Saturday, July 2, 2016

Unforseen Perils of Night Shifting

I've been on straight nights for over a year now. The initial problems were more to do with diet than anything, honestly. I could shove down enough caffeine, sugar, and b12 to stay awake, and I figured out how to sleep during the day, but I had a lot of trouble eating right. I'm... better, not great but better about that now.

One side effect that I didn't foresee was the schedule enforced hermitage becoming somewhat my idea.

Back before college, while I was working road construction, a friend and I went dancing at one of the bars in the town north of here every Thursday night. It was the highlight of our week, and it was a blast. I still remember it being a nearly obscene amount of fun to go there and dance amongst as many people as could pack into the tiny bar.

Now, the thought of doing that gives me a mild case of the willies. Hell, at work I occasionally get claustrophobic and cranky when there are too many people in my fish bowl, though it is a tiny room and six people in it is way too much. Add in my dislike for having people hovering behind me and I start to get a little twitchy.

I've come to realize fairly recently that I've got a bit of social anxiety now that I didn't used to have. I was never the life of the party, and I was always sort of nervous around new people but I had learned how to stomp on that and be friendly, meet new people, be sort of gregarious. Pretty sure I've lost most of that, in purely social situations.

I'm not running in panic from the idea of meeting new people or being in a place where there are more than five people present, or anything. I just... get tense. I realized not long ago that I recognized the feeling I was having when meeting more than one new person, especially off of "my" territory, and it was that dumb junior high "but if I open my mouth they'll know I'm a dork" feeling.

Even Blogorado, thinking back. I love my tribe, of course, but I couldn't stay in the house for very long if there were many people inside. I'd be in there and visit with people a bit and then I'd go out to the shop, where there was room to breathe... and I'd relax.

It isn't an anxiety attack, or anything close to that severe, it's just a tension and a low level but constant desire to go back to my nice safe cave. When I actually do something social, if there are more people there than I expected, I want to call the whole thing off and go home.

I know what's caused the uptick, I think. I'm pretty sure it's just sensitization from not being social very much. Which is easy enough to fix if I can manage to make it work with a few friends that are still local, and don't get screwed up by being the one who's working when I'm not.

I'm taking an unexpected vacation next week. Nothing bad, just it was pointed out to me that my vacation hours were maxed and strongly suggested that I take some time so that I wasn't *not* earning vacation, and it happened to fit into the schedule for next week. It's one of my short weeks and if I'm gonna take time off I'd rather kill one of the four day weeks but such is life. I didn't have any plans though, so I'm gonna try to get a few projects accomplished, do some day walking and soak up some sun, and maybe get some social time in, with bonus points if I manage to convince a friend to haul his boat up to the lake so I can get social, water, and sun time all at once. And I'll work on the whole being social thing, as I can, because I'd rather work on it now than wait until the hermitude is much worse.

Now that I think about it, I really need to get my fishing license for this year. Haven't even managed to go fishing yet this year, which is a tragedy, but one I can remedy.