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.


7 thoughts on “Hiding in Plain Sight

  1. I wish you well on this journey back out. I know these changes can be so difficult to make, but . . . the little steps are the ones that pave the way for the unimaginably big moments down the road. (In my experience, anyway!)

    • Thank you for your comments, Deborah. I’m concentrating on small task to help me move forward. I have hope which is all you really need.


  2. Hi, Liza, Thank you so much for sharing this, because I can relate to it deeply!
    I hope it’s okay to share a nutshell version of what I’ve been trying… Please note that I’m not at all preaching here, because I don’t feel I’ve found the answer. I’m just hoping that it might help you to hear that you’re not alone (because your post fiurther reminds me that I’m not alone). 🙂
    The past 5 years for me have been filled with change and stress, with a wide range of emotions and perceptions related to them. I often feel overwhelmed and the next thing I know, I’ve shut down. About 9 months ago I moved to a new city, with no physical friends or family nearby. I noticed after a month or two that I was living through distant realtionships, and felt somehow guilty about that. So I pulled back from those, spent some time refelcting and trying to “figure it out”. Then, with the New Year, I decided to make genuine effort to meet “live” people here in Jacksonville. While that’s going well, obviously these new friends are quite different from my other friends, and I have continued to feel a hollow box inside. So, a few days ago I decided to simply make the effort to revive my online relationships. I’m not sure how to describe my attitude towards it… On the one hand, I feel overwhelmed about wondering how I will find the time to do it all. On the other hand, I feel like it’s vital that I approach it like an alcoholic staying clean or a person dealing with depression: Just gotta keep it on the road, no matter what. Read and comment and post, no matter if I “feel” like doing it. Answer the emails. Find the time. Now, I’ve only been doing this for a week, and the familiar box is still in my gut, and I still sit here alone on a Saturday morning wondering if there is something “more importnat” that I should be doing, but the box feels much less hollow, and I’m very reviatlized to be in touch with familair loved ones.
    I wish you much happiness on your journey, and thank you again for sharing!
    (I hope you don’t mind – I think I’m going to mke a post about this… thank you!)

  3. Liza,
    I am so glad that I found you when you were on your way back and did not find your blog while you were still away! Because…. lately, as I have wandered around… I have found some of the BEST blogs by writers that haven’t written for a few years!
    I have found that writing is the best therapy NEVER feel intimidated. Most writers and readers that I have bonded with here are my greatest support system! There is something about putting our feelings into words that connects us!
    I am following! And am always here to talk!
    Will be praying for you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s