It’s that time again, the Holiday season and I will spend it as I always have. You see I am a non-religious loner, and the holidays for me are simply another day.
Born with a genetic predisposition to lonerdom (Not a word, but it fits). Never fitting in whether in the dynamic of a Nuclear Family or one of those Hodgepodge Family Units knitted together by love and not blood. It’s not a bad thing; I have come to accept the fact that I am an introvert of extreme proportions. You know them, those lone figures stalking the edges of the room. Oh and those so awkward forced smiles as you mistakenly make eye contact and your brain begins to scream. “No, No, carry on, Red Alert, Red Alert, dangerous socialization eminent.” You drop gaze, pretend to check the thread count on curtains or a piece of non-existent lint seems to hold the answer to the meaning of life.
Yes, I am that bad, don’t judge, I am a social faker though. Normal, yes, I can even pretend that I am normal, supposedly belong in the crowd. Hell, it’s Hell I tell you!
However, like most I fall into the deep depression that holidays invoke. Those dark questions, doubts of why didn’t I belong. Not to forget the great question that the end of the year brings, how will I fuck it up next year? I don’t want pity or a pat on the head, introverts are wired differently, programmed through experience or rare phobias we discover courtesy of Google on nights driven my caffeine-induced insomnia.
Already knowing I will stand over my sink with my Holiday Frozen Dinner doesn’t fill me with dread. It is what it is. There won’t be any woe is me, I will stand in Introverted Solidarity with all my other Socially Awkward Brothers and Sisters. If you must know, I get to sleep in, stay in my pajamas all day and write/read, not such a bad deal if I do say so myself.
There’s something about falling into the trap of inevitability, over three decades of conditioning leads to a strange comfort. I try not to pretend to be something I am not, this isn’t a holiday-induced phenomenon this is a year round, 24-7-365 reality.
Hello, I am J.M., and I am an Introvert. Sometimes I even find it laughable the degree to which I have pulled the label around myself like a warm, fuzzy blankie of invisibility. Building a fort surrounded by moats filled with bloodthirsty mutant sharks. There’s a SyFy movie in their somewhere.
All kidding aside, we all know or are one of those Holiday Hermits. They’re forced into it by life or unavoidable circumstances and unable to push through. It’s a proven fact that rates of depression and suicide increase during the holiday seasons. The loneliness is more than some can take, the too quiet hours of contemplation of what-ifs and mistakes that we can never rectify.
So, this holiday season keep in mind the introverts, the have-nots and could-haves. Because sometimes behind a perceived shyness there’s more, a hidden pain never faded or a festering wound picked at repeatedly over years. Smile at someone who passes you on the street, okay, maybe not the creepy mouth-breather leering at you from the corner at the Christmas Party. (Safety Note: Don’t accept drinks from said creepy guy or anyone you don’t know.) Drop a bit of change in a homeless person’s cup; buy them a cup of coffee or a meal. Buy a toy for a toy drive. Gather old clothes; buy some toiletries for your local Shelter.
Just remember, not everyone is going to be warm and safe this holiday season.
So, on that down note, have a Very Happy Loner Holiday One and All!