am myself going through a bad phase of depression and can relate so much to this post. I myself also wrote about pain and how I want to avoid people in my #mondaymusing post. Hugs to you

  10. I can totally relate to it, Jini. I am an introvert too, but there are days when I crave some girl company. As you said, introspection is a good thing. I hope it helps you too. Have a happy September ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Dear Shinjini,

    I so hear you on this one. I am honestly done being outdoorsy. After spending a few days in the company of friends/people or going out every day, I need to switch off and reclaim myself. I need to dig deep into my cubby hole and just stay there. Just be and do nothing- except, eat, read and sleep. I get exhausted if I have to interact, go out to run errands every day. I thereafter end up having no bandwidth to socialise, and interact for a couple of days.

    Truth be told, I’m going through this phase right now. I know I just need to unwind and do nothing. So, I have cancelled a few appointments today, not taken calls, and I’m even planning to opt out of the pinkathon this Sunday. It’s Daughter’s Day too on Sunday and I’d rather wake up to my giggling girls, than an army of giggly women! If I did not have to visit blogs today, I’d be reading all morning and afternoon. But what needs to be done, needs to be done, and here I am visiting all these fascinating blogs, which were overdue from Tuesday. And they have all been eye-openers of sorts.

    Your post resonates at various levels. I hear you on the “overcoming the depression bit”. I have become far more self-contained ever since mine. I don’t seek validation anymore and I am happy to immerse myself in my creativity- writing and art. I’m itching to make art since day-before. But haven’t managed to get time.

    This is a beautiful post Shinjini, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Though I am not an introvert from any level, mostly an ambivert. Though people insist I’m an extrovert, which is so not true. I know myself a little more than they do. Fortunately ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sending you loads of joy and solitude <3 <3

    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts so beautifully, Natasha! It sometimes helps to know that you’re not alone…that others understand the way you feel, and feel the same way too. Hope you enjoy Daughter’s Day with your giggling girls, and that you were able to take a much needed break in your blanket fort. And I sure hope you found some time to make some art – I’d love to see if you would like to share. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I’m an introvert also. Was nodding when reading post as I enjoy being out with friends and catching up. It is about balance for me. I need that alone time (maybe not hermit) to recharge so that I can enjoy being with people and not feel exhausted.

  13. A much better month for me than August as we had our first grandchild born just last week ๐Ÿ™‚ I enjoyed reading your post and hope you can limit your hermit lifestyle if that’s what you want to do!

  14. I like the thought you left – being “self- contained”. There is a time for it – it does come naturally after awhile – when you practice time in your own company.But peopling is the grist of life too… albeit sometimes relationships are not so easy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Peopling is the grist of life – yes, I guess it is. I do have to people when I’m at work, for instance. Maybe that is what zaps my energy sometimes and makes me want to retreat into a hermit cave sometimes! I need to strike a better balance between hermity and peoply, though!

  15. Wonderful write up Shinjini, and reading this I felt the instant connection with my own write up earlier regarding almost the same subject ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a welcome and positive sign that your practice and blogging is leading you out of the negative phases of your life, and it’s true that sometimes we need to expose ourselves to the rest of the world to get those human connections we might be missing, but we also have to take care of ourselves in the fact that sometimes we have to accept exactly the opposite of what we expect…..:)….lesser the expectations, greater the acceptance, lesser the burdens…..

    • Yes, it’s all about the balance, isn’t it? Which can get a tad difficult for me. But I am trying to strike a better balance between hermiting and socializing – they’re both important, after all!

  16. As much as I love spending time with friends, I need my โ€˜me timeโ€™ too. I have enjoyed some of the best moments in life both with the company of others and with my company alone and I like both of it. This month I was lucky to get time for both and iโ€™m glad I Did!

  17. #ablogginggoodtime I make time for me daily. I think exploring the city alone is a fabulous idea. in fact you’ve inspired me to perhaps spend some ‘me time’ in the future on a mini adventure….its funny how different places look with a new light.

  18. I can relate to this so very much, I too find myself retreating in to me, and see the befits of this, yet also see I must be careful o still remember to surround myself with beautiful people. Thank you so much for joining us for #ablogginggoodtime

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