|Image: Pink of Perfection|
When people are depressed, they are encouraged not to isolate themselves, but it is really hard not to. Most people are confused by drastic mood changes. They don't understand why someone who is normally animated and talkative would sit silently in a corner watching everyone else have fun. When I am depressed, I only feel comfortable with those who know me well and understand that, at-times, I can't fully participate in social events, even if I want to. Big parties, which are usually fun, and great opportunities to meet interesting people, become strangely intimidating if I am depressed. At those times, it is extremely awkward to try to have a conversation with someone new, because I can barely focus on what they are saying and I can't think of anything to say myself. So, I avoid those types of encounters by turning down invitations to events that would be difficult to handle.
Fortunately, this year, I'm feeling happy and healthy, and I've been stepping up my social life ever since Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to the abundance of merriment to be had throughout the holiday season. Last night, I met seven friends at an Indian restaurant and had a pleasant dinner in a charming part of town where a holiday festival was being held. After dinner, we walked through a shopping center which was hosting a beer tasting as a fundraiser for a private school for children with autism. We didn't participate, but it was good to see such a big crowd having fun and supporting a worthy cause. Next, we walked to one of my friend's houses for an impromptu get-together. There was a lot of talking and laughing, and a lot of silliness and fun. I'm so thankful that I'm able to enjoy the simple pleasures in life this year, and I hope to keep it up. I feel like I've finally figured out how to maintain my mental and physical health, and I hope to savor the good times for many years to come.