I used to smoke. Now, I don't, and this being my first con since this very important change, I discovered something.
My social well was always regulated by smoking breaks.
Not consciously, but it does now kind of occur to me how often my need for a cigarette would coincide with some sort of group social interaction after some period of time. And sure, I had a wonderful rotating social group of smokers with me, which you'd think would be also users of my well (God that sounds creepy, but I don't have anything better so ride or die on terminology here), but no. Like, yes, smokers talk a lot but we also are doing something else--smoking--and there's literally nothing like awkward silence in the smoking group because i'ts not awkward, we're inhaling. I guess like knitting but we're also getting high(ish)? I don't know, but I realized it while vaping with norabombay, and yes, I've known her for fifteen years, we're like long-distance fannish semi-lifemates in that way that fangirls are, she takes nothing from my social well...when I'm vaping (and like a ton less at other times, or even none, obviously, but she was the one there with me at my epiphany).
Drinking obviously is excluded form the 'social well' thing--except then here I am with two major exceptions because as it turns out I do have a social well that can empty except when one of these two conditions are met. How did i realize this? How many times I was super enjoying this group discuss yet had to flee for reasons unclear but nicotine related except I just like hung out quietly outside looking at traffic in a sort of zen-way and maybe remembering to vape every few minutes? Or talking to nora, of course. Or writing because yeah, it happens and you gotta do it?
(Yesterday, I started a course of existential despair and unrelated cramping except those are related yeah, that's called PMS, which is yet another separate wtf because two thirds of my life this has been a monthly thing and yet, I did indeed spend way too much fucking time last night feeling a sense of hopeless despair while badly playing Atmos and getting no element higher than 38.)
So does smoking/vaping either act as no-take zone of my well or do they refill it faster than it would otherwise? Or both? Like, I'm one of those introverts who doesn't fear public speaking--actually, I love it--and audience size is a plus as far as I'm concerned. Yes, I do get that's an entirely different even if related social thing but still, that's one of my speed-chargers in the social well. The only thing that keeps me from generally volunteering for ALL THE PANELS (other than say, obvious reasos) is I"m also incredibly lazy, but this makes me think future cons, to offset my well problem, i probably should volunteer to moderate at every con I go to (I did three on Saturday and that definitely did the trick on social well things).
I feel like I should survey but I'm not sure how to frame the question. I just wonder if anyone else noticed something like that?
ETA: kara_mckay has some really good observations in comments here. I'm still trying to assemble a better response than "Dude....." with pointing for I am more articulate than that and also no one can see me pointing.
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