I think we forget that sometimes it's okay to want to be alone. There are times we really need our own privacy, and it's a very natural thing. Contrary to popular belief, it's okay to need to step away from everyone and just be alone. I think with chronic pain, we need to understand that this feeling isn't depression or anxiety: it's natural.
I'm an introvert; I get energy from being alone, rather than a extrovert who gets energy by being around others. There are lots times I prefer being alone, and one of those times tends to be when I'm in pain. Not always, but some of the time I find it easier to cope that way. Being alone allows me to enter my own world and focus on relaxing, which works very well. And of course, there are times a good laugh with a friend helps.
When I'm particularly stiff, I like to be alone. Somehow it's easier to walk like a robot easier on my own than when I'm in class and I can feel eyes on me. In some ways although I try to be open about having arthritis, my bad days are still private. I don't like attention brought to it, unless it's necessary. I suppose in a way I'm trying to protect the ones around me. I guess I'm protecting myself too.