People Make Me Sleepy

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Have you ever been so anxious that you literally passed out? That happened to me this weekend. I went to a small writing convention. I went last year, so I’m familiar with the folks who were there, and they’re good people.

I was sure to take my emergency anxiety medication before going, and my significant other assured me that if it’s too much, we can leave at any time.

When we walked into the building I was met with my first mini panic attack of the day, though it subsided quickly. We arrived just before the end of a panelist’s discussion. The room held three long tables and four smaller square ones. Every table was full and there were no chairs available for us to use, so we had to stand at the side of the room. I immediately felt as though I stuck out like a sore thumb and imagined everyone staring at me. A few familiar and friendly faces in the room smiled and waved, and that made me feel a little better.

When the discussion was over, everyone was directed to another room where lunch was being served. I was anxious about this, but there was a table where wine was being served, so that helped. (Wine, my hero, to the rescue!)

Throughout the day, we took breaks from the small, crowded building to go outside and get some fresh air and a bit of separation from the crowd of people. This did truly help. Even so, by the end of the day I was exhausted. It is common for introverts to become mentally and physically exhausted when being around people for long lengths of time, and this particular day definitely used up all my spoons and caught my silverware drawer on fire.

We went back to the hotel to rest for a while before the after party, which was the part of the trip we were most excited for. Yes, the panels and discussions were very interesting and informative, but we were excited to visit with friends we don’t get to see often. Unfortunately, my rest turned into sleeping for twelve hours. When my significant other tried to wake me up to go to the after party, my unconscious self made it quite clear that I wanted to stay in bed.

While I hate that I missed the party, I felt so much better the next morning. I felt emotionally and physically drained the evening before. When I woke up I felt very well rested, and ready to take on the next round of socializing.

I learned a powerful lesson that I tend to forget – Dealing with people is exhausting, and while medication and taking breaks help, it’s really best to keep that level of socialization to a minimum, and allow myself time to fully recharge afterward. Hopefully next time I take my own advice.


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