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Isolation: My Natural Defence

Guest Author: Charlotte

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

A sign of my lowering mental health can be that I detach from the people I love most.

I have low self-esteem and rather chronic anxiety, which tells me often how undeserving I am, and that even my closest friends must secretly hate me.

As my mood drops and rises, I change my attitude towards life from month to month, as I navigate my way through my mental illness.

I find that I am so isolated and reckless in how I treat myself on the bad months. I spend my highs trying my best to make amends and to fix relationships which I swear I have ruined.

It can be complicated to have me in your life.

It can often feel like my lows are the equivalent to being intoxicated and out of control.

It can be complicated to have me in your life, I am a friend who can’t really tell you if I am coming or going. As much as I have learned and grown as to how to manage my well being, sometimes, I can’t help but believe those negative voices, because it’s been a part of me for so long.

There is a bit of a joke where I used to live, a town over from where I am now, that I just sort of appeared and disappeared every now and again, but no one really knew what’s going on with me. The fact is, this is true and I’m not surprised that this has become common knowledge.

I just have to cope with my mental illness in a way that helps me for that current moment.

There is a part inside of me that worries too much about what people think of me. Each word I say leaves a bitter taste and I find myself often regretting my conversations.

I can’t think of anything worse than people not liking me.

I am desperate to make sure that people enjoy spending time with me, I can’t think of anything worse than people not liking me. Yet, when I get scared, I run, that’s just my natural instinct.

I won’t be rejected if I don’t have to face it, or so anxiety tells me.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been working a lot harder on my awareness of myself. I have picked up on the way I respond to things; and how I can change that so that I am more considerate of myself.

Isolating myself really damages my mental health because I do not want to be alone, I like having connections with other people, I like being social, it’s just my insecurities that do not. It’s important to remember that you are not your mental illness, or your past.

What I have learned is that sometimes, taking a step back from a relationship that leaves you feeling drained, can be a good thing. However, rushing to escape from the people that you know you care about, is just a response to your past and your trauma. It does not mean though, that you need to keep hiding, the right people will be patient, they will check in on your and treat you with respect.

Not everyone is out to get you, the person who hurt you in the past is not a reflection on everyone in your present.

A lot of issues with communication can arise because we chose simply not to communicate. It is okay to tell someone that you need some time to recover for your mental health, it’s okay to talk about why you feel that way.

Your mental health is not an issue and should never be.

While it can feel like the better option to just hide in an attempt not to burden anyone, sometimes it can make you feel worse and the person you believe hates you, might not hate you at all.

Remember that anxiety and depression can tell you horrible things, they can be incredibly convincing. But also remember, you are worthy of friendship, you are deserving of being listened to and supported. Most of all, your mental health is not an issue and should never be, there is no shame in that.

Comments

Mama
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None of my friends stay with me. I make friends and I lose friends. I have no lasting relationships with people because they feel alienated by me. They will say nice things to me on Facebook, but no one invites me out or pops over anymore. I’m 49. It’s getting harder to get out there to meet people. I’m lonely.

Gentle Giant
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Hi Mama: You are special and wonderful! I joined a few of the Meet Up groups in my community to meet new people. For example – I joined a Spirit Walk in my city. We walk through the woods and talk about current events – politics, sports, travel, family etc.. I have also joined the local Curling club. The club welcomed new curlers and there is a social afterwards. Take a chance and get out there. Put yourself out there. You can do it. You are a treasure to your family. If you are a Christian read the Bible for help too. Take care.

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