I’ll take a reservation for one, please.
How many? Just one.
It’s just me.
I am all alone.
Isolation is what I am,
what I know,
and what I do.
Isolating has become a habit.
I know it is not healthy to be alone,
but bad habits are hard to break.
If isolation can be an addiction, I have become addicted to being alone.
My behavior of isolation has been increasing throughout the years.
Isolation is safer for me.
No one can hurt me,
or get angry at me,
or say stupid things that will make me mad.
Stupidity makes me angry.
I am very sensitive to other people’s words and nonverbal communication.
I can read people’s nonverbal communication and body language very well.
People’s negative nonverbal communication towards me, screams at me and wounds me.
I can sense when people are upset with me and do not like me.
It makes me want to be alone.
No one can hurt me.
I am safe isolating.
The more I isolate, the more I want to isolate.
The more I am alone, the more difficult it becomes to want to be around other people.
Is it safer for me to be alone because then my PTSD can not be triggered as easily.
My PTSD triggers my bipolar symptoms and I fear that happening, as well.
Being around others scares me, makes me nervous, causes anxiety, a little pit in my stomach churns, flutters and cries out in fear.
It is safer to be alone.
No one can hurt me, except me, and I have control over myself.
I do not have control over what others do.
I have control over how I react to others,
but some days that is a very difficult task to do well.
I will take a reservation for one, please.
Here is the reality and the truth of isolation. Isolation is not healthy. My isolating behavior is getting worse and I need to stop it very soon. In fact, I know I need to stop it now. I need to take small steps and force myself to increase becoming more social.
Before my bipolar symptoms became very severe over 25 years ago, I used to be an extremely social person and loved being around other people. I did not want to be alone. Now, obviously the very opposite has happened in my life, due to my bipolar disorder and the many experiences I have encountered throughout the many years I have been living and surviving with severe bipolar 1 disorder and PTSD. Isolation is becoming a severe symptom of my bipolar disorder.
Please read the following article. It is a good one and very educational. It helped me understand my situation more. I know many people isolate, so I hope you will find this article helpful.
- I turn off social media and force myself to be with human beings. I regularly have to remind myself that social media is a tool that works when I’m well, but when I’m depressed it is a horrible isolator that makes me feel much worse.
- I focus on outcome instead of on my current feelings. I make myself do the opposite of what I feel like doing—even if it often feels worse than a root canal in the moment. But I do this in order to have a better future. I make rules like, “Julie, you will answer your phone no matter how you feel in the moment. You will say yes to invitations. You will reach out to others!” Being my own drill sergeant is what works when my brain is telling me incorrect information.
If you’re depressed right now, pat yourself on the back for reading this! You have already started the process of getting out of your depression by looking for help. If you love someone with bipolar who is isolating, create a plan on your own and then show it to them when they are well. Go over and see them—in person, face to face. Send them a hand-written card—through the mail, not online. Slip a note under their door. Do something real to show them you’re right here whenever they come out of the fog of isolation. And most importantly, whether for yourself or for someone you love, start now and put a plan in place to prevent the mood swing from getting so far the next time.
The ’80s were an interesting time in many ways, and I did learn to be a strong woman. But not every lesson I learned back then was right. There’s a difference between learning to be alone, and feeling isolated and unlovable. When I’m depressed, the answer to isolation is people. Who’s with me?
Copyright 2017 – BpHope. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © By Susan Walz and myloudbipolarwhispers.com – All written content and personal artwork is © myloudbipolarwhispers.com and Susan Walz. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner/artist is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Loud Bipolar Whispers and/or Susan Walz with appropriate and specific directions to the original content. (With the exclusion of the article titled “Ending Bipolar Depression Isolation” By Julie Fast, Copyright 2017 – BpHope.)