Dealing with Social Anxiety & Isolation
When one door opens, another one closes. That is what it is like in this mental illness life.
I am coming off a tough depression cycle that lasted over a month. I was ecstatic that this cycle was over. I felt like myself again–and then I started to deal with social anxiety over this past weekend. It was terrible, it came with increased anxiety and the pièce de résistance, the lovely panic attacks that come along with my illness.
The problem that I now face comes from a plethora of issues that I am not dealing with well with the most prevalent being my isolation during the winter months. This is a year in and year out the problem that plagues me, and one that I have been trying to get under control because it feeds into my social anxiety.
The Perfect Storm?
The worse part of the entire process is how panic attacks make me feel. I lose control of myself. My breathing always gets exceptionally shallow, and I can find peace. It would not be so bad, but my panic attacks have been lasting for hours at a time.
When it gets that bad, all I can do is wait, take an extra Ativan, and hope like hell that I eventually find myself again. It always happens, but at that moment it really feels like I am dying. My mind moves so fast through catastrophic thoughts, and it always comes so close to wanting to go to the hospital. That was my default setting for so many when it came to panic attacks.
I remember one particularly bad month during my journey where I went to the hospital 3-4 times a week because of anxiety and panic attacks.
Then it becomes normal–isolation just happens. Before I know what is going on, I am barely leaving my house for days and even weeks at a time. I spend most of my time writing and studying indoors in my comfortable and safe writing corner.
I make every excuse in the book why it is impossible to just take a step to the outside world just outside my door. Even when I do make out in the world, it’s minimal and all that goes through my mind are thoughts about the real reality that at any moment I could have a panic attack. That is my greatest fear.
It is not over. I am a fighter. Ever since my last suicide attempt, I told myself I would never give up no matter how hard it can be in this mental illness life. I want to end this like always–that no matter what fight. That is why we are here. The members of this great community are some of the most exceptional people on this planet. Stay strong.
Always Keep Fighting