I get crabby if I don't write. Really nasty inside my head, but outside it manifests as short-tempered, impatient, quiet.
Writing is more than cathartic, it's oxygen to my addled brain. Daily, my intellectual world fills up too quickly. Too many visuals, too many words; excessive stimuli. I'm one of those hyper-aware, hunter-gatherers. Indiscriminate; greedy. My overfull brain quickly turns toxic, requiring time, solitude, and rest to flush and sift; store and discard. Writing is my brain organizing, collating, prioritizing.
You don't want to encounter me when my brain is full; my energy drained. The toxicity is ugly. My words are few, my smile never reaches my eyes. My countenance is strained. And, aging has diminished my capacity for tolerance of small talk; small minds. Stand clear.
I'm almost fully self-aware; married to a cautious man. I'm extremely verbal. He never has to guess risk factors. I express myself clearly; tell him. He listens. He steps away and respects my temporary boundaries. A wise and gracious man.
Believe me. When I'm done; I'm done. I can be oh-so polite, but my spring is over-wound. Don't push; don't infer expectations or inflict guilt or attempt shame.
Step away. I need time, solitude, silence. Rest. The best me is the writer. She's the centered, soul-filled person you want to meet, converse with, and befriend. She's the creative, the artist, the wit.