There was a party I really wanted to go to last night (Saturday night). Not like the social at Gavi's school Friday night, which I kind of wanted to go to and it would probably have been a good thing if I'd gone but would have been full of, you know, perfectly nice but mundane people—people not in or familiar with the fannish community. No, this was a party thrown by friends at their house, where there would be music making at some point and some number of friends would be there in addition to my hosts and I really wanted to go. Gavi wanted to go too, even though what she usually does at this sort of party is bring a book and find a comfortable corner to curl up in and read—which makes perfect sense to me; she wants to be there and experience it and see what's going on but isn't yet ready to engage in a lot of conversation with grups. Susan even was figuring she'd go (but then ultimately ended up feeling dragged out and ill that evening and decided going to bed was a better idea than going to a party).
Why didn't I go? Even though I had an obligation to Gavi and to the hosts? Well. The party was to start around 7pm, so I set my alarm for 5pm. Got up, had a bowl of cerial, bumped into a few walls, went back upstairs to lie down and read for a while. I think I may have taken my drugs during this interval but I'm not sure—it might have been later. Woke up again around 7pm, which is more-or-less the time I normally wake up for work, thought about going to the party, thought about going downstairs and LJing about it being 7pm and I wasn't at the party yet, thought about getting up and going to the bathroom … and snoozed off again. I think I wandered in and out of sleep for the next couple of hours. Around 10pm I finally woke up and actually felt like getting out of bed (as opposed to simply feeling able to drag myself out of bed, which was how I'd felt earlier) so I went downstairs and apologized sincerely to Gavi for letting her down, since it really seemed too late to be trying to pull things together and go to the party, especially if I were going to be bringing her along. By 10:30–10:45 I actually felt kind of awake. If the party had been starting at, say, 11:30pm I probably would have gone, although I wouldn't have prearranged to take Gavi.
I don't think this failure was due to the social fear thing, although I imagine there may have been some subconscious element of that. It was mostly due to the fact that I really didn't feel awake at all until late.
I reckon working third shift (10:45pm to 6:15am) in itself shouldn't really be an impediment to going to parties on Saturday nights (or even Sunday nights, should any of my friends ever decide to schedule such a thing). The real problem is that I've incorrectly shifted my sleep schedule. That is, instead of being able to go to sleep in the morning immediately after I come home from dropping Gavi off at school, I tend either to putter around or to lay in bed hoping to fall asleep soon. I usually end up sleeping from, I dunno, noonish to sevenish. My guess is that this is a result of years of daily school and work life-habit: the usual schedule that conditions us is to get up and go to our obligations (shcool when younger, work when older) and then have the time after that as personal and relaxation time. It appears to be easier to shift hours/times of day than to shift the cycle itself to sleep–personal time–work–sleep–personal time–work…. If I could somehow do that, I think I'd be able to attend more social events, which would be a good thing. I wonder how to do that.