I’m isolated. My loved ones hate it…but it’s my safe space, my air bubble.
I reviewed my discharge paperwork following my hospitalization back in July and was pretty surprised to see “isolation” listed as one of the psychosocial factors of my admittance.
I had been so caught up with everything else that I failed to realize this was actually a problem. I still denied it up until a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m going to acknowledge that it exists.
I’m isolated. I’ve been isolated. If I could have one super power, I would want the ability to be invisible.
Quietness is the best medicine to have in the midst of the horrible migraines, nervousness, and the feeling of a brain that is tangled and in bondage. It’s like I’m in self-protection mode.
I begin to feel like I enter into social situations for the sake of other people. Family will be upset with me if I don’t go to visit. Friends will think I forgot about them if I don’t reach out. If only people would realize how hard it is for me to leave the house.
I get overwhelmed with sounds when I leave the house. I can’t focus and my head begins to hurt.
Driving makes me anxious. Unfortunately, I can’t always ride in the backseat with my head down. I really wish I could take a cab everywhere.
I feel like I’m having an out of body experience when I visit my loved ones. I hear the mumbling and laughter of them but I’m not clear on what they are saying. I’m too consumed with trying to feel well or being the ultimate guest. I also want to go home. I find myself wanting to apologize for not being entertaining enough. I’m sure that I was a bore and I wasted your time. I’m not who I used to be. I’ll be back one day, just not today.
I feel my best when I go to class. There’s no pressure there because no one knows me. I participate if I want. No one notices if I’m having a bad day. Besides, learning about mental health helps me to become more self-aware. Unfortunately, this feeling is counteracted when I worry if I’ll ever be able to become a Mental Health Counselor in the midst of my own mental issues.
I started a new job, part-time only. My family thinks I need to take it slow. I hate feeling “unable,” but I guess it’s for the best. I keep getting questions on whether I think I was ready to go back to work. I don’t know if I was ready, but I do know that I would never be ready if I waited until the time to come.
I confine myself to my home in order to stay away from my triggers. I visit my favorite places at times when I’m confident that no one is there (i.e. Books-a-Million, the local library, Hobby Lobby etc.)
I have a safe bubble and I really try to keep anything that doesn’t belong on the “outside.” My husband and I have grown closer in the midst of my depression, I know I can rely on him for comfort–even when he doesn’t understand. I’ve become very close with my dogs also, I swear they are like therapy dogs, they can sense when I’m not feeling well. Everyone in the house can see when I’m down. They know how to exist with me until I figure things out. I really appreciate them for that.
Isolation gives me a feeling of migraine free, social anxiety free, and on permanent energy-preservation mode. I know it isn’t healthy…but like I said, I’m in self-protection mode to avoid hospitalization. Although my stay in the hospital was a learning experience that I do not regret–I want to avoid going back if I can. I️’m in therapy once a week now (versus twice a month), so I️ am taking baby steps as needed. But as of right now, I’ll continue to play within my limits until I feel like it’s safe to go outside of them.
When Your Brain Hurts