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.