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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