There’s a lot of books and articles out there about how to interact with, or be, an introvert. Society really looks down on introverts, we hear, and even when it doesn’t, it certainly isn’t designed to be navigated by introverts. They’re a very misunderstood bunch, but they have a lot to contribute. Here’s how you can properly cherish them, etc. etc.

Katelin couldn’t relate to any of this at all. Society not designed for introverts — bullshit!

She hated being alone. She hated that sometimes her roommates didn’t want to chat. She hated that sometimes she wasn’t able to finagle dinner and drinks plans, or sometimes the people she went out with went home earlier than her. She hated that sometimes she was awake, and the nearby bar was empty — or that she was too tired to go to it, in any case. Certainly, if she was alone, she would always have the television on, even when she was sleeping. And if she was exhausted from being at a party too long, where she felt odd, she’d unwind by calling up a friend on the phone to complain about it!

Where were the articles about how to survive as such a raging extrovert? Where were the articles on how to deal with well-meaning colleagues who decided she needed more space, more quiet in order to work?

Then one day she tried shrooms.

She had bought some from a website in the Netherlands. She tried to get friends to do them with her — obviously — but they were all horrible cowards. In a move that was very out of character for her, she ended up saying “fuck it,” carving out an evening for herself (and turning down opportunities to hang out, somehow!) and doing them on her own.

Normally, when she was alone, she’d drive herself into a near panic, but this time, something else happened. She thought about life, and how she wasn’t where she wanted to be at 29, and… she didn’t feel like she was about to scream. She instead just thought she could push through it, process things slowly. She had the experience of hearing all the scary thoughts, but neutered; how had she missed out on this before? Finally, she did something she hadn’t done in years. She went to her bookshelf, pulled out a book, and started to read.

And the book didn’t argue with her. The book didn’t waste her time with nonsense she didn’t want to hear about. The book didn’t try to one-up her or play games or cause drama. It just was, and she was happy with it.