Hiding in Plain Sight


Isolation by Karen S Thompson

Isolation by Karen S Thompson

Last fall I noticed several articles about how living an isolated life can affect a person’s mental acuity.  I was concerned because I started to notice that my mind seemed addled and at times confused.  Reading these articles I realized that I have been isolating myself from the world.  I rarely left the house and tended to spend most of my time along in my room.  The internet was my source of the outside world.

I lived an isolated life for many years, but about 5 years ago I returned to college and just being with other people added so much sunshine to my life.  I enjoyed the intellectual discussions with my instructors and classmates.  I felt so confident.  I started communicating with old friends on Facebook and life was good.

Towards the end of my schooling, I had reoccurring health problems that really made the last year very difficult.  I struggled but finished a year later than I had planned.  I found myself closing ranks, battening down the hatches, unfriending all my old friends, and I stopped writing in my blog because I was afraid my “crazy” was going to come out in my writing.

I was utterly humiliated that I had returned to a life of isolation and depression.  I didn’t want anyone to know that I spent most of my time sleeping and reading the news online.  I had my degree (finally!) and no more excuses. Why didn’t I have a job?  Why am I still living with my parents?  Deep inside I believe I am a person who could be doing great things, but I feel like I’m wearing a fat suit.  I can’t breathe and I can’t get the heaviness off me.

So I’m hunkered down, going out once a week to see my counselor.  She gives me tasks to do each week and tells me that I shouldn’t care what other people think of me.  It has been difficult.  For years I hid the fact that my life was mired in depression, anxiety and extreme fatigue.  My hair was done and my makeup perfect.  My family and friends had no idea until I moved in with my parents after my divorce.  All I could think was “Everybody Knows!”

I am working on getting past this and know that I can turn things around.  It’s all up to me.

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Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?


Who would have thought that such a simple question would have sent me into a tail spin?  Just that one question has me looking at my entire life in a totally different way.  I spend a lot of time contemplating things in my life, trying to understand why something happened the way it did and how I contributed to the outcome.  This one question made me realize that after high school, I waited for life to come to me.  I was not driving the train, but a mere passenger.

How do I see myself in 5 years?  I have no idea.  I’m a girl without a plan.

I actually wrote a post a year or so ago about how I had no idea where my life was headed and that I didn’Plant worry about it—I would take it as it came.  Looking back, I realize that this is a terrible way to live life.  When I was in high school, I was moving forward:  preparing for college; participating in extracurricular activities; joined groups to learn leadership skills.  I had a plan.

Sometime along the way, I stopped moving forward and started living day-to-day.  If I am honest with myself, I know that the stress of everyday life ramped up my tightly controlled anxiety to the point where I could no longer hold it all together anymore.  I just needed to get through each day.  That is what you tell yourself to keep going. Unfortunately I got stuck in that mentality and didn’t even realize that I wasn’t moving forward.  How can you see the future when you are focused on the sun setting and the end of the day?

This one question has helped me understand so much more than just my lack of direction.  Last fall, I realized that I needed help and I am seeing a counselor who never lets me wander to far from getting the plan in place.  I realized that I’m a real pro at evasion.  Is it any wonder that I have been stuck on a sandbar for so many years?