Just because I prefer to be at home doesn’t mean I lack a sense of adventure. Just because I prefer to be at home doesn’t mean I am lazy. Just because I prefer to be at home doesn’t mean I am an introvert. Just because I prefer to be at home doesn’t mean I am a couch-potato. Just because I prefer to be at home doesn’t mean I am anti-social. Just because I prefer to be at home doesn’t mean I sit around the house in sweatpants all day. Just because I prefer to be at home doesn’t mean I am a recluse.
Homebodies get a bad reputation. Homebodies are not friendless losers with no purpose. Don’t assume someone who prefers to be home doesn’t enjoy your company. Don’t assume someone who prefers to stay at home is boring. Don’t assume someone who prefers to stay at home is without social grace. Don’t assume someone who enjoys staying at home doesn’t want to be invited out.
Homebodies have all kinds of reasons for preferring home to other places: warmth, security, safety, comfort…just to name a few. But there are other reasons too like invisible chronic disease that bring with it unseen pain and physical weakness.
Bad reputation or not, I am proud to call myself a homebody. I wholehearted enjoy the comforts of my home and given the unpredictability of the symptoms of my disease, my home provides me a sheltered ease to manage these symptoms in privacy. It allows me the ability to rest, recharge and regroup. There is no judgement in the security of my home. I do not have to perform for anyone. I do not have to act the part of wellness.
Being at home is a gift. It is a treasure beyond numerical value. Home for me is a reassuring place of protection. I am not only unashamed to call myself a homebody. I like being a homebody. But it doesn’t mean that I have shut myself off from the world. I haven’t. Not at all. I still enjoy adventure and spontaneity. I still enjoy being in the company of others. I just find being at home is easier for me physically. So now I pick and choose more carefully what brings me out of the house and what doesn’t.
I think when you fight persistent aches and pain, monstrous fatigue and other ailments of life with chronic disease, it is important to embrace your inner homebody and learn to be okay with it, even come to like it, as I have. It makes life easier and it takes the pressure off to feel like you have to go, go go all the time when your body is telling you other wise. You can still be part of the world and enjoy the world and be a homebody. These things are not mutually exclusive of one another. And, it doesn’t matter what other people think, it is perfectly okay to be a homebody!