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Where to find the specific type of socialising this introvert needs?

Post date: 2020-02-22 05:20:39
Views: 14
I am a quite an introverted person and like being by myself listening to music or audiobooks, or reading psychology articles online. However I don't work through disability and am really very socially isolated - it's started to get me down. I have social anxiety so Meetup has been a mixed bag for me. I think I am getting clear about what I need (explained below) - what sort of environment could I find it in?

I am just coming out an extended period of winter depression, or maybe it was just a low phase of my bipolar disorder. I've had a few months of staying in bed a lot, listening to music or audiobooks, and reading things on my smartphone. Not many hours a day out of bed at all. My Occupational Therapist thought my living environment might be contributing to my low mood, so I was given access to a couple of hours a week of help decluttering which has both brightened the place and also been a welcome source of intelligent chat while we work away. Unfortunately I don't think my real issue is living in a messy "bachelor pad", I think it's that I'm so isolated socially. My bipolar is always there but more a common grey flat mood and thankfully not the manic highs. I guess I am doing OK-ish in that regard as my OT has moved to a new job recently and I was assessed as not needing a replacement.

I haven't been able to work for quite a long time due to the bipolar - in the US I think I would be on SSDI but here it's reviewed periodically but basically long term disabled. On the down side I don't have social contact with colleagues, on the plus side after the difficult assessment process I actually have a reasonable amount of disposable income where I could go low cost places and activities. Meetup.com is the obvious one and I did try a concerts group that was OK but the others were quite extroverted people - the kind you would enjoy sharing a drink in a bar with, but I am more an introvert who would be at home having a cup of tea. I * really * loved a group that went around trying different cafes and tearooms but, sadly for me and great for her, the organiser and her French boyfriend moved to Paris. The only group I am in at the moment is a mental health support group that meets in a cafe. It's mostly great and a couple of people have become something in between acquaintances and friends, but we are quite a big group and if I end up sitting with people I don't know I can spent the whole meet very quiet. I also go to an exercise class at the wellbeing centre which uses the facilities of a local church. Sometimes one or two have a cuppa and chat after - again, I made two friends and enjoyed talking to them, but haven't seen them there in some time. So now I am finally realising that because of my social anxiety it's not enough for there to be a group and me to just go along and be left to my own devices. I really need to find a group or groups that is small enough to where the host has time to spend with people one on one, or where there is a facilitator encouraging or prompting to help me to participate. In England there is a mental health charity called MIND which has drop-in groups in quite a few areas, kind of like support groups where people talk about how their week is going but with more facilitation than the informal group I go to on Meetup. Unfortunately MIND doesn't cover Scotland. I live in Glasgow which is pretty big, maybe half a million people. I am sure what I need is somewhere in the city. Am really just looking for ideas of what has helped any introverts like me which I can then Google to see if it is available locally. (As a partial clue, for a while I attended a decluttering support group run by a lovely Quaker woman. I enjoyed the chat and the discussion of ideas from decluttering books very much, but didn't do so well when alone in my flat and faced with the actual chore of decluttering).
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